Furniture made from leaf leather

Brazilian design studio Furf designed furniture made with a leather-like material made from leaves, developed by organic tannery Nova Kaeru.

Vegan, plastic free leather alternatives are a booming industry at the moment. One of the most notable examples is Piñatex, made from leftover leaves after the pineapple harvest, but there are also leather-like materials made of anything from tree bark to fruit leftovers to mycelium (for an extensive list of options, click here).

Nova Kaeru’s material, called beLEAF, is a leather-like material made from the elephant ear plant, a plant with very big leaves. The material has similar characteristics to animal leather, but the main difference is, aside from being vegan, that the CO2 emissions of its manufacturing process is compensated by the carbon absorption of planting and leaf growth.

Unlike most other vegetable textiles, the leaf leather is not mixed with other fibres, polymers or chemicals, but keeps its natural look, texture and shape.

Furf’s furniture, called Outono in Portuguese (Autumn in English), is industrially produced with recycled steel, welded and finished by hand. On their website, Furf states: “ The six feet refer to both creatures and a spatial functional aesthetic. A hybridism between the industrial and artisanal, the sterile and the fertile, the past and the future.”

Photos: Ricardo Perini / Furf