This Is A Millinger + Howells Rug
A New Old Rug Collection
In a world full of beautiful objects, why design another rug collection? How can it be fresh and relevant? Those questions inspired This Is A Millinger + Howells Rug, a series of 7 wool and silk pieces designed by Michael Howells + Christiane Millinger, and hand-knotted by exceptional artisans in Nepal.
Bold, blurred color-saturated designs spin off a central axis, suggesting otherworldly topographies and distant galaxies in each rug in the series. But the source for these images is much closer to home: a set of antique Türkmen Tekke, Beshir, Luri, Yazdik, and Qashqaii rugs from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Each modern rug in the series derives from an antique, such as this Yasdik piece.
What is a Millinger + Howells rug?
Core motifs from the antique source rug are blown up, manipulated, and re-colorized to bring a fresh interpretation to rug tradition. Like Ceci N'est Pas Une Pipe, the self-reflexive title of This Is A Millinger + Howells Rug plays with the idea of truth in representation.
Old + new
While the rug series is modern and abstract, each new rug draws on a precedent.
Michael Howells credits Christiane Millinger with turning him into a "rug bug," early in their friendship. This rug series collab was inspired by a beautiful Türkmen rug given to him by Christiane, which Michael keeps on his desk.
Pom by pom
Colorizing the rugs was an elaborate process, involving hundreds of colors selected by Christiane.
A circular process
The design process of these rugs begins and ends with tradition. The ancient motif of each antique source rug is digitally manipulated and modernized, then woven back into wool by Nepalese masters. Thus, new becomes old again—and vice versa.
A younger Howells celebrates color at the reception for This Is A Millinger + Howells Rug.
Photographer: Laurie Black