Concrete Cloth by Concrete Canvas


UK company Concrete Canvas have been awarded Material of the Year 2009 by materials consultancy Material ConneXion for their cement-impregnated fabric. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.

Called Concrete Cloth, the material consists of cement layered between fabric that can bond with water, backed with PVC.

The product can be formed into the required shape then allowed to absorb water, causing it to set after two hours.

The material can be used structurally and is fireproof and waterproof. The designers hope it will have applications in disaster relief, military and commercial environments.

Here's some text from Material ConneXion:


New York, NY, November 23, 2009 - Global materials consultancy Material ConneXion announced today the launch of its first annual MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year, naming UK-based company Concrete Canvas's Concrete Cloth as the inaugural winner.

The award recognizes materials juried into the company's Materials Library within the past year that demonstrate outstanding technological innovation and the potential to make a significant contribution to the advancement of design, industry, society and economy.

“The MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year is an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary breadth and scope of materials innovation today,” says George M. Beylerian, Founder & CEO of Material ConneXion. “The winner is distinguished not only for its technical ability, but for its capacity to make a lasting impact on our lives.”

Concrete Cloth's groundbreaking cement impregnated flexible fabric technology, which allows it to be quickly and easily molded and set into shapes, is a natural choice for 2009's winner. “With the simple addition of water, Concrete Cloth makes it possible to create safe, durable, non-combustible structures for a wide range of commercial, military and humanitarian uses,” says Dr. Andrew H. Dent, Vice President, Library & Materials Research at Material ConneXion. “This innovation is especially remarkable for enabling the construction of rapidly deployable shelter and food storage structures in disaster relief situations,” Dent adds.

Posted on Friday November 27th 2009 at 1:14 pm by Ruth Hynes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • lior

    I think it is brilliant product and great achievement with concrete!
    Even though now it is mainly for military use, I hope it will develop for many other architectural uses

  • Wow, that stuff is amazing. I love the way it looks. I’d like to see street furniture made out of it. And I love the texturality. Me wanna touch.

  • CH-85

    Hell yeah! Super!

  • JBP

    What’s the big deal? The crime syndicates has been making cement overcoats for years! Actually this is remarkable

  • kaptnk


  • try

    I seriously love this. design that comes out of necessity. 100% beautiful!

  • Great material!

  • I think this will be bought en-masse by the mafia, setting people into a set of clothes and throwing them in the river is the new concrete footing.

  • ARS

    Very interesting and useful, more than for military purposes for other uses absolutaley more important such us different programs in underdeveloped areas. I wish the material would be not very expensive.

  • dee

    whoaaa. imagine the possibilities…. i think this is brilliant.

  • Tej

    M sure guys wether architects are impessed or not but Mr. Gary would surly look forward to implement this in his forth coming projects..,
    ; )

    actually it is impressive and surely be popular for a long time to come.


    Possibilities! Maybe this mean that these wacky free form rhino models people are producing in architecture school will be buildable and semi practical one day.

  • Lyndon

    I wonder if you could weave in a rebar element that is also activated by water.

  • Scott

    But it’s made with PVC, one of the most unhealthy and all-around disgusting materials used in construction these days.

    The potential for insta-blobitecture popping up all over the city is sort of exciting. But if the blobs give people cancer they would just be depressing.

  • Whoooooo! Brilliant thought and came out Great! Supporting the idea on architectural uses …Industrial Design field as well. oh! Can be apply for many ways!

  • Sorry, It locks like this idea comes from the same people who did this:

    The idea is great and the development amazing.

  • tanya telford – T

    i really like the fold and drape, soft forms potential and substantially strong traits, plus the practicalities – water proof, sets in 2 hours etc,

  • FashionGuru

    I’m amazed this hasn’t been done before. Essentially, it’s just industrial modroc!

  • What a great innovative idea! It will be interesting to see if the material will be used in more ‘permanent’ architecture.

  • Aaron Y.

    Given the aforementioned toxic nature of PVC, and the fact that cement is one of the most energy intensive materials available, I can’t really get behind the large scale potential of this product. However, for its emergency applications, it’s a win.

  • Sebastian

    what a revolution…can i give you a big hug….

  • JGaneden

    what a great idea … i hope dealers will bring all these kind of materials to all over latin ameria …. MY GO.D …. WHE NEED THIS ! :)

  • questionmarc

    PVC backed? wasn’t PVC already banned last century for being extremely toxic?

  • If the fabric is jute, it answers all the coments about bio degadable requirements.
    The use of jute hessian fabric and cement does adapt itself to an attractive wall covering.

  • is that commercial now, where and how it can bought ….. ?,
    can you price / m2 or if you sell per ton, please let me know how many msq/ton
    and I need the methode to structural calculation.

    bambang sardjono – jakarta

  • sadodith

    it is a very excellent material
    but still what is the case when water is not available……???
    can this be done even without water???

  • it let me think of the plaster bandage

  • sachin

    please send me the cost per meter

  • Jay Shilstone

    Just had this brought to my attention by a post at Command Alkon.

    Polypropylene is currently used as a synthetic fiber reinforcement in concrete and could be used in place of PVC. It is also used in geotextile applications. Jute would degrade and the remaining structure might not be strong enough to withstand its own weight.

    Wrapping the material around a reinforcing steel cage might solve the reinforcing issue, but the material might be too pervious to protect the steel from rusting.

    This is a very interesting material, but I see it primarily for short-term applications (less than 10 years). It is a take-off on the concept of placing a dry concrete mix into sacks, then stacking the sacks and soaking them with water. Very interesting for some applications, but it won't replace ready mixed concrete.

    Kudos to the developers.