The history of NUO leads to Rome. This is where Marta Antonelli, a fashion designer and vegan, studies for whom the use of leather is out of the question. Her pronounced awareness of nature encourages her to use a sustainable material made from renewable resources – which makes the search even more difficult. Until her father Marcello Antonelli – a longtime expert in the textile industry – comes to the rescue. He finds out quite quickly that a material meets his daughter’s requirements in a special way. It is an old material that has accompanied people for thousands of years: Wood! And in its noblest and most environmentally friendly form – as veneer. But even thin veneer sheets are only flexible to a limited extent. In the following months he develops techniques to make wood flexible. After a long research phase, he finally achieves the breakthrough. The thin veneer wood becomes flexible by sanding, laminating a textile and finally by laser treatment of the veneer surface. Through his numerous experiments, Marcello Antonelli also discovers that different laser patterns are possible without affecting the flexibility of the material.
They develop a new type of wooden mesh: NUO – which at this point, however, still gets the working title “Ligneah”. They see the need for further development and worldwide presentation of this unique material and found the company MyMantra srl. Due to the increasing awareness of designers and the demand for larger production sizes, MyMantra is faced with the task of finding a suitable cooperation partner with wood expertise and production power who can provide the necessary size. This is how the cooperation with the German company Schorn & Groh, a worldwide leading veneer manufacturer with more than 60 years of experience with the valuable material wood, was born. Schorn & Groh produces all veneer products according to the quality seal “Made in Germany”. The provisional name Ligneah is abandoned within the framework of the cooperation. NUO gets its current name and a completely new brand identity.
At this time a new subsidiary of Schorn & Groh GmbH will be founded for the best possible growth of NUO, which will concentrate exclusively on the further development, production and sales of NUO: NUO GmbH is created with its own management.