In the past year, our homes have doubled up as offices, schools, and safe havens. It’s where we unwound, worked, worked out, ate meals with our family, broke bread with our closest friends. It’s no wonder that with spending so much time indoors, a home improvement plan is high up on everyone’s to-do lists.
An instant facelift for your house is in order with Casegoods’ new line of dhurries, exclusively launched with Le Mill. Fashioned out of jute, dipped in natural, plant based dyes, these rugs come in bold and rich colors with crisp geometric patterns.
Out of the 10 rugs exclusive to Le Mill, co-founder Cecilia Morelli Parikh’s favourite is the The Rothko-esque rust rug. “I have already planned to use it in a house by the sea I am currently renovating. I’ll keep the room simple besides block colour bedspreads and vintage rattan furniture.”
We speak with Samuel Barclay, co-founder, and Dhwani Mehta of Casegoods about their latest collection of dhurries titled ‘FOLD’, and what’s next for the craft clusters of India.
What made you choose jute as the material for this collection of rugs?
Dhwani: India produces around 90 percent of the world’s jute and despite its practical, aesthetic, and environmental advantages, its current usage is primarily limited to packaging and crude textiles. It seemed an interesting challenge to elevate it as a contemporary material for residential textiles that could still be accessible to a wider range of people. The project began with the intention of making rugs. The idea of jute came in later. When we dug into jute a little further, its versatility, abundance and sustainability made it a clear starting point among the different natural fibres available in the country.
How have you treated jute differently to elevate it into home decor?
Dhwani: The jute textiles found in the market right now are cheaply braided or woven, and are chemically dyed. The use of naturally beautiful and rich colours from plant based dyes with the designs changes the current perception of the material. The repeated dipping of the rugs in boiling liquids reduces the coarseness typical to jute fibre, softening the dhurries and making them conducive to indoor use.
Why geometric patterns in bold colours?
Dhwani: Conceptually, we had always imagined designing the process of making the dhurries instead of designing them. The geometric patterns were never the intent, but the product of this unique method. The initial sampling was done on scraps of jute gunny sacks, dipped in buckets of water and food colouring. The design was also shaped by the dyeing process and sequence that they needed to be dipped in.
How would you like to see your dhurries integrated into homes?
Samuel: We hope that we can bring warmth, colour, and texture to people’s homes and that they can feel good about purchasing and using a product that was made by hand by people earning fair wages, using domestically available materials, and is 100 percent organic.
Any learnings along the way working with craft clusters of India?
Dhwani: Working with local craft clusters has been extremely educational, and it has led to unearthing some hidden gems of artisanal talent in the country. Due to the declining use of natural dyes, finding expertise on plant based dyes was a major challenge. Kalaneta, a craft based community in Andhra Pradesh, helped connect us to local master dyers
Shop these FOLD dhurries here.