Autumn 2020

CnTFactory’s Trend Report

Top 5 colour and trim trends

The CnTFactory hunts for innovations and new materials in fields such as architecture, fashion, design and lifestyle. Here, the team highlight some interesting materials for the automotive design community for Autumn 2020.

Algae Cladophora Fabrics

Cladophora is a project by Malu Luecking, a student at Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee. The project takes its name from the filamentous algae growing in lakes in and around Berlin. According to Luecking, the textile industry is one of the main factors contributing to the ecological imbalance of fresh water and saltwater systems because of its use of water resources. This project harvests the fibrous algae from Berlin lakes and utilises their different qualities to produce textiles. Its wool-like constitution allows Cladophora to be processed into translucent non-woven fabric or to be woven as yarn into a surface. It can also be processed into a biodegradable bioplastic which could, in the future, replace PVC for raincoats or bags.

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Bacterial Dyes

Microbial dyes have the potential to replace petrochemistry, dramatically reduce water-use, and eliminate effluent in the manufacture of textiles. 
Industrial production of natural food colourants by microbial fermentation has several advantages: cheaper production, easier extraction, higher yields through strain improvement, an abundance of raw material, and no seasonal fluctuations. Faber Futures is a London-based agency operating at the intersection of nature, design, technology and society. For Project Coelicolour, the agency applied bacterial pigments to dye textiles – a process which uses roughly 500 times less water than traditional dyeing methods, while cutting the use of harmful synthetic chemicals.

Building the concept

Straw Marquetry - Luxury Reinvented

Let’s be honest, straw is an unlikely luxury material. However, Lison de Caunes atelier applied this material to the dashboard and seats of the DS Aero Sport Lounge. Using rye grass grown and harvested with traditional techniques in Burgundy, the straw is then dried and coloured before being split and glued in place. The natural silica varnish on the straw makes it heat resistant and waterproof. Sticking with straw, A&A is a collaboration between Australian industrial designer Adam Goodrum and French marquetry artisan Arthur Seigneur. A&A pieces are a synthesis of design innovation and traditional craftsmanship. The process-driven practice explores the possibilities of colour, 3D geometry and patterns through an interplay of grain direction and reflection that is brought to life through the singular properties of rye straw.

Technical weave - a new upscale carbon fibre

For the Wraith, Rolls-Royce pushed the boundaries of carbon fibre, creating a sparkling interpretation of traditional decor with a shimmery textile-like weave. Technical Weave is accented with tinted strands of aluminum thread, contrasting with the monochromatic palette typically associated with the material. A high-gloss layer accentuates Technical Weave’s signature sparkle. The lacquer was sanded and leveled using an electronic gauge, then buffed by hand. Carbon fibre is notoriously easy to damage and so machines were risked penetrating the protective lacquer, which would destroy the delicate strands underneath. This time-intensive process was repeated twice before the desired, mirror-like shine was achieved.

Copper Infused Materials

Copper-infused materials are becoming a building block for intelligent clothing. Designers are exploring the role clothing can play in protecting against disease in remote environments on Earth as well as in space where astronauts’ immune systems are already compromised. 

Clothing brand Vollebak creates clothes that will help us become faster, more intelligent, and live longer. The brand’s “Full Metal Jacket” contains over 11 kilometers of copper. It is made of fabric that’s 65% copper, 23% polyamide, 12% polyurethane. The jacket is soft, waterproof, windproof and breathable and comes with a fleece lined neck and pockets.

Copper is biostatic, so bacteria and other life forms can’t grow on it. It also has exceptional antimicrobial properties which means bacteria and viruses die when they make contact with it. The copper releases electrically-charged ions which make it difficult for a microbe to breathe, before punching holes in its outer membrane and completely wiping out its DNA, preventing it from developing any future resistance. These properties have been demonstrated by an extensive body of research and have come under the spotlight again this year in initial Covid-19 studies.

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