A New Lightweight Material Stronger Than Steel

Plastics are often demonized, which is counterproductive to their potential. Though single-use plastics are certainly not environmentally friendly, we should not knock the environmental benefits of plastics that are used in appropriate long-term applications. As a material, plastic is marvellous: it is light, strong and easily moldable. Without plastics, we would not have been able to make the advances we have made in medicine, aviation, automobiles or electronics. And, unlike glass or steel, plastic takes very little energy to produce.


This month #asloves the new polymer development – 2DPA-1 – that was revealed by researchers at MIT:


Using a novel polymerization process, MIT chemical engineers have created a new material that is stronger than steel and as light as plastic, and can be easily manufactured in large quantities. The new material is a two-dimensional polymer that self-assembles into sheets, unlike all other polymers, which form one-dimensional, spaghetti-like chains. Until now, scientists had believed it was impossible to induce polymers to form 2D sheets.MIT News Office, February 2, 2022

The potential for this new material is huge, it could revolutionize the automobile, aviation, technology and construction industries – it has proven to be two times stronger than steel under load tests, with just one-sixth of the material bulk.


Their new polymerization process allows them to generate a two-dimensional sheet called a polyaramide. For the monomer building blocks, they use a compound called melamine, which contains a ring of carbon and nitrogen atoms. Under the right conditions, these monomers grow in two dimensions, forming disks. These disks stack on top of each other, held together by hydrogen bonds between the layers, which make the structure very stable and strong.

Another key feature of 2DPA-1 is that it is impermeable to gases. While other polymers are made from coiled chains with gaps that allow gases to seep through, the new material is made from monomers that lock together like LEGOs, and molecules cannot get between them.


This could allow us to create ultrathin coatings that can completely prevent water or gases from getting through… This kind of barrier coating could be used to protect metal in cars and other vehicles, or steel structures. We don’t usually think of plastics as being something that you could use to support a building, but with this material, you can enable new things. It has very unusual properties and we’re very excited about that.Michael Strano, MIT professor of chemical engineering


Though 2DPA-1 is still in the research stage, it gives hope as better more hardy plastic, means less inefficient plastic – Bravo!


Visit the MIT news site to learn more: https://news.mit.edu/2022/polymer-lightweight-material-2d-0202

Quotes courtesy MIT

Image credit: Christine Daniloff, MIT

Story of the Month
Details make perfection …

… and perfection is not a detail!


With physical fashion shows coming back, the fashion world is finally returning to a new normality. We highlight our favourite looks and uses of materials in the Spring/Summer 2022 Haute Couture collections.

At Schiaparelli, their Artistic Director Daniel Roseberry delivered 24-carat gold couture, with magnificent interpretations of classic embroidery from Schiap’s 1938 Zodiac Collection, sculptural gravity-defying living jewellery and continued to redefine the house codes. Over at Christian Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri was more interested in the subtleties and craftsmanship in an Haute Couture collection. The visual simplicity of her silhouettes was belied by the dizzyingly intricate handiwork that her ateliers achieved, with garments entirely created out of embroidery and a subdued palette.
At Jean Paul Gaultier, the guest designer this season was Y/Project’s Glenn Martens, who took to the task with aplomb turning out a stellar collection. Breton stripes had coral sprouting out of them, taffeta looks had complex wiring structures hidden inside them to create cloud-like forms, knitted looks revealed body, and bondage was softened with ribbons. Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli redefined form by using ten varied fit models instead of the traditional one to create his silhouettes. He schooled us in colour and scale to give us new shapes fit for the future.
Chanel’s artistic director Virginie Viard looked to the ’20s and the feminine side of constructivism to give us a delicate collection that floated down the runway, showered in sequins, embroidery, and meticulous artisanal techniques. Viard collaborated with artist Xavier Veilhan on the set design, who created the perfect backdrop for her elegant offer. Also, we particularly enjoyed Viktor & Rolf, Elie Saab, Rahul Mishra, and Roland Van der Kamp – all of whom pushed the bars of Haute Couture construction and embellishment higher this season.
Finally, Alexis Mabille gave us butterflies – literally. It was hard not to fall in love with his collection that had delicate metallic butterflies adorning the models; a romantic touch to his otherwise sensual, yet defiantly wearable, twist on couture – “It traces the body almost like a drop of perfume or a hint of make-up” (Mabille to Vogue.com)

All images are credited in the image.

Verre Tricoté

Ce mois-ci,  #asloves le projet ‘Soft Silica‘ de Sarah Roseman, récemment diplômée de la Design Academy Eindhoven, dont la matérialité se situe à mi-chemin entre le textile et le travail du verre …
Son processus consiste à chauffer des fibres de verre jusqu’à ce qu’elles soient suffisamment souples pour être tricotées et tissées, avant de créer des motifs et des formes complexes, en expérimentant diverses techniques de tricotage.


Le matériau est ramené à la vie avant d’être figé dans le temps, comme si l’on avait capturé l’instant où le verre se fond en un objet statique ayant le toucher d’un textile. Le projet se compose actuellement de tapisseries et de récipients sculpturaux en verre, mais aussi d’un nombre chaque jour plus important d’échantillons. C’est une recherche continue sur le verre, qui évolue et se développe à chaque itération, afin de trouver de nouvelles possibilités et de futures utilisations à ce nouveau matériau passionnant.

Sarah Roseman, sur son site web


Nous ne pourrions être plus d’accord ! Le résultat final est magique, étrange et surtout innovant.

Photos : toutes les images © Sarah Roseman

Story Of The Month
Un Noël Parisien

Chaque année, nous faisons notre traditionnel pèlerinage aux grands magasins parisiens, et dans le quartier commerçant du Faubourg Saint-Honoré dans le 8e arrondissement, afin de voir leurs décorations pour les fêtes. Après deux années dont les fêtes ont été fortement impactées par l’épidémie de Covid 19, les rues étaient animées et les passants au rendez-vous pour s’émerveiller devant les décorations.
Les thèmes étaient inspirés des représentations classiques de neige et de montagnes, et des décorations traditionnelles telles que les sapins, les étoiles, les boules de Noël et les illuminations. Plusieurs autres magasins ont choisi l’univers du jeu et du divertissement, pour nous distraire et nous ramener en enfance.


Comme en réponse à la froideur du climat, la tendance la plus surprenante en matière de merchandising cette année a été la fausse fourrure – dans des couleurs pastel et blanc neigeux – renforcant l’envie de s’envelopper chaudement pour les longs mois d’hiver, tout en évoquant l’importance, d’un point de vue éthique, de la fausse fourrure dans l’univers de la mode.

Crédit photo : toutes les photos ont des crédits notés sur les images

Knitting with Glass

This month #asloves the ‘Soft Silica‘ project by Sarah Roseman, a recent graduate from Design Academy Eindhoven, whose materiality lies somewhere in-between textile and glasswork …
Her process involves heating glass fibres until they are in a soft enough state to knit and weave, before creating complex patterns and shapes, experimenting with various knitting techniques.


The material is brought to life and appears to be frozen in time, capturing the way glass melts in a static object through with the tactility of a textile. The project currently consists of glass tapestries and sculptural vessels as well as an extensive and ever growing archive of samples. It is a continuing glass research that evolves and develops with each iteration, to find future possibilities and applications for this exciting new material.

Sarah Roseman, on her website


We couldn’t agree more! The final results are magical, strange and above all innovative.

Photos: all images © Sarah Roseman

Story Of The Month
A Parisian Christmas

Each year we make our annual pilgrimage to the Paris department stores and the Faubourg Saint-Honoré shopping district in the 8th arrondissement to see their holiday decorations. After two holiday seasons heavily impacted by the ongoing Covid 19 epidemic, this year the streets were bustling and people were out on the streets marvelling at the decorations.
Themes were driven by classic representations of snow, mountains and traditional homely decorations such as Christmas trees, stars, metallic baubles and warm white lighting. Several stores played with ideas of gameplay and divertissement, to distract us, harkening back to our childhood.


To reinforce the feeling of cold climes, the most surprising merchandising trend this year was faux fur – in pastel colours and snowy white – reinforcing the notion of wrapping up for the winter months, whilst evoking the ongoing ethical importance of faux fur to luxury fashion.

Story of The Month
Joyeuses Fêtes !

Pour vous souhaiter de Joyeuses Fêtes, nous avons créé un Bonhomme de neige composé exclusivement de matières Éco : le corps est sculpté dans notre Air Noodles (TPE 100% recyclable), les yeux, la bouche et les boutons sont en Goudron (pneus recyclés), le nez est en Latex Color (Latex naturel), l’écharpe est en Lana (100% laine) et le chapeau en Charente (PET recyclé), quant aux bras, ils sont faits de branches et de feuilles stabilisés. Notre Bonhomme de neige Éco sera la petite touche éco-conçue de vos vacances !

Story of The Month
Happy Holidays!

To wish you a Happy Holiday, we have created an Eco-Snowman composed of entirely eco-materials:  the body is made from layered Air Noodles (Recyclable TPE), the eyes, mouth and buttons are made from Goudron (Recycled car tires), the nose is Latex Color (Natural Latex), the scarf and hat are Lana (100% wool) and Charente (Recycled PET), and the arms are made from Stabilized branches and leaves. Our Eco-Snowman is here to make your holidays more eco-conscious!