We would love to see you all at our exclusive in-store launch for NODI's luxurious, handmade rugs.
You may have already seen two NODI rugs gracing our Tessuti store floor at present, but come next Wednesday evening, you will be able to preview the full range of new NODI rugs while you enjoy a glass of champagne!
To celebrate our in-store launch, we talked to NODI founder Olivia Smith about her love of textiles, her dedication to using traditional hand-knotting techniques, and the oozing style of Italy...
- Tell us about your background.
I started studying textile design at Massey in Wellington before moving to Milan where I an aupair for a year but completely fell in love with Italy and Milan so decided to stay and enrolled in a textile design course with the Institute of European Design and studied there. Following that I spent a year as a intern in various textile ateliers before leaving for Sydney where I worked launching Fendi Casa and Kenzo Maison. NODI came about when I moved to India for six months to spend my time in factories researching and discovering new techniques to use for my rug designs.
- How did Nodi rugs came about.
When I was living in Milan I was making hand knotted necklaces to make some money while I was a student and the process of hand knotting these necklaces which took forever to make made me really appreciate the hand made process and funnily enough began my fascination with knots. I love their natural, unique form. I was doing an internship with an American woman who was dealing with hand block printed textiles out of India and this sort of started my thoughts on India and the textiles coming out of there. I loved the textiles that I saw but found them too flat and not tactile enough. When I was living in Sydney there were rugs as part of the homeware collections and I adored their tactility and that it was really a piece of art on the floor so my fascination with rugs sort of began then. I sat on the thought of India for more than 3 years then after a trip to Tokyo a cloud lifted from my head and I decided I needed to go to India, even if nothing business wise came from it, I needed to learn more about rugs and expose myself to the production in a nitty gritty, all exposed way. So off to India I went, from there the rest is history!
- Why do you feel it's important to be handmade in today's market. Why do you think people find that appealing?
I think hand made is important as it is a labour of love and uses skills that are slowly dying with the machine made world slowly taking over. Anything can be made on a machine and anyone one can access a machine made item where no love or care has been put into it. Things made by hand hold a tale, they tell a story and have a unique beauty in their hand made imperfection. For me handmade products where a human is involved and their hands have created it means that no one else in the whole world will have exactly the same product as you - each piece has it's own hand made uniqueness and I think this is priceless.
- Tell us about the design influences from Italy.
Italy is oozing style and elegance. You can't help but see effort and consideration in a visual way with everything the italians do. From their fashion, cars, food and architecture, everything holds beauty. I was overwhelmed by the colours of the old palazzo's and the sheer elegance of their design while living there. Being exposed to fashion weeks and the furniture design week (Salone del mobile) each year there was an abundance of design and creativity on a regular basis. Italy really is a hub of design and I think being surrounded by that for three years while living there has really rubbed off on my personal style and my appreciation for good, innovative design.
- And then also the traditional techniques used for Nodi rugs from India.
I was just blown away at how much went into making a single rug using these traditional techniques which Indian specialises in. From the raw fiber to the finished product the rug would touch over 20 peoples hands ( each specialists in a different stage). I found these old techniques could produce exactly the texture I was after and found a sort of irony and contrast in the traditional techniques mixed with modern, contemporary colours was a good interesting balance.
- What sort of person does NODI rugs appeal to?
The Nodi rug owner has a discerning eye for quality and unique products with an appreciation for handmade, well designed, bespoke design.
- Aside from keeping your toes warm on concrete or wooden floors, what are some beneficial uses for a rug in the home that perhaps people have forgotten or don't know about?
A rug really finishes a room and changes a space from being ordinary to quite a special space. Rugs really are art on the floor, they're personal like art work and create warmth in a room.
- What are some good ways to care for your Nodi rug so it last for many years?
Avoid direct sunlight ( especially in our strong NZ sun!!) Vacum regularly with with a low suction vacuum cleaner (Dyson's recommended) to remove dust but not damage fibers.
- And lastly, how do you like to sound your winter evenings at home?
If I'm in NZ..Cosying up on a rug by the fire with a glass on red in hand and a book in the other….or escaping the winter travelling to India to work on the next collection! - I'm outta here for six weeks over June and July to produce the next collection then onto Italy for a friends wedding and to soak up some rays in the South of Italy in the Mediterranean sea!
If you would like to come along next Wednesday 21st May from 5:30pm, please rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org