Developed 50 years ago for rockets and fighter jets, carbon fiber lives a double life half the time it’s nobly protecting NASA space shuttles, the other half it’s jacking up the price of your boss’s golf clubs.
Thanks to carbon fiber’s lightness and strength, its seductive lineage, and its relatively high cost, that second category is only growing as companies use it as a quick fix to class up everything from tie clips to toilet seats. Even a current worldwide shortage of the material—brought on largely by the development of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350, which are both fitted with carbon-fiber wings—hasn’t stopped the deluge. Here’s a breakdown of the latest wares, from functional to frivolous.
Click HERE to view a slideshow of the carbon fiber products.
WILLIAM BOSTWICK is a freelance design writer and editor-at-large at I.D. He’s written for Architectural Record, Metropolis, Print, and other magazines.
Additional reporting by CHRISSY MAHLMEISTER
CREDITS: FABRICE GOUSSET (LADDER); GERARD VAN HEES (BOOKSHELVES); CARBONFIBERTHINGS.COM (MOUSETRAP, PAPER CLIP, CLIPBOARD, MOUSEPAD, KEYCHAIN, MONEY CLIP); COURTESY GIOVANNI PAGNOTTA (LAMP); KEVIN SPRAGUE (COFFEE BENCH, VIOLIN)