The Yachiyo metal rug
by Philippe Malouin


Milan 2011: London designer Philippe Malouin will present a rug made of chain mail in Milan next week.

The Yachiyo metal rug by Philippe Malouin

Called The Yachiyo metal rug, the piece is handmade from galvanised steel wire rings in a Japanese chain mail design with twelve loops attached to every two central rings.

The Yachiyo metal rug by Philippe Malouin

The piece took 3000 hours to make and is named after one of the makers.

Photographs below are by Ivan Jones

The Yachiyo metal rug by Philippe Malouin

Dezeen's top ten: rugs and blankets »

The Yachiyo metal rug by Philippe Malouin

The rug will be on show at via Gaetano Sbodio 30, Milan from 12-17 April. See all our stories about Milan »

The information below is from the designer:

The Yachiyo metal rug

This year I have been doing quite a lot of research on, and work using, metal - the Yachiyo metal rug is a result of this research. It is a piece designed to last many lifetimes, it is virtually indestructible and it involves thousands of hand-manufacturing hours, since it is impossible to make by machine.

The Yachiyo metal rug by Philippe Malouin

The Yachiyo metal rug is made using a very intricate form of chain mail. Having investigated various types of chain mail, ranging from traditional/medieval manufacturing techniques to more contemporary, machine-made chain mail patterns, we chose to draw from the Japanese '12-in-2' chain mail method. Not only did we find this type of chain mail to be virtually indestructible, but it also created a very stable membrane - structural yet flexible - not dissimilar to a tight hand tufted rug.

The Yachiyo metal rug by Philippe Malouin

Having explored ideas for a range of furniture made using this technique, we chose to create a rug because the attention is focussed solely on the 2D object itself, the craftsmanship can be better admired this way.

The Yachiyo metal rug by Philippe Malouin

The metal rug is completely handmade from galvanised steel wire, the same type of wire that is used to make animal pen fencing in farms. The looped wire is taken and, using a metal rod connected to a power drill in a timber frame jig, wound into a tight coil. This coil is then removed from the metal rod and hand cut into small rings. These are riveted together one-by-one in the Japanese '12-in-2' pattern, which consists of 2 central rings with 12 perpendicular rings connected around. This process is painstakingly repeated to create the rug.

The Yachiyo metal rug by Philippe Malouin

The final piece presents an isometric rectangular prism which we created, through playing with ideas of perspective, so that a two dimensional object like a rug could visually spring into the 3D realm. Each of the three colours within the rug is a metallic coating, which is industrially electroplated onto the three distinct parts before they are assembled together by connecting rings one-by-one.

The Yachiyo metal rug by Philippe Malouin

One of my amazing interns Yachiyo Kawana has worked on this project from the beginning, which is why the piece is named after her. It is also very fitting as, like the chain mail method, Yachiyo is Japanese.

The Yachiyo metal rug by Philippe Malouin

The entire rug was handmade in London by Yachiyo Kawana, Greg Austin, Carlo Cialli, Anna Perugini, Vic Margevich, Maria Kuzmenko, Midea Diomideia Kolani, Xue Dong, Khadija Durbar, Jade Blair, Zahra Rajaei, and it required more than 3000 hours to make it.

The Yachiyo metal rug by Philippe Malouin

See also:


Wooden Carpet by
Elisa Stroyzk
Dark Side of the Moon by
Martin Mostböck
Losanges by Ronan &
Erwan Bouroullec

Posted on Friday April 8th 2011 at 9:50 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • spiderman

    …must be very dreary to be an intern at Philippe Malouin's Studio!

  • Iain Hensby

    this is dedication for you but it is totally worth while what a great end product.

  • Miguel

    Absurd, it is like going back 150 years, to the times of slavery, or before the industrial revolution. I can only think about how horrible it must be doing something like that for the craftsmen. When you look at it, you feel their pain!
    It would be much more interesting to try to do something exploring the possibilities of machine-made products.

  • mickael

    I can't wait to walk barefoot on this comfortable carpet

    • Gravy

      Also, I can't wait to lift up this carpet and see the condition of the wood floor underneath.

  • Hand made? In th UK? 3000 hours to make?

    Just add an electric current and you've got the most expensive practical joke / death in history :P

  • Atelier

    The first carpet who scratch the floor.
    Maybe it's going to make a nice pattern on a wood floor, after 3000 hours on walking on it !

  • Miguel

    I prefer Scotch-brite!

  • Szp

    I do not believe it would be impossible to automate the manufacture of this intricate hand craft object. By the way, some people find knitting relaxing and even therapeutic!

  • rusther

    En lo personal me parece muy interesante, no es necesario utilizar las máquinas para todo, algo a mano y de manera artesanal tiene un valor distinto. Obviamente se tiene que considerar el piso donde sea colocada, pero me agrada mucho el proceso y resultado

  • eeee

    Look at how many bandages the poor designer has from making this!!! (on photo #9)

  • junior

    just one word for all the comments above..ENVY
    shame on you ''genious internet designers design blog's commentators'' l.o.l
    this its the 3D cubism form or something like that..keep it working

  • pat

    Design form London??? Ok.
    Way the go Mr. Malouin…..

  • Ozee

    I find this object 'pretty' as an end product, but a DISASTER in terms of sustainability.

    In an era where ressources are scarce and everyone is talking about how to be less wasteful, it's almost indecent to create an object so material- and labor- intensive, for no justified use. The only way this rug could save itself (maybe), is if the metal had been recycled, the rug really meant for real heavy-duty use, and the labor employed in a socially meaningful way. From the article and the video, it seems to be none of the above.

    For me this project is the epitomy of design without thinking, without concern for society, and actually without concern for design itself – if one believes that design can claim to be meaningful for people. I do.