modern beni ourain- handmade rug design
Khodai-Handmade Carpets & khødai-studiø
In the summer of 2019, I interned with two fellow students at Khodai-Handmade Carpets, where I spent a lot of time learning about carpets. At Khodai, exclusive rugs from various countries are collected and offered in the sales area in Salzburg. Also, their own designs are worked out there and they also experiment with new techniques. Customers can get advice and have individual carpets designed for their home with the team at Khodai. It is possible to make you own handmade rug design. There are no limits to creativity.
Topic - Hamptons Berber
Right at the beginning, we had the chance to create rugs ourselves, which would then go into production. From the design on paper to the renderings on the PC, the first samples, and then the final products, we were able to be up close and personal with every step.
The theme of the series was Hamptons Berber. The Moroccan rugs are known for their organic linens that create a geometric pattern. The designs come in a variety of colors as well as simple black and white wool. In our designs, we should combine high-quality silk with natural wool and create qualitative products through simple, reduced designs.
The three elements we could work with were:
- white silk vs black wool
- low & high cut (the length in which the material is cut)
- reduced or organic patterns
We researched the brief and made moodboards to set our mood for the designs and the direction for them. Through images and keywords, we determined what the design should say.
Design Process - Phase 1 - First Sketches
My first sketches mainly dealt with different lines in different line weights. A mixture of straightness and naturalness. I also wanted to create interesting combinations with the elements of a rug. A rug often has a kilim as a finish. A kilim is a woven area without knotting. And instead of just using that as a finish, I wanted to give the kilim more attention and therefore more space in the design. In the picture you can see the first rough sketches I drew on paper, which we then stuck on our whiteboard to keep in view. During the process, we learned more about rugs and how they are made.
Design Process - Phase 2 - Photoshop Renderings
To make the unearthly designs more tangible we used Photoshop to render the designs realistically. This process helped me tremendously to get better in Photoshop. The progression from initial to final renderings has been tremendous. Through further projects, my ability to render designs realistically has continued to grow.
Design Process - Phase 3 - Samples
Since handmade carpets have a long production time and are also very expensive, we work with samples. Here, material and design excerpts are presented in a small form (usually 40×40 cm) to have something by hand while designing and to be able to imagine the final product better. Here we used different line thicknesses as well as cut heights in the samples, also to have references for how many knots one element has in the final step.
Design Process - Phase 4 - CAD Files
When the designs were finalized they had to be prepared for production. In this step, the patterns are refined and finalized. The exact colors and materials are defined and presented in a document so that the weavers understand the design and the handmade rugs look the way we envision.
The designs are presented in clearly distinguishable colors to avoid misunderstandings. It is important to communicate the design properly as it takes months to make and is costly. Dimensions, materials, color, and the exact pattern are shown. For this, the pattern is accurately drawn pixel by pixel in Photoshop, where 1 pixel represents one knot. When this pixel drawing is created, the design is adjusted again and the exact nodes per line are matched with the samples. After that, the files are handed over to production and it’s time to wait.
After we started the project in May 2019 the finished rugs arrived in our store about a year later. The designs are closely inspected and controlled, as mistakes can always happen during the knotting process. Finally, we photographed the final designs for the store and put them online. Here you can see all the designs from the series.
Each of these rugs is one of a kind, even if the design is produced again because it is handmade. Finally here are the final photos of the finished rugs: