Animal motif rugs, once a sleepy niche in the industry, have been quietly experiencing a resurgence in interest--that is, until Domotex 2016. At the European show, animal designs, ranging from lifelike tigers to abstracted snow leopards made a loud roar as designers rediscovered this call of the wild.
What began as a penchant in the market for rug designs inspired by animal prints running the gamut from snake skins to zebra stripes has morphed into full-size fascination. Today, rug designers at Domotex and beyond are debuting animal motifs, some of which are hyper-realistic or digitized, others three-dimensional and still others classic and playful. What's more, with the runways of New York and Milan teaming with designs featuring animal prints in everything from shoes to bags to coats and pants, we expect this animal magnetism to hang around a while.
Sought out for their quirky, exotic, and, sometimes, tribal appeal, the latest call from the wild by international rug studios offers an adventurous take on this traditional style.
The first of our exclusive, in-depth coverage of Domotex takes you behind the scenes of this prestigious trend-setting fair. See the full size montage here: Trendcast Domotex: Where the Wild Things Are.RugNews.com will bring you an unparalleled series of Domotex trend reports and business coverage for a detailed perspective of this annual event.
KNOTS RUGS LONDON
Bernard Sutton and his daughter Bonnie Sutton of London-based Knots Rugs London offer U.K. a cutting-edge assortment of contemporary rugs carefully crafted in Nepal and Jaipur, India. At Domotex they showed off their 17th Century Modern collection design Tibetan Tiger in Antique Blue. Crafted of Oxidized wool and silk, the hand-knotted rug is crafted in Jaipur.
"We decided to create our first collection to be made in a Persian knot with antique Moghul, Herez and Polonaise rugs from the 17th and 19th centuries the inspiration for this special collection," Bonnie Sutton told RugNews.com. Tibetan Tiger and the Original Tiger (below) fuse oriental traditional rug design over-layered with subtle tattoo imagery and oxidized wool with silk imagery to bring a new and original concept to the market.
New Moon relied on animal attraction with several designs drawing buyers into its Domotex space, including the swinging monkeys of Zephir in jungle cool and the Tibetan tiger, Khan in ebony, shown below. Khan is "a fun accent rug we designed that is meant to be just a small scatter piece," says Erika Kurtz of the ancient Tibetan tiger motif. Kahn's wool background features tones of red, brown and gold. The design motifs, woven using a blend of Tibetan wool, Chinese silk and natural nettle fibers, features hues of gold, russet and bronze. Ivory, ebony, peach, red and bronze accents in pure Chinese silk add extra notes of rich color. This piece has been crafted by hand in a true 100 knot quality. Also hand knotted in Nepal, Zephir's rainforest monkey is hand-knotted of heathered Tibetan wool, accented with silk and nettle.
"Animals are definitely a love of ours and we just wanted to create something different and outside the box ... something unique and a little bit quirky."
Rug Star by Jurgen Dahlmann has a soft spot for our fellow creatures, enjoying the vitality and life they add to an interior. Shown above, a room setting from Dahlmann's new project called "Intimacy Berlin," which presents designs in homes of friends in Berlin. Above, the Kingdom rug with two life-like tigers features a three dimensional effect. Crafted of 25 percent wool and 75 percent silk, the rug is knotted in an 11/11 Persian quality. The DNA India-Paradise Supreme rug with two lions in rust is crafted of pure hand-spun silk, also with an 11/11 Persian quality.
Nikhil Kapoor, shown above, creative director of Tissage of Jaipur, India, with offices in the U.S., says the company created a huge, jaw-dropping rug called The Tigress (shown) just for Domotex 2016. "We've been attending Domotex since we launched the Tissage brand in 2012, and each year we do a one-off piece just to make a statement.
"We had customers fighting for The Tigress, as we did for the Pink Dragon we showed last year." Already sold, the awesome tiger rug is crafted of wool and silk design.
WOOL AND SILK
Talk about Generation Next! A series of digital rug designs created by Anka Tezcan under the tutelage of his father, Wool and Silk's design star, Erbil Tezcan, above, stole the show at the company's Domotex stand. His interpretation of the furry beast takes a traditional Mamluk design in pure silk and transforms it into a modern digitalized statement. Shown, Snow Leopard, which appears only when the carpet is viewed from a distance.
Although we spied this show-stopping rug at Maison & Objet in Paris, it exemplifies the trend so well we've included it here. Designed by brothers Davis and Bendis Ronchetti Illulian of the Milan-based luxury rug atelier Illulian & C., the intricate wool and silk Makan abstract tiger rug is an intricate work of art created with strategically placed shapes and colors. Up close the design looks like more geometric (above), however the further back you are from the rug, the more the tiger comes into focus (below), Davis Illulian pointed out to RugNews.com.
New York City area rug studio Samad has such an impressive line of animal motifs that it just couldn't be left out of our trend report. In fact, it artfully proves how omnipresent wild things are becoming in top design centers around the world. The Manhattan Reserve collection, based on traditional Ottoman velvet fabric designs, features the subtle imagery of a lion or tiger (Manhattan Reserve Tiger charcoal, above; Ottoman Lion light blue, below). "The true beauty and innovation of the designs is that the background and perceived foreground are actually one and the same," said Malcolm Samad. "The lion or tiger have not been drawn in the traditional design sense, rather they have been created purely by the infusion of color, thus creating a third dimension."