Derived from the fique plant, furcraea andina, a xerophytic monocot native to the Andean regions of Colombia. Ecuador and Peru, fique has been cultivated for centuries and turned into a sturdy yet flexible fiber primarily used for sacks and packages for agriculture. Today, about 70,000 farm families make their living by cultivating the plant and turning it into fiber.
I first met fique craftsmen in 2010, during a visit to Colombia. Some friends took me to see the handicrafts of the region, and I was charmed by the fiber and its production process--done in a very rudimentary and simple manner of cutting, slicing the leaves for their fiber, boiling and then hung to dry.
As a designer, I wanted to move away from agricultural products and traditional handicrafts, to make high-end, designer floor coverings using fique. The entire process from raw fiber, dyeing, yarn spinning and weaving, is produced at a textile mill in Curití, a region in northern Colombia.
The knitting takes about six days to make a striped carpet. These are usually produced at home by knitters who make 50 centimeters wide and 200 centimeter long strips, which are then sewn together to form large 2 x 3 meter rugs. The seven yarns of different colors are knitted together to obtain the characteristic vitality of the carpet, and due to the irregular temperance of yarn, but also handwork, each rug is unique.
The carpets, I’ve designed are available in 30 color variations. I presented these designs to Ruckstuhl, a Swiss company that now has exclusive manufacturing rights. This new collection is named "Maglia."
Maglia rug was presented by Ruckstuhl at the Cologne Fair in 2014 and on 2015. The new collection was presented by Ruckstuhl at Designers´ Saturday 2014 in Langenthal where is won an Audience Award.