We had the pleasure of chatting with Clair Gaudion, a creator of artisan textiles and soft furnishings, to get to know her better and dive into what inspires her to craft such stunning rugs for the home.
During our discussion, we also covered topics like her eco-friendly approach, the process that goes into the design and production of her rugs, and more. Read it all below.
What is your background and what inspired you to start making rugs?
My business began with textile design for accessories and quickly moved into fabrics for interiors and soft furnishings. And, this remains a large part of our business today.
I started to explore rugs about five years ago, as a complementary range to offer alongside our fabrics and soft furnishings and around this time I was approached by Momo Rugs in The Netherlands and we began working on a collaboration for rugs which has become a central part of our collections. Momo Rugs bring decades of experience in the rug industry to our partnership and we are really proud to be working with them.
We would love to know how your pieces are made, what is the process behind the craft?
For fabrics, I weave samples in the studio which are then woven in specialist mills for production. By weaving the first samples I can experiment with the weave structures and colour combinations and see how these play together.
There are a number of different techniques involved in our rug making. We make handloom woven rugs – woven on traditional shuttle looms – as well as hand knotted rugs, and tufted rugs. The hand knotted rugs are woven entirely by hand where yarns are knotted onto a wool warp on a frame. It can take 12 weeks to make these rugs. Hand tufting is a more modern process which uses a hand-held tool to insert the yarn tufts into a backing cloth.
Custom colours being hand-dyed
What attracts you to the materials that you use?
I am particularly drawn to natural fibres. They have a lovely authenticity and I love how they fit into a Biophilic approach to design, referencing the natural world with layers of tactility and organic texture. We work with wools, cottons and linens, predominantly. And excitingly we have also launched a range of recycled plastic bottle rugs. Waste plastic bottles can be repurposed into a wool-like fibre which makes beautiful indoor and outdoor rugs that feel and look like wool.
What do you find the most exciting part of your work?
I love the creative process – working alongside our manufacturing partners to my translate designs into the final products. This includes working with our clients, as they are often involved in customising colours etc. for our custom rugs and this is where the designs and colours really come to life, in people’s homes, and create the overall experience. This is what it is all about for me, creating a feel-good experience within the home, and colour and texture have such big roles to play in this.
We are very proud that all our rugs (created in collaboration with Momo Rugs) are endorsed by the Care & Fair label, which confirms that no child labour is used, the weavers enjoy good living conditions and fair wages.
What sustainable aspects are there to your brand?
We have always tried to work in as sustainable ways as possible. And it must be said that this is still a work in progress. We are very proud that all our rugs (created in collaboration with Momo Rugs) are endorsed by the Care & Fair label, which confirms that no child labour is used, the weavers enjoy good living conditions and fair wages. We also small-batch produce and make to order to ensure we make only what we need and minimise waste.
We're also making considered decisions about what our products are made from – we choose New Zealand wool as it meets the International Wool Textile Organisation's standards which look out for the sustainable future of wool. And, we’re introducing more Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic linen and organic cotton to our fabric collections. Plus, there’s the repurposed waste plastic that we’re using to make rugs. We also use only Azo-free dyes.
Organic and sustainable fabric swatches
Take a look at the full Claire Gaudion rug and textile collection here.