Learn through Play

Here at Submaterial, we believe and appreciate the process of learning, the importance of making, and the value of helping members of our community come together. Through a partnership with a local program called Wemagination, we are proud to donate various materials with the intention of encouraging children to learn through play.

The Wemagination Resource Center is a non-profit organization associated with the University of New Mexico’s Family Development Program, with a goal to cultivate and foster joy, diversity, community, and promote the inherent instinct to play. The Family Development Program focuses on the right to learn for children up to five years old, as research shows that these are some of the most influential years on learning and brain development. Wemagination takes this concept into the lives of children through teaching creativity and allowing them to use their imaginations through everyday materials.

Wemagination receives donated materials from local businesses and community members, then acts as a distribution hub, with a goal to allow kids to bring their own ideas to life. With a vast library of materials at their disposal, children are taught to think outside the box, be inclusive, and ultimately retain the passion for creative discovery.

During our visit to the location in Nob Hill, we were told by Education Consultant, Alida Davila-Larrichio, that children are encouraged to use these materials for new things every day, as opposed to something permanent.  By using each piece of material in this manner, there are endless possibilities for the imagination to wander. Using our post-manufacturing wool felt and cork scrap donations, Wemagination helps teach kids how to use their imagination and kick start their senses. Preferred by daycares and preschools, the felt has proven to be a great sensory material for babies and young children to learn through touch.

Teachers and parents have seen their children use the felt as race car tracks, ninja belts, animal tails, puppets, knotted chains, and even imaginative hanging forests. The cork donations typically get repurposed for both classroom and home pin boards.

In addition to our commitment to helping our community in any way we can, Submaterial also supports the initiative to reduce waste and promote a sustainable environment. Through donating our unused materials, we eliminate 10-15 cubic yards per month of waste that might otherwise end up in a landfill.


 “(Wemagination) provides high quality recycled materials in

support of understanding the essential role of play for children’s

optimal learning and development.”


Wemagination offers free workshops to familiarize educators and parents with the creative process and how to jumpstart imaginations of today’s youth. The next workshop being offered will take place on February 1, 2017, on the topic of “Discovering Storytelling and Pre-Literacy Skills Through Play.”


If you’d like to get involved with Wemagination, you can sign up to donate, get a membership, or register for a free workshop on their website at we.unm.edu.



Childhood Educators Membership Registration (parents & teachers)


Non-Childhood Educators Membership Registration (artists & community members)



 Childhood Learning: Reggio Emilia Approach




4010 Copper Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87108
Phone Number: (505) 268-8580

Aerial Wall Panel 6.3.14

We’ve been busy in the Submaterial studio exploring prototypes for our fall product releases. One of our favorites is this new wool felt and cork wall panel we have decided to call Aerial (since the surface reminds us of aerial land photographs). The mosaic-like surface of different colors and thicknesses of wool felt is especially tactile in this high-contrast colorway.

As we complete the prototypes we’ll be sharing the images both here and on our Facebook page. All the pieces will be available for purchase in September as we enjoy our annual studio sale. More details on this as fall approaches.

Fall Newsletter 2013

Customizable Design – One of the most important design features of Submaterial products is the adaptability built into everything we create. By allowing designers to modify not only colors and materials but also dimensions and scale, our work can be transformed to suit any environment. Canadian client Artkonstrukt recently chose to modify our Wall Panel 069 by selecting an off-white shade of vegetable-tanned cow hide instead of the usual recycled leather composite. This new material was thicker and more rigid, dictating a change of scale to our basic design. More than 1250 hand-cut leather parts were assembled to create this eye-catching geometric wall panel. The forms are stronger and more architectural than our typical design, with a deep, sculptural surface. The muted sheen of the leather adds another layer of visual interest.

In a similar fashion, one of our residential clients asked us to scale up the size of the standard tiles for our Wall Hanging 042. By increasing their tile size to over 13 inches square, the client was able to use a thick wool felt in a color they loved for the surface – an option which would not have worked with the smaller standard tile.

Commercial Project – For the new Quicken corporate offices at 1001 Woodward in Detroit, designer Andrea Glos of Hamilton Anderson Architects specified our Index Dimensional wool felt and cork wall covering. The vibrant greens and magenta accents were composed randomly on the wall surfaces to striking effect. Index Dimensional cuts and installs easily, and you can even get a crisp outside corner where needed. You can see the 26 available colors for Index Dimensional as part of the color library now integrated into our website.

Press – Thanks so much to Interior Design Magazine for featuring our new Index WIDE wall covering in the 2013 Fall Market Tabloid. With Index WIDE you can now create a bold and sculptural felt wall installation faster and easier than ever. The larger 12” H x 36” W size of Index WIDE makes for quicker coverage and we offer custom widths up to 42”. The height variation between the wool felt stripes brings a strong linear and dimensional quality to the design. Apply directly to the wall using heavy duty wall covering adhesive. Choose from one of 26 monochrome colors, or work with us to create your own unique colorway with over 60 colors to select from.