Leather inflatables are an old practical solution
Eindhoven (Netherlands) based designer Satomi Minoshima recently created inflatable furniture with leather covers. When we think of inflatables, we usually think of plastics and products we dispose of after we grow tired with them. By adding leather to these furniture pieces, Minoshima wanted to raise the value and thus the durability of these items. After all, leather only gets better with age.
Leather inflatables have a long history behind them. Leathers ability to stretch and resist damage made the ancient Assyrians and Egyptians utilize the material as floatation devices, to transport goods or in case of emergencies. In some places in the world, leather inflatables are still used for this purpose. Unlike plastic, leather can take a bit more of a beating, especially when well cared for and created with care. It is thought that leather inflatables helped transport heavy materials during the creation of the pyramids.
The search for leather inflatables in our home interiors has been going for years. However, so far, most designers have looked at plastics, which look cheap and suffer from low durability. Perhaps the answer was not so far away as we thought. Minoshima is likely paving the way for innovation with ancient materials.
Image source: Sato Miminoshima