Elise Cakebread

Inside/Out Chair



Knit production waste (cotton, wool, acrylic, linen, mohair and rayon yarn), re-purposed nylon curtains, cotton thread.



Traditional upholstery has always re-purposed readily available waste and byproducts  – horse hair, coconut fibre, hessian bags, newspapers. I wanted to explore a contemporary interpretation of these traditions using waste materials readily available to me. Furthermore I wanted to explore how the internal stuffing (the chair’s volume and form) could also act as a decorative feature – inverting the expectation that this element would be covered or hidden.

The specific waste material used is immediately available to me – large quantities of production yarn waste. This was chosen for its availability and the marbled abstracted affect that is created when it is densely packed. The fabric used the outer upholstery is cast-off curtain sheers. The transparency of this fabric and the strength inherent in their nylon composition (a common household textile waste item overwhelming op-shops) make them an ideal material to use in this context.

For its form the ‘chair’ draws on 70’s era fold-out lounges and traditional Thai folding pillows. The articulated sections allow the finished piece to be ‘rolled up’ into a functional and adaptable piece of soft furniture.

Despite the unstructured nature of the materials used the density of those materials create a robust structured form and the articulated sections produce a puffy and inviting presence. This prototype demonstrates a technique for repurposing textile waste that could be scaled up and applied to a variety of furniture outcomes. 



Elise Cakebread is a textile-based artist, craftsperson and designer. Through her work she explores materiality, tactility, sustainability and the ornamental through experiments with traditional textile processes.  This gives life to sculptural work, installations and decorative objects. Her work focuses on the tensions created by unexpected contrasts that emerge between material, form, colour, texture and scale. I explore ideas of materiality, tactility, sustainability, disposability and the ornamental. Elise founded her studio Cakebread in 2013. In 2021 she was awarded a Fellowship from Regional Arts Victoria to research scale and sustainability within her art and design practice. Her research into ways of addressing the textile waste crisis has culminated in a variety of projects and bodies of work.  Elise has worked on commissions and collaborations with businesses including Dulux, Space Furniture, Gorman and Hotel Hotel. Her work has been exhibited nationally, including at Craft, Design Tasmania and The Australian Design Centre. Elise has hosted textile workshops in Melbourne and Sydney. Her handmade products are stocked at retailers across Australia.