Detour Ahead

Getting to Fibre Designs might prove to be a bit more difficult than usual. The construction work at the new Cape Quarter extension has led to the closure of part of Dixon Street, which will only re-open in November.

In addition to this, Jarvis Street is also undergoing an exciting revamp. Soon you will be walking on a cobbled Jarvis Street. The street has been divided into two sections. Whilst the one section is being cobbled the other will be open to traffic. However, there is no space available for parking.

Some parking is available on upper Dixon Street though. Give us a call if you are planning on dropping off any rugs for restoration or cleaning. We will gladly meet you outside to collect the rugs from your vehicle.

The twenty-one million knots project

Just in case you thought weaving up a bespoke rug is quick and easy, consider the following. We are busy working on an exciting project that comprises of weaving up fitted carpeting for four bedrooms, one living area, a study and a lobby/passage area for an elite residence in Cape Town.

The project requires 75 weavers who will be working for a total of 54 000 hours. Weaving is done on 6m wide looms using a total weight of 1900kg of wool. Each square meter or carpet comprises of 61 000 knots, resulting in 21 million knots being knotted for the entire project.

Visual Silence Makes a Big Noise at Decorex

Thank you to everyone who visited us at Decorex 2009 from 24-27 April at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. It was our first time exhibiting at the show. Cape Town is indeed alive and buzzing with creativity.

Thank you also to Natalie Thiart and Dominique Logan. Fibre Designs was presented with the best small stand award. Congratulations Natalie on your design and to Dominique for translating this design into the actual stand.

Out with the old & In with the new

Put your feet together and give a warm welcome to Fibre Designs’ new additions to the gallery. As we bid farewell to the first quarter of 2009 we also welcome, just in time for the cool and windy Autumn, some exciting new rugs to the gallery. Amongst others a two-ply bast fibre construction as well as a long pile Shamshi shaggy. Enjoy!

Li Edelkoort inspires Cape Town

International trend researcher Li Edelkoort recently visited Cape Town during which she addressed delegates of the Design Indaba Conference and Exhibition. The Dutch-born Edelkoort is a consultant to many brands from around the world, amongst others Philips Electronics, Nissan, Virgin and Estée Lauder.

She was also named one of the world’s “25 Most Influential People in Fashion” by Time magazine.

We decided to match up some of our lovely rugs with what Edelkoort has identified as the trends for Summer 2010.

“evanescent elegance – dressing in clouds”

One can disappear amongst the millions of soft and luxurious yarns of this metallic super waves rug.

“tachistic energy – dressing in stains”

This vibrant hemp bast fibre rug has a worn-out look with a touch or red energy.

“watercoloured florals – basics as botanicals”

Although not a strictly floral design, this Wool Tight Loop rug looks like a vast green field.


Origin features in House & Leisure Magazine

Origin Objects Shop is making waves. Interior designer Beth Murray has been featured in the April 2009 edition of House & Leisure Magazine. Be sure to visit Beth at no 3 Jarvis Street, De Waterkant and indulge in her once-off pieces. For more information contact Beth directly at 021 418 0368 (office) or 083 469 6587 (cell).

Beth is currently working on a website. We will keep you posted on when this will be up and running. In the mean time, if you wish to be included in her mailing list, please forward your details to

ARTCHA Schedule Change

The feature on Fibre Designs and rugs as functional art pieces that was suppose to be aired on SABC2’s Artcha this Wednesday, 11 February, was in fact aired on Wednesday, 4 February.The team at Artcha unfortunately had to adjust their schedule and moved the insert to the week before.

Be sure to keep your eyes and ears open. We are hoping to source the insert and will post it on our website as soon as possible.

Feedback on Domotex 2009

The annual Domotex Rug Fair in Hanover, Germany, is a true melting pot of creativity and technology. The fair attracts thousands of buyers from around the world and showcases the best in rug design.

Fibre Designs Domotex 2009 Stand

Pierre turned a few heads with his African-inspired range. The handwoven rugs are made from the eco-friendly and very durable jute fibre. He also managed to soften the feel of the fibre, which is often considered to be a harsh or coarse fibre.

Be sure to visit us at the Design Indaba to have a look at the range.

Design Indaba around the corner

Don’t miss out on the best of South African design at the annual Design Indaba. Visit Fibre Designs at stand L4 from 27 February to 1 March at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and view our range of jute rugs that we launched a few weeks ago at the Domotex Rug Fair in Hanover, Germany.

We will also be attending a talk by trend forcaster Li Edelkoort and will keep you in the loop on her predictions for the year ahead.

Domotex, here we come!

Myself and Pierre are leaving for Hanover, Germany, this Wednesday (14 January) to attend the Domotex Rug Fair from 17-20 January where we are due to launch four exclusive ranges to the international market.

Here is a sneak preview of one of the ranges that we will launch at Domotex.

The Visual Silence Collection

Keep your eyes open for feedback on the latest floorware trends from around the world on our return.

Pierre will be back in the office on 26 January. Should you need assistance while we are gone please do not hesitate to contact the gallery at 021 418 1054.


Book your seat in front of the TV. We just had word that the Fibre Designs insert on Artcha will be aired on SABC2 on Wednesday, 11 February at 22:00.

Artcha is an arts and culture magazine show. The name of the show is inspired by the spicy South African condiment Atchar and refers to the idea that whatever meal life serves up, art is the Artcha that adds a full bodied, sizzling flavour to our South African identity.

For more information read our post Camera, lights, action!

The desert never looked this colourful

Just as you thought the desert is a boring, monotone landscape, Fibre Designs introduces a new range of colourful hand-knotted Bedouin inspired rugs made from the eco-friendly bast fibre hemp.

Since the introduction of our first Bedouin inspired range (The desert never looked this cool) many advancements have been made in working with this interesting fibre. Pierre just recently sat down with our partners to discuss all the new possibilities.

The desert never looked this colourful

Our weaving campuses have, amongst others, managed to improve on the dying process giving us some beautiful hues to choose from for this range. The fibre’s ability to hold the dye colour (colour fastness) has also been improved on, resulting in a rug that will look greater for longer.

This specific range will be launched at the Domotex Rug Fair in Hanover, Germany, and will be in the Fibre Designs Gallery end February.

Camera, lights, action!

Watch SABC2’s premier arts and culture program ARTCHA on Wednesdays at 22:00 and you might soon spot a very familiar face.

The ARTCHA team headed up by presenter Eloise Cupido, also known for her roles in Jozi-H and Kompleks, recently visited Fibre Designs to shoot an insert on rugs as functional art pieces. And what better person to interview than Pierre. Anyone will have to search hard and far to get a person more passionate about rugs than him.

Be sure to diarise this one. We will keep you in the loop on when this specific insert will be aired. Not only will you learn more about the wonderful tradition of hand-woven rugs but you will also get to learn more about Pierre.

Artcha is an arts and culture magazine show. The name of the show is inspired by the spicy South African condiment Atchar and refers to the idea that whatever meal life serves up, art is the Artcha that adds a full bodied, sizzling flavour to our South African identity.

The Origin of things beautiful

Fibre Designs introduces an exciting new addition to the gallery. Interior designer Beth Murray (Origin Interiors) has set up shoppe in what used to be the blacksmith’s work area in our historic 1812 building. Beth has put together a range of exclusive homeware goodies.

“I am so excited about my new shoppe at Fibre Designs. It is an eclectic treasure trove of custom designed bronze furniture and lamps, exquisite jewelry and bags, limited edition glassware and ceramics, sexy leather and Perspex boxes and a gorgeous range of down filled cushions and embroidered throws.

I wanted to create a space that has a luxurious, exclusive quality. The style is contemporary with an emphasis on texture from nubuck suedes, nappa leathers, heavy linens, crispy taffetas to dry woods, shiny glass and cool metal. Apart from the fabrics which are imported Ralph Lauren’s, Donghia’s etc. everything else is Africa based.

I have designed some of the items and worked with local manufacturers to develop them. Others are once-off pieces from various artists and jewelers with certain beautiful items being crafted in Kenya. So anyone looking for something unique, come visit.”

For more information contact Beth directly at 021 418 0368 (office), 083 469 6587 (cell) or via email at

Ten commandments of good design

Earlier this year myself and Pierre had the privilege of working with the students of the Design Time School in Observatory on a rug project. Each student had to design and manufacture a rug that is not only functional but also sensitive to the environment. We were amazed by what the students had come up with. (Be sure to keep an eye on our blog next year for more information on this.)


All the students’ hard work were just recently exhibited at their year-end function at the Baxter Theater. Pierre was the guest speaker for the event and touched on, amongst others, the need for industry to work closely with students, a creative bunch, particularly in times like our present economic environment.

“Innovation in product design is of the utmost importance in times when retail is down. There is a definite need for dialogue and a very close relationship between industry and educational houses,” says Pierre. “Students provide innovative ideas whilst industry provides street knowledge and direct market feedback.”

Pierre referred to the ten commandments of good design by Dieter Rams, a German industrial designer which I would like to share with you:

1. Good design is innovative. It does not copy existing product forms, nor does it produce any kind of novelty just for the sake of it. The essence of innovation must be clearly seen in all of a product’s functions. Current technological development keeps offering new chances for innovative solutions.

2. Good design makes a product useful. The product is bought or used in order to be used. It must serve a defined purpose – in both primary and additional functions. The most important task of design is to optimize the utility of a product’s usability.

3. Good design is aesthetic. The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.

4. Good design helps us to understand product. It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self explanatory.

5. Good design is unobtrusive. Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.

6. Good design is honest. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.

7. Good design has longevity. It does not follow trends that become outdated after a short time. Well designed products differ significantly from short-lived trivial products in today’s throwaway society.

8. Good design is consequent to the last detail. Nothing must be arbitrary. Thoroughness and accuracy in the design process shows respect toward the user.

9. Good design is concerned with the environment. Design must make contributions toward a stable environment and sensible raw material situation. This does not only include actual pollution, but also visual pollution and destruction of our environment.

10. Good design is as little design as possible. Less is better, because it concentrates on the essential aspects and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

Out of Office

PierrePierre left a much warmer and sunnier Cape Town on Monday, 13 October, to visit our weaving campuses.

Whilst there he will be searching high and low for new and exciting rug constructions and yarn options.

Do pop us a mail if you have any specific projects that you need us to keep in mind. Pierre will be back in the office on Monday, 3 November.

He will be available on 082 578 5389 or you can contact myself or Clive at the gallery on 021 418 1054.