POPCORN Textile

Materials Poster JPEG_Page_1

The material I chose for my material poster is Popcorn. Popcorn initially grabbed my attention because of the vibrant colours and tactility of the material. This material was invented and created by ‘Bua Bhat Factory’ in Chiang Mai, a city in northern Thailand. Bua Bhat highly values sustainability and ethical production, which is reflected in this textile.

Manufacturing Process:

  1. Cast-scraps from local factories in the villages surrounding Chiang Mai are gathered
  2. Dirt and chemical impurities are removed from the fabric through boiling processes
  3. Scraps are dyed using eco-friendly pigments (azo-free dyestuff). Differences/variations in the scrap textiles create a range of shades as the dye is absorbed in irregular amounts. Some pieces become highly saturated while others will remain barely coloured. This creates unique patterns in the final product.
  4. The fabric is cut into thin (1.5cm) strips.
  5. The knit construction of the cotton strips cause the fabric to curl into spiral tubes and the edges also roll up.
  6. The rolls are hand-stitched onto a woven base cloth.

This creates a tufted, 3-dimensional effect out of the cotton textile.

Sustainable and Ethical Aspects:

Bua Bhat is creating a new product from waste material. The company’s usage of factory scraps means less material cut-offs from textile factories end up in landfill. It also means that all harmful processes in creating fabrics are eliminated. Furthermore, the fabrics are dyed using eco-friendly dyes.

Bua Bhat demonstrates ethical consciousness through the employment of local village women. These women work in the dying and stitching of Popcorn. This allows women to support their families and “build on the region’s legacy of craftsmanship”.

Application:

  • Home décor
    • Carpets
    • Rugs
    • Pillowcases
    • Upholstery
  • Apparel

Additional Features:

  • Sound absorbing
  • High tear and impact resistance
  • Machine wash friendly
  • Highly dye-fast

(Post by Alison Serjeant)

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