Just because an object has been present in human homes since the beginning of civilization doesn’t mean it couldn’t use a little modern reinvention. Carpets, and the methods we use to weave them, haven’t changed much since ancient times. In fact, you can still find traditional rug designs that were created centuries ago in stores today. Now, a company called Patcraft has come up with a new twist on the old classic that truly shines: carpet tiles with visible metallic backings in titanium, bronze, and graphite.
Carpet backing isn’t usually decorative. It’s typically made of heavy glues or plastics, and being able to see it from above through the carpet fibers is a sign of low quality. Most of the time, the aesthetic impact of the backing doesn’t matter too much, as long as the rug is plush enough to hide it. It’s the durability that counts, right? But Patcraft’s new collection makes sure each tile is both functional and beautiful right down to its core, and it shows off this handiwork by allowing it to peek through.
By varying the heights of the carpet fibers to create highly tactile textures, the designers were also able to expose parts of the tiles’ shimmering backings. The look “Deconstructed Metal” is going for is more of a subtle glow than a bold glitter (and while that actually sounds pretty cool, you can’t exactly get this look by sprinkling glitter all over your existing carpeting.) The bronze and titanium backings are a little more high-impact, while the graphite is subtler. It’s a fun way to punch up the amounts of color, texture, and reflection in an interior space.
The company collaborated with metal product manufacturers to integrate the real metal backings into their own production process, after which they experimented with different textures to get just the right result. Achieving that balance was a challenge, they say, but it looks like the end result was well worth it. Each tile comes in an array of textures so users can create their own dynamic patterns.
If you’re skeptical of how metallic backings perform compared to their more conventional counterparts, you might be glad to hear that they’re still made with strong thermoplastic polyolefin compounds, reinforced with fiberglass, and rated for “severe” wear. The Deconstructed Metal collection is also Cradle to Cradle certified, which means it has met rigorous standards in terms of material health, reutilization, water stewardship, and social fairness.
“In many cases, the artistry that drives the aesthetic and the technical processes that fulfill the performance requirements of a product are on opposite ends of the design spectrum,” said Shannon Cochran, Patcraft Vice President of Creative and Design, in an interview with Design Milk.
“This was the underlying balance for Deconstructed Metal. From backing to fiber, we had to understand the effects of the deconstructed design on each ingredient as well as in the compilation of ingredients in the final product. It was definitely a process that tested our design and manufacturing teams to think differently about how we do things and what performance means to each end user.”