Swedish rug brand Kasthall launched four new rugs for Stockholm Design Week, won an award for an existing rug and collaborated with Stella Works for a showroom display. “We are slowly adding new carpets into the grand collection of Kasthall,” says creative design advisor and co-founder of Claesson Koivisto Rune, Ola Rune. “We are trying to lead the trends, find new techniques and make new yarns. I think if we do that we will continue to have a legacy.”
All four new rugs were designed by Central Saint Martin’s graduate and in-house designer Maja Johansson Starander. The first, Freyja, is hand tufted with a chunky wool which is felted and twisted into its final curly form. “Freyja is a textile interpretation of moss and lichen, of stone, soil and mineral,” says a statement from the brand.
The tufted loops are left uncut at different heights to create an uneven surface, and Freyja comes with an accent border which contrasts with the texture of the body of the rug. “In my eyes, this looks like a sheepskin rug,” says Ola.
The Gabrielle rug is a woven-bouclé rug is made of linen and wool yarn. “If you want to make a rug perfect, you need the same tension on all the threads to make the perfect yarn,” says Ola. “If you let one loose when you weave it, it creates these uneven ‘mistakes’ all over which I think are fantastic.”
“The soul and curiosity of craftsmanship have been given free rein in Gabrielle,” adds a statement from Kasthall. “The inspiration for the design was drawn from vintage textiles with carefully crafted details, embroidery in particular. Visible warp threads create irregular vertical stripes giving a sense of asymmetry. Gabrielle was also designed with accent colors that adorn the surface in the form of thin lines. The colors were selected to provide a contrast and strengthen the playfulness in the structure and crisscross pattern of the rug.” It is a squarer rug than Kasthall’s usual format and is available in three different patterns and colors.
The Katja rug features an unusual effect created by the pile being cut to two different heights to create an abstract, organic pattern. Kasthall’s Design Studio also used only natural colors to enable the material’s natural characteristics to shine through. “These carpets don’t have a design, they are made from the material,” says Ola. “This felted yarn has never been used before. It looks like long pieces of thick spaghetti and goes in different directions in the machines, creating an irregular, regular rug. It looks messy, but it’s very controlled.”
“This yarn has a little dark centre, so it makes the colors deeper and that’s why they are modest, monochrome colors,” says Ola. The short end of the rug also features an edge detail like the cuff on a knitted garment.
The final rug, the Diamond, uses a new technique called ‘over-driving’ where the rug is woven and then ‘over-woven’ blending and blurring the design on each layer together.
Harvest, which launched at ICFF in New York last year, uses of leftover yarn while colors are chosen from the same palette, the end result is completely unpredictable. Due to the way it is made, even the person making it doesn’t know what it looks like until it is finished, but customers have embraced this spontaneity. “This project is something that was discussed for many years and then all of a sudden Eleanor [Eliasson] came up with the idea that we just make a rug that will be as it is, and I thought that was great,” says Ola. “If you look back a hundred years, this is what you did. You made carpets from what you had and you got what you got.” The design was awarded ELLE Decoration’s Swedish Design Awards ‘Rug of the Year’ 2018 during Stockholm Design Week.
Kasthall were also showing the Arita collection by Neri & Hu for Stella Works. These containers were inspired by traditional Chinese wine bottles and can be stacked with other pieces from the collection, while the brass holders enable easy pouring even when they contain hot liquids.