Domada’s cowhide rug
Without sacrificing good taste, area rugs are joining the list of vegan goods.
No animal products or byproducts used here.
“We’re capitalizing on cow-friendly hides,” said Blake Dennard, senior vice president of Kaleen Rugs. “Our new Chaps Collection answers to the growing population on the vegan side.”
Chaps, which Kaleen launched at the October High Point Market, is a collection of replica cowhides handmade in India of viscose and wool.
“No cowhides were used in the making of this product,” the company emphasized.
The same is true for Kas Rugs’ new indoor-outdoor selection of animal-inspired rugs. The Provo
Capel Rugs Safari Leopard
Collection encompasses textured machine-woven rugs made of UV-treated polypropylene in a variety of spotted skin patterns.
“Our new Provo Collection has some animal inspiration behind it,” said Brianne Coradini, Kas Rugs’ marketing associate. “Faux animal designs are still a hot trend that is not going away. We [weren’t] offering any animal patterned outdoor rugs, so Provo [now] rounds out our assortment perfectly.”
Capel Rugs’ Luxe Shag collection of animal looks presents “a new take on shags” with its longer acrylic/polyester fibers. Plus, they “can even be cut into a pelt shape,” according to Cameron Capel, president of sales and marketing.
The company has several other species of animal-friendly rugs, like the machine-made Leopard that is based on a textile design by Kevin O’Brien, a licensee of Capel Rugs for the past eight years.
Animal prints, O’Brien said, “connect with us on several levels. Even though they have a practical purpose for the animal, they are naturally elegant and by definition perfect.”
He continued: “In our DNA, there is a connection to the wild origins of our own species and the wildness still very much present in these animals. We revere the primal nature of these beautiful animals and know that we are not really that far removed from them.”
For her latest introduction with Loloi Rugs, designer Justina Blakeney of “Jungalow” fame dreamed up a contemporary faux-tiger series in both native and exotic colorways. Ironically named Feroz, which means fierce in Spanish, this tame version of animal skin is hand-loomed by artisans in India and then feline formed.
Feroz by Justina Blakeney x Loloi
Blakeney said the idea for Feroz came from an antique Tibetan prayer rug found at a flea market.
“I researched the history of these prayer rugs and learned that they tell a rich story of Tibetan culture and are full of Buddhist symbolism. They are traditionally on the smaller side and can be prohibitively expensive,” she said. “I wanted to put my own spin on them while paying homage to their Tibetan roots. My reinterpretation is a larger scale rug made of 100% wool and is a fanciful depiction of a tiger — an animal I love.”
Domada is a newcomer to the upscale rug industry, paving its path with a niche business: cowhide-shaped vintage rugs.
Launched earlier this year as an e-commerce business and now expanding into wholesale, Domada sources its products from Morocco, India and Turkey, with more countries currently being explored. Most of its rugs average about 70 years old and feature a range of classic and traditional Oriental designs, and many are one-of-a-kind.
“I want my pieces to be unusual. I look through thousands and thousands of rugs looking for special pieces,” founder Katherine Stevens said. “Hides bring an organic sense to spaces, but many responsive to this aesthetic shy away from them out of respect for the natural world,” Stevens said. “Conscious consumers are driving design away from doing harm, and our fusion of traditional, ethnic rugs with hide and skin shapes speaks perfectly to this market. Domada is proud to offer its cruelty-free collection. I love that we can make something special that feels organic but doesn’t harm any animals.”
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