Underfoot Tableware: Coasters, Tablemats and Placemats From Carpet Offcuts [Alpha Prototype]




Introduction: Underfoot Tableware: Coasters, Tablemats and Placemats From Carpet Offcuts [Alpha Prototype]

About: I am a freelance design engineer and drummer. My business site is at http://www.zero-waste.co.uk and is often concerned with appropriate technologies, open source design and design for sustainability.

Tesselating geometric placemats, tablemats and coasters from carpet offcuts. Template file for download contains source for one of each. Designed for maximum material efficiency from carpet offcuts.

Spruce Carpets, a Glasgow company that renovates carpet recently fitted a new one in my flat. Unfortunately, they can't reclaim the offcuts as there is not much of a market for them: mainly only as weed suppressing mats. I am also sick of seeing carpets left to rot in the street. So I am setting about creating a range of products making use of this under appreciated material.

Hope you like it - of course, any shapes that you can cut are possible, so get your imagination in gear and be sure to post any developments in the comments.

Zero-waste Design

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Step 1: What You Need.

Sharp Stanley knife, straight edge, sewing machine, marker pen and cutting surface. Either a printer or a ruler and angle measurer.

Upholstery thread, offcuts of felt backed acrylic carpet. Cardboard or plastic sheet(1mm to 3mm thick) for template.

cutting with a knife, operating a sewing machine.

Alternatively, the carpet may be waterjet cut. Economically, this is probably only appropriate for quantities exceeding 1000. EPS template requires editing and checking for this application.

Step 2: Make a Template

You may skip this step if you do not plan to make more than one item.

Download the template .eps, print out and tack onto template material. Alternatively, copy the pattern direct onto template material using ruler and angle measurers. My templates are made from leftover sheet plastic - the polypropylene sheet used for ring binders and folders is pretty good for this application as it is 1mm - 2mm thick and tough but cuts easily with a knife.

Below are three templates available for download, for tesselating tableware based on hexagons and equilateral triangles. The source for the Carpet Might range of coasters are also available for download below.

The photos in this instructable reflect the construction of an Underfoot coaster. The same construction is used for the tablemat, placemat and Carpet Might coasters

Step 3: Mark Out the Carpet

3. Using either your physical template or the information in the template file, mark on the pattern onto the felt side of the carpet. You need only mark the corners of the polygons.

Step 4: Cut Out the Pattern

Place a cutting surface underneath the area of carpet that you are going to cut. Using your straight edge, align the edge with two adjacent corner points. Cut carefully along the edge with the stanley knife. Repeat around the pattern.

Step 5: Sew Up the Edges.

Finally, sew around the edges to stop them from fraying. Use a wide zigzag stitch (approx 5mm wide) with a stitch seperation of approx.2mm, letting one side of the stitch wrap around the edge of the carpet. Tie off the ends of the thread securely on the pile side of the carpet.

Step 6: Trim Off the Edges.

Finally, trim off the bits of pile sticking out around the edge of the mat/coaster. Do this carefully with a sharp pair of scissors, taking care not to cut the stitched thread.

Step 7: Embroider on the Details

If you like, you can add embroidered details at this stage

Step 8: Maintenance

Use the tableware felt side up. They can be washed in a washing machine on a 40 degree cycle. Better to hang dry but can be tumble dried on a short cycle. The edges do tend to curl up after washing but can flattened out by hand. Any comments on testing are welcomed below.

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