Norwegian designer revives lost art of Romanian hoof fungus

February 7, 2022 |

In Norway, up and coming designer Mari Koppanen is revisiting a mushroom leather that was once commonly used in the Transylvanian region. 

She recently featured the nearly-lost technique in the Fomes furniture range. Comprising a stool and matching bench, the pieces were upholstered in amadou, a spongy, suede-like material made from Fomes fomentarius. The fungus’s colloquial name, Romanian hoof fungus, comes from its shape, which resembles a horse’s hoof. 

“The [amadou] craft is in danger of disappearing as the number of families practicing it has reduced noticeably during the past decades,” Koppanen, who is researching the material as part of her doctorate at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, tells dezeen. “It is a unique craft and the material could have big potential in the future. Compared to leather, it does not require killing an animal or heavy processes of soaking, tanning and dyeing. The material is fully biodegradable, cruelty-free and natural.”

Traditionally, pieces of amadou are connected using a glue made from animal bone collagen, although Koppanen’s Fomes range uses vegan bookbinding glue instead.

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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