New for 2013, hand-made rug collection, Characters, is the latest innovation from esteemed international design house, JAB Anstoetz. Hospitality Interiors’ Gemma Ralph visited the company’s headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Bielefeld, Germany, to learn more about the unique concept and painstaking production process behind the collection …
Characters’ strapline, ‘Carpets with Soul’, is undeniably pertinent given the immensely artful and labour-intensive design and crafting process the collection entails. Together with this overriding passion and skill is the sense that each design is a distinct entity – a canvas invested with as much gravitas as any piece of art.
Indeed, the collection is the result of JAB’s collaboration with some of the world’s leading artists and designers, among them Richard Anuszkiewicz – one of the founders of the Op Art movement, industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, and award-winning product designers, Studio Vertijet.
This diverse input of artistic vision and expertise is perhaps what makes the collection so unique. From interlayed photographic prints to the dappled light of a forest floor, each individual design represents a different artistic process or set of inspirations.
Divided into five central themes -“structures, botanicals, artists, graphics and ornaments – the collection is intended as a catalyst for customers’ imagination. Whatever the interior scheme or brief, the company’s artistic team is on hand to discuss colour and material combinations from JAB’s expansive library.
Certainly, the message JAB staff were most keen to impart during my visit was that each design is entirely bespoke. Every 100% pure New Zealand wool rug is handtufted in Thailand and is overseen by one highly-trained craftsman or woman from start to finish.
Many of the designs feature a striking three-dimensional effect, whether this be in the form of angular graphic structures or collage-like formations of silk and wool sections. Executing this delicate balance of textures not only requires a great deal of consideration on the designer’s part, but an immense amount of skill in these final sculpting stages.
Following the initial handtufting procedure, hand-held tools are used to shave the pile into smooth or graduating angles, or to neaten and define edges, before a thorough inspection of the final product takes place.
Creating enduring and characterful home furnishings is, of course, at the core of JAB’s ethos, and the quality of its products strongly reflects the value JAB places upon collaborations with industry names, as well as its dedication to training and nurturing employees.
The company’s comprehensive training schemes have helped to create a highly proficient workforce, au fait with the company’s philosophies and and ambitions. Furthered by initiatives such as its on-site childcare facility, Jabini, JAB has also significantly boosted employment in the areas surrounding its base in Bielefeld.
Invested with this expertise and devotion, the Characters collection might serve as an eye-catching centrepiece for a residential space, or as a luxurious floorcovering for a restaurant or hotel environment. Whatever the setting, however, each and every design within the collection offers its own unique narrative.