- story by MaterialDistrict
PineSkins, as the name suggests, is the skin of a pine tree. This leather-like material surprises with its softness in contrast to the thick and harsh character associated with pine trees. Fresh bark is treated with natural ingredients that preserve its softness. Afterwards, it can be coated with an enriching layer of finishing and colour pigments.
The tree industry has turned into a mass production factory: they grow only a few species of trees until a certain age. In fact, they refer to growing trees as cubic meters of wood rather than using the word “tree”. Finally, when the trees are cut, then it is mainly wood that is utilised. That leaves all the other parts of the tree unused. This reduces not only the diversity of materials considered for applications, but also tree species in forests. In the timber industry, pine trees are valued for their cheap wood, while the bark of the tree is discarded as waste. This project gives the bark a new purpose.
The pine bark differs from traditionally used tree barks; it cannot be harvested from a living tree. A pine tree would die without its skin. Therefore, the bark is harvested in collaboration with a tree cutter. Harvesting takes place right after the tree is felled. Each piece of bark has a unique pattern, amount of holes derived from the branches and a width depending on the size and age of the tree.