Jule Waibel’s seats are made by steam folding felt

Jule Waibel’s pine cone-shaped seats are made by steam-folding wool felt

London-based German designer Jule Waibel has launched a collection of seats made from 100 per cent wool felt that has been three-dimensionally folded under steam to create flexible pleats (+ slideshow).

Cones by Jule Waibel

Named Cones, the pouf-like seats resemble squat pinecones and come in a range of autumnal colours.

The felt is pleated between two layers of folded paper, used as a mould, and the shape is set using hot steam.

Cones by Jule Waibel

"It's an old craft, which was once used to make pleated skirts," Waibel told Dezeen. "There are not many factories left. The craft is dying out."

Cones by Jule Waibel

Due to the structure of the folds, the seats flex under the weight of the sitter to accommodate a range of sitting positions.

Cones by Jule Waibel

"I was inspired by cones of pine trees," said Waibel. "They have a similar detailed, folded, repeated pattern which changes according external impacts such as nature, heat and humidity."

Cones by Jule Waibel

"They can change their shape and transform depending on influences of the nature. They are flexible but solid, just like my seats, except the external influence for Cones is not nature but the human body."

Cones by Jule Waibel

"I hope people can see the beauty in the geometry, transformation and play of the seats, and that they feel the aesthetics and comfort of the unfolded cones," she added.

Cones by Jule Waibel

This project follows previous work experimenting with folding and pleating from the designer, including a series of folded paper clothes and accessories that adjust and expand as the wearer moves, and a collection of steam press templates for wearable fabric garments.