MA Graduation Project
Supervision: Prof. Christiane Sauer
Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut (STFI), G.tecz Engineering GmbH
The project ‘Concrete Textile’ is a material study, which has the aim of developing stable structures from the opposing materials concrete and textile, which unite the flexible characteristics of textile with the stability typical of concrete.
Concrete is familiar to us as a rigid and solid building material, which is soft and fluid during its application. Its high pressure resistance and ability to be cast into any shape make concrete a very versatile building material. Textiles, on the other hand, are soft, flexible and changeable materials. They are created from the varied construction of yarns into surface structures.
For this ‘Concrete Textile’, the properties of both components were combined. Initially, based on comparative studies, a type of concrete was selected, which has a fine grain, is easy to work with, and particularly solid. Based on the choice of concrete, materials were chosen for a textile tube, which were alkali-resistant, water-permeable and stabilising. Both materials combine in a constructive material composite. The resulting oversized yarn, made from a textile tube filled with concrete, is flexible and formable in its dry state. When water is added, the material hardens and sets. The “concrete yarn” was turned into a structural framework, using the textile construction techniques weaving, knitting and knotting. Each of the constructions has specific properties: woven structures proved to be the most stable construction, followed by knitted and knotted surfaces. Through weaving and knitting, rigid weight-bearing structures were created whereas flexibility was created through the implementation of knots.
The creation of four final surface designs showcased the potential of this compound material: a free-standing, knitted room divider, a knitted wall panel, a woven stool, and a flexible, knotted, concrete rug.