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Design Diary: Art for the floor

A carpet revolution underway and we are witness to this revival of the crafts that is responsible for some of the finest works of interior arts

  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Image Credit: Supplied

Living in a hyper industrialised, mass-production friendly world does not mean we can’t take a minute to appreciate the time intensive beauty that is artisanal culture. This global push towards the revival of the crafts, is to me, a rejection of disposable consumerism. But what it more importantly signals, is a collective wish to re-connect with the varied textures of humanity that the crafts represent.

To the world, these may seem like expensive, one-of-a kind rugs, but the makers behind them are nothing short of artists. These brands are putting the focus back on crafts communities, bringing them the recognition and financial freedom they need and deserve, if we are to preserve these crafts for the future generations.


Beautifully hand-knotted and hand-tufted by the master weavers of the Bhadohi community, near the ancient town of Varanasi, India, the history of this brand can be traced back to the Raj era. With generations of experience, the weavers create intricate designs in New Zealand wool across genres of traditional, contemporary, art deco and transitional themes. With no room for imperfection and at a coveted 4900 knots per square inch, these creations are in demand the world over for the most luxurious residences and palaces. Natural dyes render a distinct depth of colour that with age lends an enigma.


FBMI was founded in 2010 with the desire to change the stark realities of Afghanistan’s women and children. Through Afghani weaving, the initiative empowers Afghan women financially, while providing additional forums such as education, workshops, social development, medical care, clean water, and various economic reforms. Handcrafted in Afghani sheep’s wool, local cottons and using vegan dyes, traditional patterns and contemporary designs as imagined by international designers like Normal Kamali are brought to life.


An invitation to a wedding in India led Dubai-based artist Cecilia Setterdahl to a carpet manufacturer. Soon two of her paintings were being hand knotted into something unique in Jaipur. Setterdahl’s creative method remains the same. She first paints — in her distinctive, bold compositions of colours and geometries. The chosen canvas is then modified into a carpet template and paint colours are matched with wool and silk. Then, the craftsmen begin a time intensive production based on the master template. Colour ‘fixed’ by the heat of the sun, these rugs are as much a work of art as Cecilia’s original designs.


Founded in 1960, in Italy, this family run prestigious rugs brand is known for rare, one-of-a-kind carpets and tapestries. Their contemporary collections, whilst drawing inspiration from art, architecture and fashion, embody a timeless quality that retains its charm, unaltered by fading trends. Available across six diverse categories, they offer a playful colour and texture range. The Limited Edition collection includes pieces styled by famous artists such as Dario Ballantini, Marcelo Burlon and Guido Crepax among others.


Ferreira de Sa is currently one of Europe’s biggest and oldest companies producing handmade rugs. Located in a small town in the north of Portugal, it started as a small manufacturer and quickly evolved into a large-scale organisation. The company offers three different production techniques: hand-tufting, hand-weaving and the Portuguese hand-knotting better known as the Beiriz Stitch. All Ferreira de Sa carpets are custom-made in-house by a talented team of designers and artisans who share in a common passion for exceptionally handcrafted rugs.