Across the globe, contemporary designers and carpet manufacturers continue to find ways of producing genuinely innovative textiles. An example of an innovative new rug design is this year’s winner of the Best Design in Studio Artist Rugs category at the Carpet Design Awards (CDA) at DOMOTEX in Hannover.

Young Dutch designer Simone Post was the worthy winner of this award for her Vlisco Rug. The original rug uses recycled waste materials from the Dutch brand Vlisco’s production of batik fabrics, which are folded and cut using specially developed techniques to create a circular rug with a contemporary look. Simone not only highlighted the many exciting possibilities for upcycling scrap materials, but also channelled an entirely new aesthetic for “floor tapestries”.

One of the finalists in the “Best Innovation” category of last year’s awards, Belgion brand Papilio, reinforces how important it is to use innovative materials in rug designs. Papilio’s rug, Canvas, is made from patches of canvas cut from recycled army tents and cross-stitched together with leather thonging. One of the key contributors to the success of Papilio’s collections is the use of recycled materials, such as bicycle inner tubes, car fan belts, cardboard, leather and blankets. Various weaving techniques are employed to create intriguing structures and textures with these materials. This year, Papilio unveiled its on-trend Rope Hope rug, which was designed by Sep Verboom as part of the LIVABLE project, and is made from recycled ropes used by fishermen in the Philippines.

At Milan Design Week this year, Italian carpet manufacturer Nodus presented their Circus Rug, which is made from hemp and rag dolls. The rug impressed the CDA jurors at DOMOTEX back in 2011, when the company was named the winner in the category “Best Innovation”. This year’s Design Week showcased the rugs Bala Perdida and Veneza Carioca by David Elia, the former featuring cartridges and bullet holes as design elements, while the latter incorporates plastic flip-flops.

At this year’s DOMOTEX event, the Turkish firm Kirkit exhibited a range of flatweave rugs made from recycled hemp and featuring bold, eye-catching patterning. They represent a unique blend of traditional and contemporary motifs – a popular look much sought-after in today’s interior design market.

Rugs such as these illustrate the astonishing richness and diversity of the contemporary carpet weaver’s art. Today’s designers not only consider the artistic merits of new materials and techniques; they also take their environmental responsibilities seriously, and embrace the possibilities of upcycling and eco-friendly production methods.

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