What Proper Rugs Creative Director and co-founder Laila Ahmadi appreciates most about designing hand knotted, wool and silk Tibetan rugs is that “the medium offers so much creative freedom artistically and that the finished product lasts so long.” She is moved by the idea that hand knotted rugs can be passed down in families. “Each rug represents a particular time period, yet each rug is timeless.” Her sensitivity to tradition and her respect for family are a big part of the reason that she partnered with GoodWeave®. “I design the rugs but I’m not the one weaving them. Other people make it a reality!”
Laila, who studied at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design and FIT, has always been interested in patterns, fibers, and tactility. She remembers even as a child tracing her fingers on the patterns of the carpets in her childhood home. “There is something about the warmth of rugs. Even if you are really minimal, you want something under your feet that feels like home.”
In Proper Rugs, memory and modernity merge. Proper Rug designs, Laila says, are attempts to recreate a fleeting moment, a kind of homage to the ephemeral. She points to Mossy Rocks, a favorite of hers that was inspired by the patterns made by tiny pink flowers poking through velvety moss in the cracks of giant rocks near the edge of the sea. “The level of detail was incredible,” she says. The transformation from her drawings to the woven green, pink, yellow and gray silk and wool rug, she suggests, was a kind of alchemy.
Images from her other travels also appear in Proper Rugs designs. Her most challenging piece thus far was Jungle Floral. The rug, wool and silk with salmon, coral and yellow ochre flowers on a light blue background, was inspired by Balinese religious offerings of banana leaves, rice and frangipani. She did paintings of each flower, then traced each of the individual flowers onto a larger pattern. Capturing the details of the design, down to the fine lines of the brush strokes in the paintings, was a demanding task, demanding but deeply satisfying.
Laila sees each rug as a captured moment. She wants each to tell a story, “And I want it to be a GOOD story”, she says. Since a big part of that story is about how the rugs are made, that means being honest about the design, the quality and the production process. “GoodWeave gives me a way to guarantee the whole story is a good story.”
For more information, visit www.properrugs.com.