From selvedge to rug
“If you consider that it was only in January 2016 that we launched to the public for the first time, then it’s unbelievable to think of everything that’s happened this year”, says Tina Wendler. Together with Lara Wernert, she found a great niche in the market: Aesthetic felt rugs made from high-quality selvedges amassed during the process of production with wool materials. Under the name “13 Rugs”, the marketing expert (and her grandparents founded the longstanding rohi brand) teamed up with Berlin-based textile designer Lara Wernert to present her first collection “Heimat”, meaning “homeland”, at imm 2016 in Cologne. It consisted of 13 rugs, thus incorporating both the pair’s lucky number, and was inspired by the nature surrounding the location of Geretsried near Munich. Further editions followed. The uncommonly positive resonance the collection received was recently highlighted when it was presented with the Material Prize 2016 in the Ecology category.
Scraps need not be scrapped
The young company’s success story began by chance: Lara Wernert was working on her masters in Conceptual Textile Design and enquired at rohi whether she might be able to use the selvedges that are amassed as standard from production using wool materials. She developed a multi-stage felting process and worked the narrow strips into capes. After completing her course, she showed rohi the results. Making use of the waste scraps amassed during production by means of an upcycling process offered rohi a way to make their production cycle come full-circle. Thus the way was paved for 13 Rugs and the previous felting procedure was adapted sufficiently so that a hard-wearing floor covering could be produced from the loose selvedges.
Every rug is a unique piece: A drawing produced using oil colors forms the basis according to which the narrow selvedges are combined by hand to form a color gradient. Then the individual parts are sewn together loosely and felted mechanically. Afterwards the reverse side of the rug is determined and reinforced with a robust wool material. The virgin wool used means the front side is very soft, with a structure and look reminiscent of short-haired animal fur. Tina Wendler outlines the colors available for the selection to each customer using details neatly arranged in several folders. As regards the shape, irregular shapes are available alongside more common rectangular or square rugs. The patterns and color gradients produced by numerous individual selvedges joined together can vary a great deal and are reminiscent of watercolors. Since the yarn is dyed before processing, the woolen rugs are non-fade and the colors brilliant.
Specific color tones as required
Alongside the collection on offer, the production of individual items has now become a firm component of the “13 Rugs” portfolio. With the “customized” concept, Tina Wendler and Lara Wernert advise the customers on the shape and color of the rug according to the room it is to be placed in, developing a design concept on this basis: According to Tina Wendler, the one-off pieces are ideally suited to purist interiors in particular, since they “offer a break in the purism and form a welcome addition”, setting clear accents within the room. The latest collection, which was presented at Orgatec 2016, is called “Deep Blue Edition”, and consists of five rugs in variations of midnight blue. At imm cologne “13 Rugs” will be exhibiting further items from the collection on the rohi stand in the Design Post. In addition, the Cor booth will also feature a rug manufactured to fit with the colors of the covers on display.