Naturalise: a hammock made from soilless, living plants

There is something very relaxing about lying on the grass, looking up at the sky, as well as lying in a hammock. Spanish product designer Ainhoa Garmendia combines the best of both worlds in her hammock Naturalise, which is made from woven, soilless, living plants.

The installation uses living plants called Tillandsia Usneoides (also known as Spanish moss), a plant that consists of long, soft fibres, as the main material in a woven fabric. The project is a call to avoid the Throwaway culture by creating objects that are alive, which need to be taken care of. Plants can help us create structural and functional products, even when they’re still alive.

To weave the material, Garmendia has created her own loom of 2 x 1 m (6.5 x 3 feet). The sturdy fabric is created using natural rope as support and structure, through which the moss is woven. The hammock represents the reconnection with nature, giving the user a moment to reflect and feel the living material and nature.

Spanish moss doesn’t need soil to survive, and it only requires little water, so watering your hammock once a week should be enough. As the material is alive, the fabric is able to regrow and restore itself when it breaks. This also means the material isn’t static, but keeps growing. “Naturalise is a verb, an action and a process of creating objects that keep growing and are alive,” Garmendia says.

The Naturalise living hammock was presented in Milan at the “I see colors everywhere” exhibition, curated by the clothing brand United Colors of Benetton and Fabrica communication research centre for Milan Fashion Week 2017.

Photos: Ainhoa Garmendia