2021 was the year of the burlap coffee bag. While in the past we’ve seen the jute used to transport green coffee get a second life as handbags and satchels and even plush, 2021 was the year the jute bag took off. First are the incredibly colorful green coffee bags from the exporter Raw material and then later that year, burlap found its way into perhaps the best coffee shop sneaker ever made. And now an artist is completely rethinking textiles, transforming the often rough material of the coffee bag into plush furniture.
As reported by Dezeen, the reinvention of the humble coffee bag is the work of Rosana Escobar, a graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Entitled “Untangling the Coffee Sack,” Escobar modifies the fique fibers of the agave plant – the textile used to make coffee sacks in Colombia, as opposed to traditional jute – by “unrolling the woven fabric to create fibers resembling to hair “, creating a” kind of down “which can then be reused as felt. H herself a native of Bogota, Escobar then uses the felt to create benches, stools and rugs.
Escobar uses his project as a way to showcase new and alternative uses for fique, the main use of which is to make coffee bags that are often thrown away after just one use.
âThis is a huge industry that depends entirely on another industry – it relies on the coffee industry – and that makes this material very vulnerable,â Escobar explains in a video.
âI wanted to give a voice to this material, to produce new products that could give new stories and could make us connect with fiber differently. “
The results are completely unrecognizable chunks from their source material. While most items made with recycled coffee bags have some sort of rustic quality, Escobar’s artwork is stylish and inviting. Unlike most jute / fique textiles, you actually want to smell the fabric transformed.
Escobar’s work highlights new potential for used green coffee bags. While the material they are made of is cheap and durable, it doesn’t look particularly good. The transformation of fique by Escobar completely disrupts what textiles can be.
Zac Cadwalader is editor-in-chief of Sprudge Media Network and editor-in-chief based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.
All images via Dezeen