Visual fiber composites #2



Study of visual fibre composites made in collaboration between textile engineer, Karen Marie Hasling and textile designer, Louise Ravnløkke, both researchers at Design School Kolding. The study challenged the conception of fibre composites, putting emphasis on aesthetic potentials exploring the visual expression of the textile component(s) in the fabric/plastic composite using various textile printing techniques.


Plastics and resins



General Technique

Forming and shaping
Structural modifying
Surface modifying

Specific Technique

Laser cutting
Screen print
Thermo-compression moulding

Properties & Qualities


Architecture Lighting Product


2D Rigid Translucent Transparent



Sample Information

Date of Creation

May 2011


Max. dimensions of sample: 40cm x 40 cm, thickness 3-5 mm depending on number of layers

Culture & Context

Fibre composites are predominantly used for functional application, where the fibre serves as reinforcement for a plastic matrix. Often the composition itself is often covered by a finish to protect the composites from wear and tear. However, this also makes the textile component invisible and from a visual perspective passive.

By emphasizing the aesthetic value of the textile component, the researchers have explored new and visual potentials of the material composition. In doing soe researchers have experimented with traditional textile design skills such as layers of textile, textures, patterns and colours.

Process & Production

The manufactured fiber composite laminate consists of alternating layers of textiles and PLA-sheets. The main function of the textiles is to contribute to the overall visual impact, while secondary function is to provide strength and stability. The visual textile laminas have been made of woven, knitted and non-woven fabrics mainly from natural fibers being dyed, printed and elsewise treated in different manners. The stabilizing textile laminas have been made of a plain cotton weave.
The laminates have been manufactured in an industrialized thermo consolidation device at the Fiber Laboratory, Department for Materials Research, Risø DTU National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy.

The process conditions were set to heating the lay-up to 190°C for 5 min in vacuum followed by consolidation for 1 min under pressure. The manufacturing device enabled laminates with the dimensions 40x40cm; large enough to give an indication of the workability of the given material combination, but too small to fully understand its visual strength.

In the specific sample, the following textiles have been applied:
Layer 1: Non-woven polyester and lacer cutting
Layer 2: Non-woven polyester and screen print using pigment print

You can read more about the study here:
Hasling, K. M. (2012). Biokompositter – fremtidens vidundermateriale. In: Innovation, strategisk udvikling og kreativitet – designforskning i virksomheder (in Danish).
Hasling, K.M. (2011). Visual Bio-composites – Establishing New Conditions for an Old Material. In: Hallnäs (ed). Proceedings of Ambience ’11, pp. 152-157 (link to conference proceedings:


Craft Maker

Karen Marie Hasling Louise Ravnløkke

Library Contributor

Design School Kolding


Louise Ravnløkke