Its carpets grace the floors of luxury hotels like Maison Breguet in Paris and The Westbury in London. But the most valued aspect of Portuguese rug maker Ferreira de Sa’s craft lie in tie-ups with renowned designers – among whom include renowned architect Frank Gehry. It was a 2013 rug collaboration between Pritzker Award-winning architect Alvaro Siza Vieira and Ferreira de Sa that inspired Gehry to create his own line.
“Gehry told Vieira the carpets looked very good. Vieira shared our contact, and, as they say – the rest is history,” recalls Fernanda Barbosa, CEO of Ferreira de Sa.
“History” here is manifested in the form of the Frank Gehry Collection of five woollen rugs, unveiled last year at the Maison & Objet design fair in Paris. Gehry had free rein with the design, and each hand-woven piece followed his specifications to a T: from excruciatingly sharp depictions of his freestyle doodles to the colour gradients.
Barbosa is in Singapore to launch Ferreira de Sa, in partnership with furniture retailer Studio216. This is the first time in the company’s 72-year history that its carpets and bespoke services are available outside Europe.
To mark its arrival, it tied up with Studio216 – which had worked with the company for a residential project – to create the Kusu Collection. Named after the islands of Singapore, the Sentosa and Pedra wool-silk carpets are designed with minimalistic, grid-like motifs to complement modern interiors.
Customers can design their tapestries from luxury textiles that include mohair, silk, wool and linen, though for Singapore’s tropical climate, silk would be the best choice, according to Barbosa, as it’s softer and cooler to the touch.
A detailed, hand-tufted carpet takes at least four weeks to complete, a time frame made possible by a process where artisans use a gun-like device that inserts loops of yarn into the fabric, the ends of which will be later cut off to form individual strands of carpet. Traditional Portuguese weaving, where artisans hand-tie knots over looms, is employed for more rugged-looking pieces.
Maintenance is simple, relative to the creation process. “Just a simple vacuum daily,” Barbosa says, “will make your carpet last many years.” Ferreira de Sa is available at Studio216, 200 Newton Road.
PATTERNS WITH A DIFFERENCE
What Ferreira de Sa’s bespoke carpet making has in store.