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Tailoring Tailor

Re Rag Rug began work with a seemingly simple cut-and-sewn rug called Tailor. The fabric was rolled cylindrically and stitched on a base fabric at angles.

Tests & trials with Tailor

The finished strips were toyed with, to achieve a spectrum of patterns; primarily herringbone patterns. They were cut into squares for a busy and detailed aesthetic and even placed randomly to create a playful configuration.

Kasuri in the making

Tailor progressed with ‘Kasuri’ when the weave techniques advanced towards braids from rolled-and-stitched fabric but deployed with similar permutations.

Kasuri

The rug has an undulated, almost 3-dimensional overlay. With a mix of coloured fabrics, an intricate rug surface emerged. Reminiscent of Japanese ‘Kasuri’, the second rug was christened so.

Aquarelle - The cutting & sewing

Aquarelle is crafted from the Kantha technique of Indian Sub-continent also known as Sashiko in Japan, wherein a collage of fabrics are assembled and sewn together in running stitches.

Aquarelle - The collage rug with a running stitch

The fabrics were machine-sewn on a woollen base and reinforced with contrasting running stitches. The rugs were crafted in the designers’ studio in Sweden.

Colour, collage & Confetti

The last rug in the series is the biggest carpet made from the smallest bits from preceding carpets. It is a mosaic of all the bits of cloth that was discarded from the previous carpet.

Confetti

The ‘mosaic on fabric’ format allowed a flexible shape for the carpet. Confetti was one of the 3 nominated carpets at the Innovation Award in Wool Innovation in Carpet in 2016.

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Lab 01 Jun 2018

Studio Brieditis & Evans crafted ‘rags’ into 12 rugs in 12 months for Re Rag Rug, an experimental design project

The textile and fashion industry is abuzz with notions and practices of sustainability. The philosophy advocates reuse and recycling merchandise not only in terms of prolonged use but also techniques and systems that have the least or zilch negative impact on the environment. This entails commitment towards fabrics that are easily biodegradable, renting fashion instead of buying or manufacturing new merchandise, designing garments that are multi-use and can be disassembled to disparate forms. The idea is not unique to textiles but is an extension of social responsibility. Re Rag Rug is a similar experimental design project wherein Sweden-based Studio Brieditis & Evans upcycled discarded clothes and fabric into 12 bespoke rugs in 12 months. CQ explores the make, muse and methods of some of these rugs.

Prior to endorsing or practicing sustainable fashion or design one must realise that the globe already has a huge backlog of matter and merchandise. Technology to manufacture and capital power has enabled a use-and-throw pattern wherein new products are easily acquired and ‘old’ is deemed redundant. In 2012, Swedish textile designers Katarina Brieditis and Katarina Evans set out to investigate ‘worthless’ materials and create experimental handmade rugs to explore the social and ecological sustainability of rugs. From experimenting to re-creating weaves to traveling across countries, facing roadblocks and overcoming them, Re Rag Rug took on a long journey. CQ picked up an Indian thread in this voyage and began disentangling its narratives!

Tailored tales of Tailor & Kasuri

Re Rag Rug made its India connect with its second rug – Kasuri. Prior to Kasuri, Re Rag Rug began work with a seemingly simple cut-and-sewn rug called Tailor. Waste fabric donated by The Salvation Army, Ant Foundation made way into Tailor. The fabric was rolled cylindrically and stitched on a base fabric at angles. Running strips were created of fabric mirroring the orientation of the cylindrical fabric for alternate strips. 2 strips alongside to achieve a herringbone pattern.

Tailoring Tailor

Re Rag Rug began work with a seemingly simple cut-and-sewn rug called Tailor. The fabric was rolled cylindrically and stitched on a base fabric at angles.

Tests & trials with Tailor

The finished strips were toyed with, to achieve a spectrum of patterns; primarily herringbone patterns. They were cut into squares for a busy and detailed aesthetic and even placed randomly to create a playful configuration.

While seemingly elementary and simple, the designers had to painstakingly and meticulously maintain a constant angle to maintain a consistent pattern. The finished strips were toyed with, to achieve a spectrum of patterns; primarily herringbone patterns. They were cut into squares for a busy and detailed aesthetic and even placed randomly to create a playful configuration. Tailor progressed with ‘Kasuri’ when the weave techniques advanced towards braids from rolled-and-stitched fabric but deployed with similar permutations.

On a trip to Tirupur, India, Brieditis & Evans encountered shops that retailed waste surplus fabrics. Post some enquiries, they got acquainted with Jothi and Chitra who had experience of working in knitting factories prior to marriage.

Taking fabric from discarded sweaters and t-shirts, they began braiding ropes. Similar to Tailor, the braids were placed alongside to discover patterns; continuous & mirrored, repeated motifs, etc. The rug has an undulated, almost 3-dimensional overlay. With a mix of coloured fabrics, an intricate rug surface emerged. Reminiscent of Japanese ‘Kasuri’, the second rug was christened so.

Kasuri in the making

Tailor progressed with ‘Kasuri’ when the weave techniques advanced towards braids from rolled-and-stitched fabric but deployed with similar permutations.

Kasuri

The rug has an undulated, almost 3-dimensional overlay. With a mix of coloured fabrics, an intricate rug surface emerged. Reminiscent of Japanese ‘Kasuri’, the second rug was christened so.

On a trip to Tirupur, India, Brieditis & Evans encountered shops that retailed waste surplus fabrics. Post some enquiries, they got acquainted with Jothi and Chitra who had experience of working in knitting factories prior to marriage. The sisters were trained and employed to weave Kasuri. The designers believed that Indian women have an inherent knack of braiding as they wear their long hair in braids adorned with flowers. Kasuri was weaved and shipped to Sweden, followed by more collaborations with the next rugs.

Aquarelle 

Aquarelle is crafted from the Kantha technique of Indian Sub-continent also known as Sashiko in Japan, wherein a collage of fabrics are assembled and sewn together in running stitches. The fabrics were machine-sewn on a woollen base and reinforced with contrasting running stitches. The rugs were crafted in the designers’ studio in Sweden.

Aquarelle - The cutting & sewing

Aquarelle is crafted from the Kantha technique of Indian Sub-continent also known as Sashiko in Japan, wherein a collage of fabrics are assembled and sewn together in running stitches.

Aquarelle - The collage rug with a running stitch

The fabrics were machine-sewn on a woollen base and reinforced with contrasting running stitches. The rugs were crafted in the designers’ studio in Sweden.

Re Rag Rug has made its way to exhibitions, museums, and much collaboration, the latest being the ‘Handscape’ with MUJI where they created a ‘cloud’ out of waste fabric from MUJI.

Concluding with Confetti

The last rug in the series is the biggest carpet made from the smallest bits from preceding carpets. It is a mosaic of cloth that was discarded from the previous carpet. The ‘mosaic on fabric’ format allowed a flexible shape for the carpet. The bits were sewed and layered upon the base fabric. Confetti was one of the 3 nominated carpets at the Innovation Award in Wool Innovation in Carpet in 2016.

Colour, collage & Confetti

The last rug in the series is the biggest carpet made from the smallest bits from preceding carpets. It is a mosaic of all the bits of cloth that was discarded from the previous carpet.

Confetti

The ‘mosaic on fabric’ format allowed a flexible shape for the carpet. Confetti was one of the 3 nominated carpets at the Innovation Award in Wool Innovation in Carpet in 2016.

Re Rag Rug has made its way to exhibitions, museums, and much collaboration, the latest being the ‘Handscape’ with MUJI where they created a ‘cloud’ out of waste fabric from MUJI. It saw participation from visitors as they engaged in the hands-on process of making. Re Rag Ru’s endeavour inspires a ton of possibilities not only within recycling but also re-inventing technique. Is it painstaking? Absolutely! But is it worth the effort? Absolutely!

Re Rag Rugs have evolved and progressed far and beyond what they began in 2012. Check out all 12 rugs and more, here!