Each of the rooms in the sophisticated country house hotel was intended to be furnished with a loose rug that was natural, cosy, and sound-absorbent. The studio which the hotel had commissioned, meierei Innenarchitektur I Design, felt it was important for the woven rugs to have a handcrafted character, and to be made to an individual design from sustainable materials. These qualities were found in Portugal: Susana Godinho combines the woven tradition of the region with the inimitable qualities of cork, to make ecologically functional rugs for the contract business.
One thing is clear: in interior decoration, it is simpler for all those concerned to use standard products. This avoids, on the one hand, the time-consuming search for individual niche products. On the other, the client wants to be inspired and convinced, before new and barely tested products are put to use. It’s all the more pleasing when individuality and functionality can be combined with an attractive look and a unique design concept is successful!
The Steigenberger Hotel Treudelberg is located in the green northern part of Hamburg. They wanted the rugs for the rooms and suites to be woven rather than tufted, in order to reinforce the theme of genteel country life. Research led the team from meierei Innenarchitektur|Design to the north of Portugal. Portugal? sun? water?…cork! Yes, a natural material that can do far more than seal wine bottles. This could be seen at the last Heimtextil: products made from cork were showcased by the Austrian covering material developer coverdec.one, as part of the Interior.Architecture.Hospitality EXPO, wallpaper manufacturer Wall Art LLC & Greenland, and cork material supplier Textile Agent.
In Portugal, Susana Godinho has been designing excellent rugs in innovative designs since 2014. The origins of her work lie in the traditionally handwoven Portuguese rugs which she upgrades with cork. Concern for the environment and sustainable use of resources were the start for Godinho’s company, SUGO CORK RUGS. On the one hand, cork is one of Portugal’s traditional raw materials, and sustainable cultivation of the cork forests is ensured by the company’s business partners, Amorim Cork Ventures. On the other hand, attention is paid to the use of environmentally-friendly materials, starting with the other raw materials used in the rugs.
For example, the woven wool comes from local producers. The upcycled cotton jersey, a by-product of the textiles industry, comes from certified domestic suppliers, who seek to minimise environmental pollution.
Apart from the authentic designs, where different woven patterns, combinations of materials and colours can be beautifully and individually combined, a SUGO CORK rug is also distinct from other rugs in terms of its technical features.
The rugs benefit from the unique properties of cork:
- They are very light, because more than 50 percent of their volume is air
- They are impervious to liquids and gas, and very moisture-proof
- They are extremely flexible and regain their original shape after compression
- They serve as thermal and acoustic isolators
- They do not harbour dust; they protect against allergies and pose no risks for asthmatics
- They have a natural texture, which combines suppleness and flexibility.
For the hotel project, a first sample rug was woven to match the design and colours of the show room. This prototype of the SUGO rug looked perfect, but it needed to withstand the housekeeping’s stress test. Even though the durability of material cannot be 100 percent compared with that of a synthetic rug, the cork-cotton variant as a whole received a green light in the end from the hotel management, because of its sustainability and naturalness. This was much to the delight of the interior designers responsible, who were able to meet their brief to use special textiles with a distinct personality in the most beautiful way.