Niki Jones

Licensed Brand
Products: Rugs

When Niki Jones, founder and creative director of the Glasgow-based Niki Jones, speaks about her contemporary, hand knotted, hand tufted rugs, she often points to their deep roots in tradition. Her admiration for the craft of weaving is evident as is her enormous respect for the artisans, past and present, who create carpets. That respect plus her commitment to social justice is why she chose to join GoodWeave®. Niki says being part of GoodWeave offers her customers certainty that her respect for the weavers is reliable. “Having the GoodWeave certification is,” she says, “a way of separating ourselves from those who pretend they are helping from those who are not.”

The 100% New Zealand wool rugs in her collection, she says, are rooted in the past and definitely influenced by traditional patterns, but at the same time, she explains, the aesthetic is very contemporary. “My designs have a foot in the past which makes them work equally well in a contemporary or traditional environment because there is something subtly familiar about them.“

Niki’s love of textiles began early along with a love of travel and a passion for historical artifacts. With degrees from the Scottish College of Textiles and the prestigious Royal College of Art in London under her belt she began her career as a designer for Habitat and later Wedgewood, but Niki always knew she would launch something of her own. She comes from an entrepreneurial family and as she puts it, “I think there is just something in my genes and something completely joyful about running your own business.”

Niki brings her fascination with historical artifacts to the Niki Jones rug collection. For example, the circular, tufted Concentric Rug, one of the company’s most iconic pieces, is based on a Roman mosaic floor she saw in an excavated old Italian building. Her connection to the motif was instant, she says. She loved the optical illusion and that while the design was ancient it was at the same time “just so utterly contemporary.”

Another influence on her work is the art of Indonesia where she lived for a year. In particular she points to the ancient technique of ikat dyeing. The incredibly complicated ikat process creates a distinctive bleeding effect with variations admired by collectors. Niki’s Optical Rug, with its subtle border bleed, she says, was inspired by ikat. “I think the balance between the pattern and plain is more interesting than something solely plain or too intensely patterned.”

Geocentric is her absolute personal favorite piece. She has it herself in slate and limestone. The rug’s compelling geometric design is, she feels, the perfect juxtaposition of tradition and modernity that she loves. “You have the intensity of the pattern and then these big plain areas on the border. It just feels so right.”

Her design conscious clients, she says, not only are looking for longevity in their purchases but more and more, for products that are made responsibly. “Consumers care much more now how things are made, where they are made, the working conditions and from an environmental point of view, the packaging and shipping.” Partnering with GoodWeave, Niki says, helps with all those issues. She believes that rugs are not only transformative in creating a home, but that responsible production of rugs can be transformative in helping change society in some ways. “I think if we can do anything to benefit the people who create the rugs, whether further their education or shine a light on injustice, it is an important part of what we do.”