When I first heard of overdyed patchwork rugs, my reaction was… less than enthusiastic. The concept is to take pieces of rugs too old and worn out to be used as-is, overdye the pieces, and stitch them together to make a new rug. Simple enough, and certainly not new, but recently this type of rug has become available not only from rug dealers, but also Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel, and Potterybarn. Several that I found online weren’t even old, but new fiber turned into patchwork (which in my mind defeats the purpose).
[Click on the photos to see larger images]
This particular rug, which I found in a gallery in San Francisco, was produced from various worn out rugs that were cut up, overdyed, and pieced together patchwork-style (or maybe Frankenstein-style?). There is a heavy fabric backing to keep it all together as those top pieces really are quite worn. All the top stitching is done by machine, although from a passing glance it may look as though it was done by hand. I suppose that adds to the “rustic” look the designer was looking for.
What I liked about this rug: From a distance, this rug looks like a Japanese boro, which I love. It is similar to tribal rugs made from recycled material.
What I disliked about this rug: The reality; it isn’t boro, and it isn’t a tribal patchwork rug. It’s just… muddled.