3D knitting isn’t just for clothes or shoes; it’s potentially the future of furniture. Even Ikea is getting into the game. This year, Layer–a design studio based in London–is releasing the “Tent” chair for the Italian brand Moroso. It’s a seamless, 3D-knitted chair that integrates upholstery, cushions, and an armrest into a single piece of fabric–riffing, as its name suggests, on tent design.
The knitted “matrix,” which Layer calls the stretchy all-in-one piece of fabric, is composed of over 164,000 feet of waterproof nylon yarn woven into over two million loops. The steel frame is designed to be inserted into pockets in the sides of the fabric, just like you would assemble a tent.
This isn’t the first 3D-knitted chair Layer has designed for Moroso. Last year, when it debuted the Cradle collection, Layer founder Benjamin Hubert told Co.Design that his interest in technical fabrics lays in finding ways to offer more performance with fewer materials. “There’s a lot of talk about smart furniture in the industry right now, but you don’t need to put circuits in your furniture to make it smarter,” Hubert said. “I think using less to do more is an even better way to make furniture smarter.”
With the Tent chair, Layer is focusing in on efficiency. The fabric can be produced in a single process, and moreover, since the fabric is made from a single material, it’s easy to recycle (unlike traditional furniture, which is made from multiple materials that are difficult to separate). Plus, it’s lightweight–which makes packaging and shipping it less wasteful.