Sophie Rowley’s new tables are like a Rorschach of design. What do you see—is it marble? Is it denim? In fact, it’s not exactly either.
The designer created Bahia Denim, a new material that gives old denim sourced from recycling centers a marble-esque look. From a distance, the tables look like they’ve been sculpted from dark, marbled stone. Up close, though, you can see the denim’s fabric qualities poking through.
According to Fast Company, Rowley creates the effect by dipping different shades of denim into a plastic-y bio-resin before layering them in a criss-cross pattern. When the resin dries, the material takes on the softness of a fabric with the stiffness of a resin. “The exposed surface is jeans, so it has a soft and warm sensation,” she said.
The multi-hued denim merely creates the illusion of marble, but it’s no cheap knock-off. The process has its own brilliant charm—it’s cheaper than mining stone from a quarry, and it’s better for the planet.
Want more sustainability-minded design experiments? Check out these impressive material innovations at Milan Design Week 2019.