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KNOT dyed with nature. Unique carpets by Jakub Święcicki

Marta Kowalska
11 of February '21

Artisanal textiles environmentally friendly? Textile designer Jakub Swiecickihas created a unique collection of KNOT, minimalist, artistic rugs.

large scale weaving

Jakub Swiecicki, the author of the collection, is on a daily basis associated with the Institute of Design in Kielce, where he runs the Textile Studio and coordinates the activities of the Embassy of Design. He designs utility textiles and computer embroidery.

Macramé is associated with small art textiles that we hang on the walls, they serve a purely decorative function.

I was interested in monumental works. I wanted to disenchant such a typical, costumed image of small, detailed works. That's why I bet on a large scale," says artist Jakub Swiecicki.

Photo by Piotr Seweryn | SEWI Media

KNOT macramé carpets are quite large scale weaving. The largest carpet is 2 by 3 meters and was created in the Kielce workshop for as long as three months. It counts about 25,000 knots, and the material consumption is estimated at 3.5 kilometers. The entire series, consisting of four carpets, was created one year.

A very important aspect for me was sustainability, a return to traditional craftsmanship. I wanted to move away from typical computer work in these projects and rely on my manual skills," the artist explains.

Photo by Piotr Seweryn | SEWI Media

technique

The entire KNOT collection is made using the macramé technique. Coarse-weave cotton cords were used to weave the rugs. The materials come from a Polish manufacturer. How are macramé rugs "built"? Just as the name of the collection suggests. Wick means a knot in English. And it is the ribbed knot with a diameter of 6 mm that is the building unit of the fabric.

It is an ancient technique for tying strings. The fantastic thing about it is that we don't need any additional tools. All we need is a rod, on which we hang vertically pre-cut strings or cords and then we already use basic knots. I only used the rib knot, but there is also a flat knot. With these knots we get the effect we design for ourselves," explains the designer.

Photo by Piotr Seweryn | SEWI Media

dye bath

What makes the collection unique is the fact that each rug was created in only one piece. And a natural dyeing technique was used, and it is practically impossible to reproduce exactly the same shade.

The basic color of the series is light beige - the natural shade of the cords. Other colors introduced into the collection were obtained through traditional dyeing. To dye the cotton weaves, tannin-rich raw materials from the immediate environment were used, including spruce cones, acacia sumac fruiting bodies and onion skins.

No chemicals are used for dyeing. Each rug has a two-sided texture, so that when we get bored with one side, we can turn it and get a slightly different play of light in the interior. The carpet itself, each differently also changes over time and with the person who uses it. Naturally, dyeing tends to lose its intensity over time, but in this case there is no migration of colors. But the color will not turn red or yellow. Naturally dyed shades will become slightly lighter.

Photo by Piotr Seweryn | SEWI Media

no leftovers

The ingredients I source for dyeing cotton, including onions, come from local vegetable gardens, and I collect spruce cones in my neighborhood. After the products give up their dyes in the dye bath, they are stored in a compost heap at my dad's house on the allotment.
What's important to me is that I don't throw away the leftover produce. I use them when conducting workshops or for other activities, for example, as wicks for candles or as "inclusions" in handmade papers, so nothing is really thrown away.

Photo by Piotr Seweryn | SEWI Media

exposure

Meanwhile, the exhibition titled "Knot: An exhibition of macramé carpets dyed with nature" at the Embassy of Design in Kielce will last until March 19. It can be visited from Tuesday to Friday, from 10 am to 5 pm.

The collection of macramé rugs has been nominated for the Green Concept Award 2021. In addition to the judges, the public can also name their favorites. You can vote for the Knot collection until February 15, 2021 here.

The vote has already been cast

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