Naked nature: unbleached, undyed handmade rugs—part 2

July 24, 2020

In the second part of our trend feature on how ‘rugs in the raw’ reflect a new concept of comfort in a COVID-19 world, we look at seven unbleached and undyed natural fibre handmade rugs from global companies

The unbleached and undyed rugs in our selection share a pursuit of comfort that creates rugs that are safe and fair for people and the planet. But the rugs from each company are creatively diverse. They range from the concept of ‘forest bathing‘ from designer Claudio Bonoldi, to a rug produced from the critical examination and emulation of nature pursued by Joseph Carini, to Kirkit’s mindful and sustainable reclamation and reweaving of hemp fibres from flatweaves used during the process of drying fruit and cereals.

<em>In the Woods<em> by Claudio Bonoldi for cc tapis


Designer Claudio Bonoldi describes how his rug design for cc-tapis, handmade in Nepal from natural undyed, unbleached wool, silk, aloe and nettle fibres, has comfort at its core while its deliberately intermingled rough and smooth fibre textures reflect the fact that nature is unpredictable. 

‘For me comfort means living in harmony with our surroundings. It is essential to feel comfortable in the environment in which we live and which we must help to safeguard. In the Woods is designed to make us feel good and take a piece of nature home, to be cared for, loved. This is true comfort: to be in harmony with what surrounds us and with ourselves. And in this sense, well-being and comfort are the true luxury of the future.’

Rug by Amadi Carpets

Amadi Carpets

Amadi’s newest collection includes this unbleached, undyed rug handwoven in Amadi’s Afghanistan weaving centre with all natural Afghan wool. Different shades of unbleached, undyed white and brown wool create the pattern.

Zubair Amadi describes comfort as a key quality of nature. ‘Everything in its natural state is more beautiful so we work with what nature gives us. All the different shades of wool are in their natural state. The result is beautiful and natural and at the same time we aren’t hurting the environment with dye waste. For me that’s the most important reason why we have been working with natural undyed wool.’

<em>Bakshaish<em> by Nasiri Carpets

Nasiri Carpets

This unbleached, undyed 100% hand-spun and hand-carded wool Bakshaish rug is made from wool sorted from variously coloured sheep. The colour varies throughout the rug with shades of beige, taupe, and grey creating the faceted jewel-like pattern. Because the wool is hand-spun, the wool fibre is twisted as it is spun creating various thicknesses that create a natural abrash or variation throughout the rug. 

‘Comfort comes not only from knowing the rug is completely handmade and natural, but the wool is super soft and the pile adds an additional “layer” of comfort. The rug is a perfect balance between comfort and luxury.’

<em>Solid Shiva Puri<em> by Joseph Carini Carpets

Joseph Carini Carpets

Nature is inimitable for Joseph Carini. Leaning into nature rather than leading it means comfort is an inherent quality in each of his rugs. The Solid Shiva Puri rug with fringe in unbleached, undyed, hand-carded, and hand-spun Himalayan highland wool. The hand-spun technique for this rug creates a thicker fibre with subtle natural colour variation visible throughout. No chemicals have touched this wool. Leaning into nature draws out natural beauty and creates a rug that is ’very solid and sturdy and made to last a lifetime.’

‘The rug is hand-washed with homemade vegetable soap which we make ourselves. The pile is soft and will get even softer with use. Because the yarn is unbleached it has a high lanolin content and natural oils which protect the wool and make it even more durable and silky. We weave Shiva Puri in natural white and natural grey, but it’s also available in colours made with our own natural vegetable and plant dyes.’

<em>Purity<em> by Kirkit Rugs

Kirkit Rugs

Purity is a new unbleached, undyed goat hair and hemp pile rug made from recycled materials. The hemp is recovered by Kirkit from old hemp flatweaves that were once used to dry fruit and cereals, while the goat hair fibre is reclaimed from black nomad tents no longer in use. ‘Nowadays our minds are constantly invaded by images and colours. This simple design creates a soothing peace of mind,’ comments Kirkit.

<em>Petal <em>detail above is of a dyed colourway but unbleached and undyed is available by Tania Johnson Design

Tania Johnson Design 

‘As we’ve spent more time in our homes or out walking during these strange COVID times, life has slowed down. I feel we’ve taken comfort in this calmness. Perhaps that’s why a demand for something natural, devoid of artificial colour—just simple and soft—is rising. Because of this shift, we recently decided to add an unbleached, undyed option for Petal and our hand carved, hand loomed wool series as we feel it’s a natural—and needed—addition to the collection.’

<em>Tatey Patey<em> detail of the undyed hemp sumac rug by Sarawagi Rugs

Sarawagi Rugs

‘There is a certain comfort and beauty that nature and only nature can provide. We are born from the earth and will go back to it, and so that is where we find the ultimate solace, that is why we escape to the mountains and the beach, to be close to our essence. That is why products that come from nature provide a sense of comfort and ease, especially in these unexpected times when nothing seems to be going the way it should.’

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