Merida expands portfolio with 4 collections for 2016, featuring luxurious yarns, handwoven rugs, and new designer collaborations
Collaborations with Ashe+Leandro and Mark D Sikes showcase inventive techniques and design possibilities
Merida, a leading textile producer with design and manufacturing facilities in Fall River, Massachusetts, announces four new collections for 2016, starting with two designer capsule collections created in collaboration with Merida’s in-house design team. These new offerings will expand Merida’s handwoven and tufted categories, and introduce alpaca, merino, and mohair wools to the company’s growing portfolio.
Merida’s Creative Director Roxanne Hanna says all four collections, which have been two years in the making, open up an underserved space in the market for modern rugs that capture the essence of traditional weaving techniques. “They showcase Merida’s unique ability to identify and connect the best materials, techniques, and ideas – from our in-house design team to our collaborators and our weaving partners around the globe – to invent something that hasn’t been seen before.”
Starting in March 2016, Merida will launch the first of two designer collaborations, with New York based designer/architect duo, Ashe+Leandro (www.asheleandro.com). The capsule collection will feature handwoven sisal and suede rugs, inspired by nomadic Tuareg (TWAH-REG) design motifs. Co-developed with Merida’s Fall River-based design team, the rugs will be woven in Brazil, and available in five designs and multiple colorways.
A second collaboration will follow in May, with LA-based interior/fashion designer Mark D Sikes (www.markdsikes.com). The collection will feature wool dhurries and sisal blend area rugs, all handwoven by Merida’s weaving partners in India & Brazil, with 20 SKU’s with the option of custom coloring.
When asked why she chose to work with these designers in particular, Ms. Hanna says that, in addition to their talents and openness to sharing ideas, each brought something that she knew would complement Merida’s design vision in categories she wanted to revitalize. “I love Tuareg rugs and saw that Ashe+Leandro were using them in their design projects,” says Ms. Hanna.“Ariel [Ashe] asked if we could translate and modernize a vintage version to control size and color for a specific project. Our partner in Brazil was so excited by the challenge they wove several samples and before we knew it, a collaboration was born.”
Mark D Sikes has been collecting vintage dhurries for years and incorporates them into his projects. “We have always wanted to add handwoven wool dhurries to our portfolio,” says Ms.Hanna. “Collaborating with Mark provides us with a collection that is crisp, classic, and all-American. The collection will also incorporate a selection of handwoven sisal rugs designed to complement the dhurries, for a layered look that Mark is known for.”
In addition to these designer collaborations, Merida will launch two new collections in the summer and fall. The first collection is a luxurious tufted rug program that utilizes alpaca and merino wool, with designs inspired by watercolor painting.
On the heels of this will come a new collection that features mohair and undyed wools, inspired by Mediterranean design motifs. This collection will highlight the softness of mohair while combining complex weaving techniques.
Ms. Hanna says she is excited to introduce new fibers like alpaca and mohair into Merida’s portfolio. “Both fibers add softness, depth, and luxury, and help elevate the flatweave and tufted categories.”
“We are thrilled to be introducing these four new collections,” says Catherine Connolly, Merida’s CEO and Owner. “I believe they will provide designers with fresh takes on timeless rugs, such as dhurries, and bring innovation to the handwoven and flatweave categories. We look forward to working with designers to bring these beautiful new rugs into their projects.”