Stencil furniture
by Julien Carretero

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This aluminium furniture and lighting was cast inside sheets of heat-resistant fabric in a process developed by French designer Julien Carretero.

Stencil by Julien Carretero

The Stencil collection comprises a lamp, bench, stool and table and was created by Julien Carretero at the Beeldenstorm artists' workshop and foundry in Eindhoven.

Stencil by Julien Carretero

The designer wanted to create a flexible and low-cost system of production without the investment costs required by aluminium injection moulding.

Stencil by Julien Carretero

An early experiment with a fireproof blanket gave him the idea to use heat-resistant fabric for the moulds, and he eventually settled on a woven fabric made of silica that can resist up to 1200°C.

Stencil by Julien Carretero

Sewing a mould from pieces of fabric would be time-consuming and would also require Carretero to break open and re-sew the mould each time, so instead he decided to clamp the fabric in a steel stencil and pour the aluminium into it.

Stencil by Julien Carretero

"The heat of the aluminium is not high enough to harm it," Carretero told Dezeen. "This way you can reuse it over and over."

Stencil by Julien Carretero

"The Stencil proposal doesn't require any investment cost," he added. "All you need is an oven to melt aluminium, which is something you can find almost anywhere in the world in local foundries. It's even possible to melt aluminium with a simple torch – that's how I made my first try-outs."

Stencil by Julien Carretero

The weave of the fabric produced a textured pattern on the final pieces that wasn't intentional but was a pleasing by-product, he said.

Stencil by Julien Carretero

Carretero studied industrial design in France and England before completing a Master's at Design Academy Eindhoven, where he submitted a polyurethane foam casting process as his final project.

Stencil by Julien Carretero

Other projects by Carretero we've featured on Dezeen include a collection of lamps, tables and stools made by scraping a profile into hardening plaster and a domestic fan made from industrial components.

Stencil by Julien Carretero

We've also featured a concrete side table cast in a fabric mould and aluminium stools cast from fish.

Stencil by Julien Carretero

See all our stories about Julien Carretero »
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Here's more information from the designer:


The Stencil collection is the first series of aluminium pieces of furniture ever cast in fabric. It is the result of experimental research aiming at turning the complex aluminium casting technique into a flexible and low-cost system of production. In order to do so, the number of steps required along the process is reduced to its minimum and the need for complex and expensive infrastructures is avoided.

Stencil by Julien Carretero

Economic flexibility arises from the lightness of the method that encourages locally set production facilities. Technical flexibility is brought through the use of extremely basic and low-cost re-usable mould systems made from raw flat materials. High-temperature resistant fabric is clamped in a steel stencil and the fused aluminum is poured into it. Unlike usual metal casting processes, once the mould is unclamped and the piece released, it can instantly be reused for another casting. This process does not create any waste as the aluminum left overs can be melted down and the fabric reused over and over.

Stencil by Julien Carretero

Materials: cast aluminium, varnished waterproof MDF, veneer
Project assistants: Sabine Roth, Lauren Tortil, Jason Page, Vincent Tarisien, Paolo Sellmayer, Anaïck Lejart, Geoffroy Gillant
Stencil was made possible thanks to the open-mindedness of the Beeldenstorm metal casting workshop (Eindhoven).

Stencil by Julien Carretero

  • http://www.masharchitecture.co.uk Architects Baildon

    Love the textured finish on the aluminium. Really innovative, original idea.