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THE DESIGN CHASER

Our New Armadillo & Co Rug from The Ivy House

5.04.2018

I'd been wanting to do a dining area update for some time, with the plan being to carry it out in stages. The top priority was lighting and then I'd move on to addressing the furniture, particularly the table which was in desperate need of an upgrade. While a rug was very high on the wish list, I found the thought of it a little daunting. I wanted something truly special this time around, an element to really elevate the space, and was prepared to hold off until much later in the process. 

This plan was then flipped on its head when I was approached by The Ivy House. Proudly working alongside Armadillo & Co to bring their beautiful handmade rugs to New Zealand homes, The Ivy House is one of my favourite local companies to collaborate with. Two styling projects that immediately spring to mind are the Nespresso pop-up cafe and a recent Homestyle magazine shoot where in both cases, the rugs I used were standout elements of the interior spaces. It was my dream to one day have an Armadillo & Co rug in our home, and I was beyond excited that this would now be the starting point for our dining area update. I couldn't wait to see it all come to fruition, but before I talk through that process, I want to share the amazing story behind Armadillo & Co.



No ordinary rug company, Armadillo & Co is inspired by collaboration, a search for the uncommonly beautiful, and most of all, the human touch. Utilising traditional weaving techniques that are built to withstand the test of time, the handcrafted rugs are infused with the rich history and artisanship of the hands who have created them. With a goal to sustain and elevate these age old methods through a contemporary design process, Armadillo & Co products are 100% handmade, using Fair Trade practices with natural and sustainable fibres.

Combining their complementary skills and shared passions, Jodie Fried and Sally Pottharst founded Armadillo & Co in 2009, bringing to life a common vision to marry aesthetics and ethics with a clear focus on social responsibility. They were inspired to create elegant, simple and quality rugs that they could not find for their own homes. The creative and inspiring duo, with their devoted team, design rugs that are not only beautiful but that make a positive impact on the communities in India where they are made.

“Our products are meticulously made 100% by the hand of our artisan weavers and produced to the highest ethical standards. Every piece embraces Fair Trade practices, is crafted from sustainable natural fibres including pure wool, cotton and hemp, and all purchases benefit the local schools in our weavers’ villages.”

Armadillo & Co Berber Knot Nala

Armadillo & Co Sherpa Weave Rug

Each Armadillo & Co rug is unique because it is completely made by hand, involving the work of at least five different artisans along the way. The entire process – from dyeing and spinning to weaving and finishing – relies on age-old methods of craftsmanship rather than machines. As a result, there are variations in colour, shading and texture that infuse each rug with authenticity and an heirloom appeal.

The video below shows a glimpse of the artisans at work. I was simply in awe watching it for the first time, seeing the incredible creative energy and level of skill involved. I still get goose bumps every time I watch it!
Armadillo & Co are known for the clean, sophisticated aesthetic of their rugs. Wanting to inject this into our  home, but with so many options on offer, I was lucky to be in great hands with The Ivy House founder Annie Loveridge and her passionate team. 

After much consideration, I decided to go with the Armadillo & Co Agra Knot. Having been on my radar since its launch last year, the Agra Knot balances visual restraint with sumptuous luxury. It takes Armadillo & Co’s luxurious Heirloom Collection in another direction, departing from the rich textural designs and patterns synonymous with the company and exploring the perfect imperfections of hand dyed and spun wool. Worked in a single colour and with a deep cut pile that reflects the light, the Agra Knot would bring exactly what I wanted into our dining area -  life, character and a timeless elegance. 

A beautiful line up of Agra Knot samples hanging in the Armadillo & Co Flagship store in Los Angeles 

Armadillo & Co Agra Knot rug in Duchess

Armadillo & Co Agra Knot rug in Byzantine

Images and video courtesy of Armadillo & Co

Brand co-founder Jodie Fried says she and her co-founder Sally Pottharst took their inspiration for the Agra Knot from the exquisite simplicity of deep colour and abrash dyes. A term used to describe colour variations found in rugs, the gentle abrash tonal variations are reminiscent of those found in aged Persian rugs. The richness of each rug’s colour and the delicate changes in shading are due to the hand spinning and dyeing processes. 

Available in six beautiful colours – Duchess, Pearl, Midnight, Kingfisher, Oyster, and Byzantine - I took several large samples home with me to see how the different colours looked in our space. The rich hues of Byzantine and Duchess (pictured above) looked incredible and I also loved the warm brown tones of Oyster. My final choice however was Pearl, a light grey which up close reveals subtle hints of beige. Wanting to soften the overall look of our dining area and introduce a new timber dining table, I knew this would be the right decision. 


Seeing the rug in our space and feeling it underfoot for the first time was amazing. It has a beautiful, quiet energy that makes my heart sing, and it has literally transformed the look of our dining area. I often find myself admiring the artistry of the rug up close, which is revealed in the exceptional quality and fine detailing - the meticulous hand knotting and finishing of the rugs, right down to the intricately knotted tassels. 

Underneath, every piece is hand knotted through the base warp with 49 knots per square inch. This means that there are more than half a million knots in my rug! An incredibly intricate process, but something these weavers have done for generations, often there will be two, three or four weavers knotting one rug at a time. The level of skill and care that goes in to creating every piece is truly amazing. 

Styling and photography by Michelle Halford for TDC

Armadillo's statement that ‘each Armadillo & Co. rug sees its journey’s end when it arrives in your home’ couldn't be more true. I know that we have a pure and authentic work of art, a 'forever' piece that tells an incredible story. 

For more information on the Agra Knot, and all other Armadillo & Co collections, visit The Ivy House or pop in to one of their Auckland showrooms. Outside of NZ, visit Armadillo & Co.

Additional Products:
Model 2065 Pendant Lamp by - goodform.co.nz 
Tapered Leg II Table - citta.com
J104 Dining Chair by Hay, Kubrick Stool by Nau - cultdesign.co.nz
Collar Vase & Loop Candlestick - cooee.se
The Ballet Series photographic print - duettdesign.co.nz

This post was created in collaboration with The Ivy House. I only work with products I love and all opinions are my own. For more information please visit my About Page.

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1 comments:

  1. That video was beautiful! How many are you keeping?

    ReplyDelete

 

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