Dezeen Showroom: Lithuanian design brand EMKO has worked with a local textile factory to repurpose its rainbow array of leftover yarns into a spotted rug, which aims to "bring some chaos into sterile modern interiors".
Set against a plain brown or blue base, the linen offcuts are used to form blobs of different colours and pile heights, with some merging into the backdrop while others playfully protrude.
Called Chaos, the rug is hand-tufted in the same family-run textile factory, in the town of Panevėžys, where the offcuts are generated in the first place.
"During a visit to the factory, the owner told me that they've stored some offcuts that aren't fit for mass production for years without a plan for how to use them," EMKO's creative director Audrone Drungilaite told Dezeen.
"Recycling them into a new yarn is quite expensive and, unlike wool, small pieces of linen tend not to spin into a high-quality new yarn."
So instead, Drungilaite developed a way to turn the practical limitations of the offcuts, which are available in small quantities of many different colours rather than a large amount of any one colour, into a playful visual language.
This highlights rather than downplays the fact that the rug is made using post-industrial waste materials and aims to start conversations about the need for a more responsible, circular use of resources.
Although all Chaos rugs are made in the same way, the outcome is slightly different each time, due to the varying availability of the different offcuts.
"The confetti-like pattern brings some chaos into sterile modern interiors while allowing the weaver a degree of improvisation," said Drungilaite.
"I've designated one of seven colour groups for each element in the pattern and the weaver can pick a yarn from the box of leftovers that fits into this particular colour group – the more colours, the better the rug will look. This leads to a unique colour range but still keeps the final look more or less the same."
Through the project, EMKO hopes to crank up small-scale, local linen production as well as the cultivation of flax – the plant from which linen is derived.
Both are traditions that date back several centuries in Lithuania, according to Drungilaite.
"Our soil is very suitable for growing flax and there is even a special place in folklore for flax cultivation, which used to be one of our most important industries," she said.
"Unfortunately, the linen-making industry has shrunk drastically since we entered the European Union in 2004. So we support local manufacturers by having our products made by small and medium-sized enterprises based in Lithuania."
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