David Heath, co-owner with his brother Ben, of New Zealand-based Mulberi grew up in the business his grandfather founded and where David’s three sons now also work. Family is important to him, he says, and for David, family includes every member of the Mulberi team all the way down the supply chain. Joining GoodWeave®, he believes, assures him that the weaving families are well-treated. “We look after the people in the company here in New Zealand and we want to make sure our suppliers are looking after theirs.”
Mulberi has an early and storied history in fur and soft furnishings, which began under its parent brand Furtex. As the signature brand, Mulberi is renowned for its broad range of handcrafted floor rugs.
The design and aesthetic of the carpets, David says, are particularly New Zealand-esque. And how would he describe that to the rest of the public? New Zealand style, he explains, is streamlined and restrained. It has an understated elegance. And, he continues, New Zealanders appreciate natural fibers, most of all their very local product wool.
The 100% wool, chunky, loop pile piece, Mackenzie, is a Mulberi classic, David says, “It’s got something about it that’s just natural and pristine. It almost looks like pebbles on a beach.” What people love about this rug is that the natural New Zealand wool reminds them of the countryside and, of course, the country’s iconic sheep, he adds with a laugh. Another family favorite is the elegant hand-tufted wool and viscose, Uluru. What he loves about the Uluru (the Aboriginal name for Australia’s Ayer’s Rock) is the marble-like design with its flashes of shiny viscose. While wool is still New Zealand’s signature material, David says that rugs like the all hemp, flatweave Cortes are increasingly popular for its calm simplicity as well as its sustainability.
David insists he simply cannot be pinned down to a single favorite. There is always something new to get excited about or something that has been in the collection for a while to rediscover. What is central to him, he stresses, is to share his own and his family’s passion for rugs with his customers. Most importantly, he wants to make sure his clients understand just what kind of work goes into making a rug and he is pleased that the company’s partnership with GoodWeave will go a long way to do just that.
Mulberi rugs are available at retailers throughout New Zealand and Australia. Visit the company’s website for stockists and more information.