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Off the Loom

Our Design Journal

Point of View: The Appeal of Passementerie

Neutral Cords Merida

As recently mentioned in a Wall Street Journal survey of 26 designers, “Old-World Ornamentation” is an interiors trend on the rise. It was great validation of two of our recent developments: fine Decorative Cords designed for rugs and the graphic tassels of the Ashe + Leandro for Merida collection. Up to a year in the making, these two collections weren’t created to follow trends, but instead sought to incorporate these ideas in more subtle ways.

Since last fall passementerie has been making a comeback in fashion and interiors. Passementerie is a French word meaning “the art of making elaborate trimmings or edgings of applied braid, gold or silver cord, embroidery, colored silk, or beads for clothing or furnishings.” New York Fashion Week featured a number of adorned garments with clean lines and a touch of trim.

Spring Fashion 2016 Merida

photo: imaxtree via stylecaster.com

Recent fashion shows in Paris also featured tassels and embroidery prominently. The Balmain show, below, demonstrates an old world style with more explicitly ornate embroidery and fringe.

Monica Feudi Vogue Balmain Merida

photos: Monica Feudi / Vogue

Monica Feudi Vogue Balmain Merida

photos: Monica Feudi / Vogue

Passementerie has made its way into jewelry as well.  The pieces below from Lanvin and Aurelie Bidermann combine elegant tasseling with a modern, simplified edge.

Lanvin Aurelie Biderman Merida
Left: Lanvin earrings. Right: Aurelie Bidermann bracelet
Reminiscent of the New York Fashion Week designs the Saint Laurent bag below features quiet, elegant styling in a modern black with military-inspired trim and two prominent tassels.
We took a refined approach to old world passementerie with two recent collections. “While we don’t exclusively focus on trends we are always observing how the world is changing and as a result what’s next in art, design and fashion.  Attending international shows, scouring flea markets, exploring the latest art exhibitions and observing the latest runway shows are all part of our design process so we stay fresh and relevant.” – Roxanne Hanna, Merida’s Creative Director.
Ashe and Leandro for Merida Touro in Black Pearl
Touro in Black Pearl
The Ashe + Leandro collection provides a new take on tassels: they extend the graphic pattern rather than being a full-length or added-on edging. While not technically passementerie—since the tassels are woven into the suede pattern—the hand made tassels serve a similar purpose with a more integrated and organic look.
Ashe and Leandro for Merida Touro in Black Pearl
Touro in Black Pearl
Ashe and Leandro for Merida Leao Tassels
Leao in Natural
Ashe and Leandro for Merida Aires in Black
Aires in Black
Taking the idea of passementerie to its most minimal, we custom sized a linen mélange twisted cord to provide a subtle accent for our rugs and cloth bindings.
Merida Sisal Decorative Cords
Antwerp sisal in Belgian Linen with a Decorative Cord in Sienna
Merida Sisal decorative Cords
Agave Superior sisal with a Decorative Cord in Dark Roast with an outside finish
Merida Decorative Cords
Avant sisal in Titanium with a Decorative Cord in Dove
We worked with trimmings expert Jana Platina Phipps to source the cords from a 90 year old Italian factory: “These twisted cords, made of exquisite linen yarns, dyed in subtle, natural colors, are customized to fit the manufacturing process and design aesthetic of Merida. So, in addition to a handmade rug that speaks to your taste for fine things, you will have a small Italian story to add to your interior tale.” The Decorative Cords are made in Italy and applied by hand at our workshop in Fall River, MA.
Merida Decorative Cords


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