Vera Knoot makes leather from unwanted goose skin

Tanning tools. Dutch Design Week 2014: School of Arts Utrecht graduate Vera Knoot has developed a new type of leather from the skin of geese culled in the Netherlands due to overpopulation. “Because of its thinness goose leather is very flexible and yet very strong. Goose leather and vertebrae necklaces. This is how I came up with the idea to make a final tribute to these geese.”
Goose feather necklaceThe designer worked with a professional tanner who specialises in ostrich skin to find a way to turn goose skin into sustainable leather. The pieces are smaller than traditional leather, but can be used for small accessories or as details on larger products.”
Goose skeletonsKnoot created a set of necklaces using the samples of leather, as well as spray-painted vertebrae and feathers from the dead geese, to demonstrate how different parts of the birds can be reappropriated. Goose vertebrae necklace”The fact so many geese are killed and find their final destination at destruction factories shocked me,” Vera Knoot told Dezeen. Photograph by Laura Cnossen”The nicest compliment I’ve had is, ‘You’ve made a last ode to the geese’. Photograph by Laura Cnossen”In my view a product that will be treasured for generations is as sustainable as it gets – I became interested in vegetable-tanned leather because it’s one of the few materials that becomes more beautiful over time,” said Knoot. It felt really nice that people understand what I’m trying to communicate.”
Geese Project was part of Vera Knoot’s degree show after graduating from School of Arts Utrecht and was presented during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven last month. “A goose skin is very thin but has a lot of fat, so the actual tanning doesn’t take very long but the preparing and finishing needs more time,” said Knoot. Related story: Design made of animal products on show in Formafantasma exhibitionAs a result the government has ordered the destruction of 100,000 birds a year – many of the carcasses are destroyed.

Updated: 09.11.2014 — 20:35