TETHOK – Textile Tectonics for Wood Construction
From wood to textile.
From wood to textile. The great flexibility of willow wood makes it possible to turn solid wood into a continuous fiber, which can then be mechanically processed like yarn to produce a wide variety of textile fabrics. Willow wood is very light and has an exceptionally good ratio of strength to flexibility and weight. Because the natural structure of the wood is not dissolved and spun into a new thread, as with regenerated fibers, its qualities are not destroyed, but rather transferred to the textile via the solid-wood fiber.
Textiles have many advantages: excellent suitability for light construction, versatility of form and function, refined and tested manufacturing and processing technologies, and a characteristic, ever-changing, deeply familiar aesthetic of parallel and crossing threads.
Consequently, the textile principle has gained prominence as a way of forming structural materials and components. In recent years, there has been growing demand for technical textiles that can be used in the fabrication of technologically and aesthetically advanced structural elements for architecture, construction, product design, and vehicle manufacturing. Continuous-fiber textiles are of particular interest since they can be used to produce extremely strong, functional, and attractive textile structures.
The fabrication of such textiles requires continuous fibers – that is, very long pieces that are extremely small in diameter and highly flexible. The materials most commonly used for continuous fibers are plastic, glass, and carbon fiber, as well as natural fibers such as flax and sisal.
Wood is one of humanity’s oldest construction materials, with enormous technological, aesthetic, and ecological potential, and yet to our knowledge, a spool-wound wood-based fiber suitable for use in a loom, braider, or other textile-manufacturing machine does not yet exist. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, early artisanal attempts were made in the field of wood-weaving using short wood fibers and drawn wood (Purfürst 1880; Klausegger et al. 2016), and willow withes are known to have been used in making woven baskets and fascines for reinforcing embankments (Verdet-Fierz 2004). But of course, time is money, and today, production must be rapid. In the 1980s, the Forestry Institute of the East German Academy of Agronomic Sciences in Eberswalde attempted to produce continuous fibers from willow for use in looms (Gutwasser 1990), but German reunification put an end to those efforts. However, they present a fascinating opportunity to “take up the thread” once more.
The project TETHOK – Textile Tectonics for Wood Construction has been developing a wood-based continuous fiber (solid-wood monofilament) for architecture and construction, and designing textile structural elements to be made from it. We are investigating the processes of designing, building, and manufacturing with textiles made from solid-wood monofilament. This requires specialized knowledge from various disciplines, which must work extremely closely with one another. Through this interdisciplinary synthesis of architecture, structural engineering, materials science, and mechanical engineering, we are addressing the many challenging questions of design, construction, material properties, simulation, and production raised by the project. Our aim is to combine the advantages of textiles with those of wood by adapting the versatility of textiles and their characteristic construction methods to wooden structures. We are joining knowledge from the millennia-old craft of weaving – which was declared an intangible cultural heritage by the German Commission for UNESCO in 2016 – with today’s digital and industrial technologies and manufacturing processes.
Visit us at LIGNA – Making more out of Wood, Hannover
27. - 31. Mai 2019, 09:00 bis 18:00 Uhr
Der TETHOK–Stand befindet sich in Halle 11 Stand 64/66.
The publication RETHINKING WOOD – Future Dimensions of Timber Assembly with the Bookchapter Textile Tectonics for Wood Construction is beeing released in Mai 2019 by BIRKHÄUSER, Hrsg. Markus Hudert/Sven Pfeiffer. ISBN 978-3-0356-1706-1
The Choreografie for dance CROSS THE LINE with an interactive stage design made of wooden textiles has its premiere June, 14th, 2019 at the Theater Am Neuen Garten 64 in Potsdam.
Choreografie: Jean Marc Lebon, Katelijne Philips-Lebon, Nina Ihlenfeld. Stage design: BAU KUNST ERFINDEN
The TETHOK group is:
Forschungsplattform BAU KUNST ERFINDEN | Prof. Heike Klussmann | Speaker | Steffi Silbermann, Jan Juraschek, Arne Dohrmann, Lena Hellmann, Till Ihrig, Mahyar Jalali
FG Experimentelles und Digitales Konstruieren und Entwerfen | Prof. Philipp
FG Trennende und Fügende Fertigungsverfahren | Prof. Dr.-Ing. Prof. h.c. Stefan Böhm
Institut für Werkstofftechnik/Kunststofftechnik | Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Peter Heim
FG Baumechanik/Baudynamik | Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Detlef Kuhl
FG Bauwerkserhaltung und Holzbau | Prof. Dr.-Ing. Werner Seim
FG Tragwerksentwurf | Prof. Julian Lienhard
TETHOK wird gefördert von der Programmlinie Zukunft der Universität Kassel.
research & project funding
- Forschungslinie Zukunft, Universität Kassel