‘RUG STAR TUFT was invented to offer the market a simple message: RUG STAR [hand knotted] in 6 months or RUG STAR TUFT in 6 weeks.’ begins Rug Star’s Jürgen Dahlmanns as we are discussing his new carpet project via email. ‘Of course for both variations we only want to provide the best possible quality and the smartest executions on the market.’ Upon reading this statement I am immediately reminded of the oft referenced ‘Project Management Triangle‘ and how its truisms are somewhat antithetical, though not fully unknown to the world of rugs. Is superior quality the goal? Then be either prepared to wait or to pay accordingly. What if it is needed by the end of next month? Quality and price are now the factors at play. So on and so forth through innumerable variations all trying to account for the one great unknown: the whims of fashionable trend driven consumption. By offering a quality option with appreciably shorter production times, Rug Star is providing the well educated consumer, retailer, and designer yet another means to satisfy these desires, while still embracing and remaining a Rug Star aesthete.
To the Trade: Amongst the various qualities of rugs and carpets available two overarching categories are worthy of note: Handknotted and Tufted. As the name implies, handknotted carpets are made by individually hand tying a piece of yarn to the foundation as it is simultaneously woven producing a strong, durable, and potentially highly detailed carpet. To contrast, a tufted carpet is made by inserting yarn – either by hand or by aid of machine – into a pre-woven foundation cloth. During the process the yarn is trimmed resulting in small ‘tufts’ of yarn, hence the name. Unlike a handknotted carpet which is held together by knots/friction, a tufted carpet is held together by the application of a glue (generally latex) and a backing. The durability of either type of carpet can vary widely depending on the quality of the materials and workmanship.
‘The first two pieces have been produced in 100% viscose, but can also be ordered in the finest 100% Chinese silk or wool.’ continues Jürgen. ‘They arrived in Berlin just this week for product and interior photo shoots before we send them off again, this time to New York.’ RUG STAR TUFT will make its global debut at Rug Star’s inaugural North American showing at the 2016 New York instalment of The Rug Show.
To introduce the so named ‘TUFT’ quality Rug Star created a new design entitled ‘Koi’ which – obviously – was inspired by various examples of Cyprinus carpio. Two (2) variations will be shown both illustrating an overhead view of swimming Koi set upon a floral background. For those familiar with the work of Rug Star, the floral will be recognized as Bondi from their ‘Tibetan Pop’ collection which was originally inspired by saris worn by many of Rug Star’s weavers. Jürgen continues, ‘The next six (6) designs for the Koi collection will incorporate 3D effects in the background.’ For Jürgen this means adding sculpturing/carving to the pile and utilizing a coloured foundation canvas which will remain exposed thus imbuing a bas relief effect to the carpet. ‘Not all parts of the field need to be tufted in each design.’ he concludes.
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The TUFT quality from Rug Star is a major undertaking with wide ranging scope and an aggressive development plan. Production materials (viscose and wool) are stocked in a range of one-hundred (100) colours in order to facilitate a production time of four to six (4-6) weeks, while silk and custom colourations outside of the standard palette will add approximately four (4) weeks to production. With a further seventy-two (72) planned TUFT designs set to be introduced at DOMOTEX 2017 one cannot help but wonder if Rug Star – or rather his producer – can make the grade. By several accounts, the answer to that rhetorical question is: Yes!
RUG STAR TUFT is being produced by a long time associate of Jürgen who is now also his business partner in opening a series of Rug Star boutiques in China and Canada. Styled ‘Rug Star by J&M’ they are operated by Chinese businessman Jin Ma whose reputation for quality production and business/family ethics is widely known (amongst the rug and carpet crowd) here in the west. ‘I have known him for a few years and he is a man of integrity and generosity who manufactures rugs for some of the leading brand names in North America.’ begins Richard Munden of Canada’s Interior Surfaces, ‘He is kind and is definitely in tune with his family and their well being, which I noticed immediately. It’s impressive that he balances his busy ambitious work life with his family life better than most.’
Jürgen is naturally equally as confident in this production stating, ‘In terms of quality and innovation I am very positive we will be able to meet the same favourable position we have for the handknotted with the new tuft quality.’
RUG STAR TUFT is perfectly suited for applications where lower cost, higher rate of decor turnover, and/or time are major factors, most notably boutique design hotels and larger scale contract applications. ‘For us and for the market a tuft option [based] on the design language we’ve developed over the years makes a lot of sense.’ according to Jürgen who adds, ‘Of course I always see our handknotted collection as option number one for private homes, but a smart tuft execution can also be sexy and there are simply spaces and projects where tuft is the right item to use.’
See the premier of RUG STAR TUFT during the 2016 New York instalment of The Rug Show taking place at the Javits Center 10-13 September 2016. The Ruggist will see you there.