Following Yemi Awosile: Sustainable Cork Textiles and Surfaces
Yemi Awosile is a name to remember. The bright, young London-based designer has become a specialist in cork textiles and surfaces with her focus taking off post-graduation from the Royal College of Art in 2008. Now, with an MA under her belt, Awosile is in charge of the production of her own cork textiles and surfaces that, from her long list of attended shows and events, appear to play leap frog in priority with her industry-based research projects, exhibitions, talks, workshops, and press interviews that she gives to promote the use of the renewable material.
Surface Patterns. Designed by Yemi Awosile.
A Master of Cork, Yemi Awosile Explores its Sustainable Surface Potential
In an interview with the Real Cork website in 2008, Awosile recalls her initial exploration with the sustainable material, “During the first year of my MA, I proposed a research trip to Portugal, and with the support of the college I won a travel bursary which enabled me to spend a month in the heart land of cork production.” Prior to this scholarship, her interest came after looking at a simple cork in the library, and learning that the material had gone through it’s popular spell in the UK during the 70s. She reflected on this saying, “but I had not seen this” since at the time of its trend back then, Awosile was not yet born. Today, she’s a mere 26 years old.
The lightweight fabric and laser cut, checkered cork surface featured on her website are suited perfectly for interior applications like upholstering, wall coverings and wall panels. Overall, the thermal insulation-professing and naturally acoustic cork is a win-win – and we’re not even talking about the wide range of aesthetically-pleasing fabric colors yet, or the metallic, black, or natural finishes available in the geometric surface pattern. Each of her cork products are made with a woven elastane and re-composited cork (that comes straight from the wine industry, proving it’s as green as ever).
The reason Awosile enjoys working with cork so much might have something to do with her long list of endearing adjectives she uses to describe it, saying “cork is an exciting material to work with because it is flexible, light, quiet, and soft – all useful qualities for a textile designer.”