New York-based Warp & Weft announced the results of Contemporary Creations: A Rug Design Competition at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) 2012. The competition, sponsored by the rug manufacturing company, invited upper-division textile/surface design program students at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) to compete.
A jury of design industry professionals and journalists selected the five winners from a group of 24 entries. Warp & Weft reinterpreted the top two designs—Full Circle by Denize Sofia Maaloe and Kaleidoscope by Charlotte Rodiere—into rugs, which the company displayed at ICFF.
Full Circle (shown left): The 6-in.-by-9-in., hand-knotted rug features a sun-print of the herb sage. Hand-carded and hand-spun Himalayan wool was used for the dark-brown background and a blend of wool and Indian mulberry silk was used for the leaves. The Van Dyke Brown printing process was used to achieve a vintage and crafty look.
“My goal, as a designer, is to use textiles to express the ideas that I believe in deeply—sustainability, living ethically, etc.,” Maaloe said. “I wanted the design to evoke a feeling of peace and healing; I wanted it to be grounding and to be very tactile and textured. The imagery, the colors and the fibers all helped to realize this vision.”
Kaleidoscope (shown right): This 6-in.-by-9-in., hand-tufted rug features colorful triangles made of semi-worsted Merino wool in a tip-sheared texture, along with a shimmering white background made of a blend of wool and twisted silk in cut pile.
“With this challenge, I had to think of my pattern in scale for the first time,” Rodiere said. “It was a great exercise to see how a motif can come to life on a big surface like a rug. As part of the design process, we went to the Warp & Weft showroom to view their rugs and learn about the different processes used to make them. I was really drawn to the technique of using different pile heights to create pattern and texture. I loved the idea of making a pattern without drawing it, just by suggesting the shape with the length of the fibers.”