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Re-Rug: Wonder woven from waste

From the trailblazer of Spanish industrial design comes a new collection of recycled rugs – a powerful exploration of the concept of waste, a keen celebration of imperfection, and a new underfoot symbol of responsible design.

Re-Rug: Wonder woven from waste

Ola Moszumanska


April 3rd, 2024

Nani Marquina, the visionary behind the eponymous Spanish design house nanimarquina, has always been a pioneer. From her early days defying convention and gender stereotypes with bold, colourful rugs that challenged traditional expectations, to her unwavering commitment to ethical and sustainable practices, Marquina has consistently pushed the boundaries of design. All in the name of reinventing the very idea of a rug.

Her latest creation – the Re-Rug range – exemplifies Nani’s vision and spirit perfectly. Re-Rug is not just a collection of stunning objects designed to elevate any contemporary space – it’s a compelling statement about responsible design, the transformative potential of waste and embracing the extraordinary, the imperfect and the distinct.

The Re-Rug story doesn’t begin with a pristine bolt of new wool. Instead, it starts with the humble leftovers – the scraps and discards that accumulate during nanimarquina’s production process. Rather than relegating these wool bits to landfill, Marquina set out to explore how she could not just recover these seemingly useless materials, but craft a yarn suitable for weaving exquisite rugs. The initiative was a natural extension of nanimarquina’s long-standing commitment to sustainability – and the outcome certainly reinforces the brand’s unique role in advancing more ethical solutions in the space of industrial design.

The Re-Rug’s beauty lies not just in its form, but in its very essence. Each square metre of this rug boasts a staggering 1kg of reprocessed wool, directly translating to a reduction in unmanaged waste and CO2 emissions. Virgin materials, with their inherent environmental burden of production and transportation, are simply not required.

Leftover yarn scraps are meticulously separated by colour, forming the foundation for two distinct rug styles – a vibrant tapestry of mixed hues and a sophisticated black and white iteration. These colour-sorted scraps are then shredded by hand before being mechanically transformed back into their basic fibrous state. This reborn wool is then hand-spun and stretched, crafted into a new yarn brimming with potential.

But the magic of the Re-Rug lies not in uniformity, but in embracing the inherent beauty of imperfection. The challenge of preserving the irregularity and tonal richness of the wool scraps became the driving force behind experimentation. Instead of attempting to meticulously sort the diverse colours, Marquina made a bold choice: to accept the inherent variety and transform it into a captivating aesthetic. The result? A vibrant marbling effect, distinct in every rug, that celebrates the inherent character of the recycled materials.

“Instead of trying to sort the heterogeneous piles of unclassifiable wools, we have chosen to accept them as they are and shred them,” explains Nani. “The result is a rug with a unique vibrant marbling effect.”

This commitment to embracing individuality extends to the colour palette, too. Five distinct yarns, ranging from the subtlest grey to a riot of colour, form the weft of the Re-Rug. The secret to this tonal variation lies in the degree of wool shredding. “The more we shredded and mixed the coloured wools, the greyer the fibres became,” adds the designer. “Conversely, the less we shredded them, the more tonal and random richness we achieved.”

The Re-Rug collection utilises the traditional hand-loomed dhurrie technique. This method creates flatwoven rugs where the warp and weft threads interlace to form a strong, durable structure. In the Re-Rug, the warp – the structural foundation of the rug – is crafted from virgin New Zealand wool dyed black and white, yellow, or blue. This provides a robust base, which showcases the stunning palette and thickness variation of the marbled recycled yarn.

The final product is a remarkable fusion of 50% virgin wool and 50% meticulously reprocessed wool. In that, the collection is testament to Nani Marquina’s unwavering dedication to sustainable design practices and her innate ability to find wonder in what’s traditionally considered waste. The Re-Rug collection is more than just a range of contemporary rugs. While it certainly is a captivating addition to any contemporary space as well as an engaging conversation starter, it’s also a compelling symbol of responsible design that redefines the notion of beauty.

Nanimarquina’s new collection is available exclusively with Cult Design, Australia’s renowned hub of iconic designer furniture brands. Head over to their website, or one of their showrooms, to explore this remarkable range – and immerse yourself in nanimarquina’s steadfast celebration of individuality, beauty and responsible design.

Cult Design

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