From recycling soda bottles into carpet fiber, braiding old t-shirts into rag rugs, and weaving silk rugs from old saris, there are many ways to bring recycling into the rug world. In fact, two of the hottest rug trends right now, the patchwork and the overdyed rug, use recycled vintage rugs. But how is it that old, unwanted rugs manage to be turned into stylish new rugs? We'll walk you through three of the most popular recycled rug styles on the market right now.
Recycling in the rug world all started with a Turkish rug innovator who wanted to create new rugs in a way that insured a positive workspace for the weavers. Rather than trying to develop a new weaving technique, he stopped to observe a world he knew well. He saw that design trends, technology, and the rug buying mindset were changing, and as a result, there were a large number of unwanted rugs lying around. From this innovator's dreams came the patchwork rug. Instead of weaving new rugs, the innovator reduced waste by gathering up old, unwanted rugs. He reused these rugs by cutting out the sections that were still in good condition. And by joining these salvaged gems together, he repurposed old rugs into new ones. The resulting rugs range from playful and cozy to practical and sophisticated. They can offer a wide range of size and dynamic colors, serving as bold color statements or subtle, calming accents.
Overdyed rugs give a second life to an entire old rug. The faded traditional designs in overdyed rugs whisper of the past beneath very saturated, newer and more popular hues. The deep aquas, warm purples, and tangy oranges of overdyed rugs are very much like those we see trending in the fashion industry. To achieve the subtle monochrome look of overdyes, old rugs are stripped of their more traditional reds, blues, and greens with a special washing process and then dipped entirely into a vat of dye. The result is a rich color update to a beautiful traditional design, making these rugs easier to incorporate into today's interior designs.
Finally, one of our favorite repurposed rug techniques involves the artful craftsmanship of a Romanian rug repairman, Theodore Tuduc. This master repairman removed the pile (or design) knots from the cotton foundations of antique traditional rugs. He then re-wove the traditional patterns onto the original foundations with yarns also repurposed from vintage rugs. The benefit of using vintage materials is that after 100 years of foot traffic and washing, what's left are only the strongest fibers that showcase the original colors with incredible saturation and clarity. The masterfully woven patterns coupled with the genuine age of the rugs' materials create truly authentic looking rugs in beautiful, aged colors.
Though there are many processes through which we include recycled goods in the rug world, these recycled rugs were developed as a result of a passion and love for rugs. Patchwork, overdyed, and masterfully reinvented rugs - juxtapose rug history and fine vintage materials into some of today's most popular design trends.