Does Christo Know about Airbags?

Gary S. Vasilash

Christo, an artist who, with his late wife Jeanne-Claude, has made a remarkable career of using massive amounts of fabric to literally wrap seemingly unwrappable objects. The Reichstag in Berlin. Pont-Neuf in Paris. Eleven islands in Biscayne Bay. Fabric quantities not measured in yards but miles.

Which came to mind as Japan-based Teijin Group announced that one of its divisions has opened an airbag production facility in China, N.I. Teijin Airbag Fabric (Nantong).


At present, the plant has the capacity to produce 6.4-million square meters of fabric per year. According to Teijin management, by 2015, that number will rise to 16-million square meters.

We wondered how big a sheet of fabric that large is. So, turning to Wolfram Alpha we learned that it could cover an area about a fifth the size of Manhattan.

Which got us thinking about Christo. . . .