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Project
Structural Skin
Type
New Material
Client
Self-initiated
Year
2015

Structural Skin is a self-produced material made out of leftovers and offcuts from the leather industry. This project does not start from an interest in the advantages of a material but from its disadvantages. Leather is a beautiful material but very inefficient in terms of its manufacturing process due to its natural origins. No matter which tanning process a hide went through, the quality of a piece of leather depends directly on the part of the animal that comes from – the higher the movement the lower the quality; some experts indicate that just the 13% of a hide is top quality and up to the 43% is considered good quality. This fact means that companies involved in the production of leather goods produce a large amount of discarded materials, leftovers and offcuts.

After extensive material investigations, Jorge Penadés devised a new production method that transforms the apparently worthless waste from leather factories into an innovative material that is made 100% from an animal source. No resin or any other chemical component has been used along the production, carefully considering the environmental impact of the project. The result celebrates the inherent qualities of given skins while defining a new role for leather that had never been previously considered.

Credits

Photo: Brenda Germade