Soft furnishings are often eclipsed by their more substantial design cousins, but a pair of textile collaborations from the Los Angeles design studio Commune is turning our head in their own right. The Californian firm has not only translated its graphic, textural aesthetic into a new collection of rugs made by Christopher Farr, but also a series of one-of-a-kind pillows with textile master Adam Pogue.
Commune’s 10-piece rug collection for Christopher Farr sparks after an earlier, highly successful, fabric collaboration in 2015, and draws from its trusted array of patterns and graphics, using specially chosen weaving techniques to enhance each design. ‘We have a collection of designs that have been made in house over the years and have become our signature patterns.' says Commune’s principal Roman Alonso. 'We’ve used them on a variety of products, from our book covers to lighting, ceramics and tiles. We wanted to create a pattern language that is timeless, non-directional, and not too specific.’
Made with handspun wools, silks, hemp and jute and using unique kilim borders to break up the designs in unexpected ways, the rugs each exhibit an experimental approach to material changes and pile height difference, bringing new dimensions to Commune’s signature motifs.
Pillow design by Adam Pogue
‘We let the pattern work as the framework, and build and expand further with colour, scale and technique application. There is a great focus on different woven techniques and defining pattern within woven constructions,’ adds Alonso. ‘We wanted the collection overall to feel applicable to a variety of different homes and spaces, and we kept the palette pretty minimal.’
At the other end of the spectrum, the studio’s collection of unique pillows, exquisitely crafted by Adam Pogue, is built from Alonso’s personal collection of fabrics sourced from all over the world. ‘Commune has been making patchwork pillows essentially since the company began,’ he explains. ‘[I’ve been] collecting vintage kilim, leather hides, canvas, and denim remnants and repurposing them into floor cushions and pillows. Our collection has grown over the years and we were eager to find a new way to repurpose these fabrics. We felt like [Adam] was the only one equipped to reinvent the way we were working with vintage fabrics.’
With pieces of kimonos, obi, rescued boros, vintage rug swatches and custom-dyed linens to choose from, Pogue added vintage army canvas and pyjama fabrics, cutting and combining the different materials to create vivid pastiches using his signature patchwork technique.
'Adam has a very special ability to paint with fabric and create beautiful works that are reminiscent of stained glass,' Alonso explains. 'He has said that he does not necessarily start a piece with a plan, but sees where the fabrics take him as he goes along.'
'[For this series,] we’ve pushed the boundaries with material combinations, such as pairing a really coarse wool felt with a delicate gold thread obi fabric sewn right alongside it.' Alonso concludes. 'It is all about the juxtaposition of delicate fabrics mixed with lower end printed canvases, and the overall canvas it creates.’