The history of rugs can be dated as far back as 500 BC, with its first known origins in ancient Persia. Oriental rugs have existed for hundreds of years, adding character to spaces, and imbuing them with a sense of regal. As American designer, Charles Eames said on interior design, “The details are not the details, they make the design.” Incorporating peculiar elements into spaces amplifies the setting and reflects one’s personality and helps balance the rigidity that stone and brick structures tend to add. Fabrics have been an imperative asset of interior design and the essence of every rug is brought to life by the character and materiality of the fabric that satiates its craft, transcending a visual dialogue with the space it inhabits.
From traditional carpet design to abstract motifs, textile designers have emerged with bespoke rug designs that can adorn spaces of different kinds and styles. STIR enlists seven such rug designs that stand out for their distinctive patterns and fabric materiality.
EVG.WORKS a contemporary art studio run by Seattle-based artist Evgeniya Plotnikova, has crafted a juxtaposition of felt offcuts, manifested in the Fillet Felts collection. Sparking a lively conversation between colours, in conjunction with the character of felt, bright pops of red and yellow are composed alongside a neutral grey to develop a balance in the rug design. With an abstract yet familiar design that has crisp arcs playfully placed on its corners, it infuses a pop of colour, making it the perfect rug for a living room space.
As an extension to the Synaesthesia collection, Italian brand Inkiostro Bianco has crafted Synaesthesia II, showcasing the Woodwaves rug collection that abstracts spontaneous and non-rational connections between various senses. Opening one's eyes and mind to a world of personal and imaginative connections. Maintaining a harmonious balance between colours and shapes, the organic minimal lines adorning the rug design, make one wonder if it is really a rug, forcing one to reach out for a tactile confirmation of the object in front. The concept of a classic rug is revisited by incorporating elements of idiosyncratic materials like wood, paper and cement.
Oru Loom rug designed by Denmark-based designer Kristina Dam , draws inspiration from the traditional Japanese Tatami mats. Rendering a calm and clean frame to the interiors, they are an ideal rug for living rooms. Woven with wool and jute, they add a textural feature to the living room, with the rug design expressing the meaning of the word Oru which translates to ‘weave’ in Japanese.
Adorning abstract patterns inspired by a tiger’s skin, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s Tyger rug, borrows its name from William Blake’s famous poem of the same name and was fabricated in Afghanistan by master weavers of the Turquoise Mountain. Crafted with traditional Ghazni wool, its minimal colour palette is obtained using only natural colours, incorporating undyed wool from black and white sheep with an orange base created by using a mixture of saffron, yellow larkspur, and madder. The rug was displayed at the Sothbey’s London, WWF’s Tomorrows’ Tigers fundraising exhibition.
Forbidden Garden was curated by interior designer Rodney Lawrence and presented by Wexler Gallery, a contemporary art and design gallery based in Philadelphia and New York. It included an asymmetrical shearling rug crafted by Rosemary Hallgarten, capturing a visual texture, and abstracting a cloud-like softness as its tactile element. The rug captures light in a unique manner, making it a statement while its minimal look helps it blend into any living room setup.
Turin-based brand Battilossi curated a collection of contemporary rugs in hues of crimson red, Avita was a flatweave rug incorporated in this collection, woven out of coral coloured threads to enhance the texture of Ghazni wool. The traditional character and materiality of the rug are highlighted through techniques such as kilim weaving and weft wrapping. Hand knotted in Lahore, Pakistan, this rug can be customised in different colours, textures, and materials.
British photographer Mary McCartney is showcasing a rug design at the upcoming ERODE - MORPH - BLOOM exhibition as part of Henzel Studio’s artist program at Twentieth Gallery. An essence of the English rose through McCartney’s photographic lens is brought to life in the hand-knotted rug with its organic form capturing the texture of rose petals, muted tints of dusty pink render it an eye-catcher for any living room.
Text by Ria Jha