From September 7 – 11, 2012, Mohair South Africa will be exhibiting at Maison & Objet in Paris. This year’s stand is inspired by the travelling tribes: Nomadism animates a timeworn style that is faded by age, crafted by hand and coloured by beautiful dyes. This roaming spirit is now reflected by our flexible and wireless existence today and a revived interest in living closer to the floor; a yearning for natural materials like straw, clay, wood and flax, but also animal fibres such as mohair collected from the noble Angora goat.
Lidewij Edelkoort explains that “Our relationship with the earth is becoming a source of inspiration and reflection for the youngest designers and decorators, giving shape to more archaic design and more tribal interiors. Loom-woven mohair rugs and mats will cover the floor, raised slightly by scattered cushions, thin mattresses and small ottomans. Heavy textiles will become tent canopies and looser weaves draped as billowing curtains. Ceramics and hammered metals will be used for rustic tabletop and small side-tables. Stripes will be studied for rugs and blankets to keep us warm on brisk nights.”
This is the second consecutive year that South African manufacturers will be presenting their commercially-available products at Maison & Objet; including many items that are being unveiled for the first time. BabyMo will be launching its Jewel blankets, multi-coloured textures with hand-painted warps and varying wefts. Karoo Looms has produced a selection of striped rugs to reflect the nomadic theme and cover the stand floor, added to by other mohair rugs from Sally Arnold and Elsa Barnard. Peta-Lee is a felting expert and has blended 70% mohair with 30% wool to create contemporary accessories for the home. The Cape Town-based design studio Moonbasket has embraced mohair into its collection, experimenting with dyeing techniques and blending mohair with hemp and nylon. Other mohair products by Adéle’s Mohair, Cape Tweed, cowgirlblues, Heritage Weavers, Hinterveld and Mungo Designs will be on show.
These items will all be housed in a wooden tent-construction inspired by nomadic architecture and covered in curtain fabrics and other interior textiles designed by Coral Stephens and woven in Swaziland.
Edelkoort has designed a mohair colour forecast of deep hues for the nomadic interior (which can be downloaded below): a sandy neutral, cumin green, camel brown and an important new henna. Bright accents such as Jaffa orange, Persian saffron, mustard green and turquoise blue will show how intense mohair’s saturation can become, contrasted by jet black and slate grey.
Humble, versatile and honest in terms of its durability and character, mohair is a sturdy and reliable fibre with admirable insulation and sustainable qualities. Edelkoort predicts that “a drier and coarser hand will become desirable, as mohair begins to leave its strictly-soft days behind. The evolving essence of mohair will enchant us for the seasons to come”.