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San Francisco-based husband and wife team Melina and Dodd Raissnia have both tradition and progress in mind with Peace Industry felt rugs. Using ancient Turkish felt making techniques, designer Melina imbues her textiles with contemporary designs and earth-friendly, chemical-free materials. Each fair-trade rug is made in the Peace Industry workshop in Turkey.
Layers of loose wool fibers are arranged on a tarp on the floor. Boiling water is sprinkled on to the pile. It is then pressed and rolled around a stick in the tarp and then bound tightly with a rope. The rolled, wet wool is stomped on until the fibers have shrunken together enough to bind. The wet wool is removed from the tarp and rubbed and rolled by hand to ensure even, tight felting. Patterns are achieved by incorporating a layer of wool into a design. Imagine making a collage and then shrinking it. When the wool is wet it is very sculptable. Blocking techniques are used to move the design into position and shape the edges. The tools include a tarp, a rope, a pronged fork, pliers, and a mallet.
Melina and Dodd Raissnia of Peace Industry make their rugs in Turkey where they have perfected the best methods for producing the highest quality felt rugs, all of which are designed by Melina. The method is a revitalization of the oldest rug tradition from Central Asia that had been on the verge of extinction. Peace Industry felt rugs are made from 100 percent lamb's wool and natural dyes. They are handmade in small batches insuring that each piece is unique and exceptional in quality, and the rugs are also earth-friendly, chemical-free, and fair trade.
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