NAQs (Never Asked Questions We Wish You Would Ask)
Q: My client has pets and kids. Can they afford not to buy a natural rug?
A: The dirty truth is that for decades we’ve let sleeping dogs lie on plastic rugs without a thought to their well-being, or ours. Plastics break down over time and with exposure to sunlight, exposing the home environment to harmful airborne particles. The average dog spends most of its life on the floor, and if you’re living with synthetic rugs your pet is likely inhaling a steady trickle of toxic chemicals used in the manufacturing process. That goes double for the kids’ room.
A natural rug is an investment in your family’s wellbeing and the health of your home. Merida uses only natural fibers from rapidly renewable natural sources, and our manufacturing process minimizes waste, treading lightly on the planet. Your clients and their families will breathe easier knowing their rugs are 100% natural—and environmentally smart.
Q: Sure, but aren’t natural rugs hard to clean?
A: Not at all. Natural fibers like wool, linen and silk are inherently resistant to stains, easy to clean and naturally durable. See our Care & Maintenance Guide for tips on cleaning and maintaining any rug made of natural yarns.
Q: How will a Merida rug surpass my client’s expectations?
A: Where to begin?! A Merida rug is made from hand-selected natural yarns, woven and hand-finished with exquisite technique by American craftsmen. Our designs are built on layers of art and architecture, and the tradition of weaving, creating rugs that are both original and timelessly beautiful. The true joy of a Merida rug is in the experience of living with it, and watching it deepen in beauty with time.
Q: Is it actually possible to create something original in textiles? What does that translate to for my clients?
A: Since we launched our first Atelier Collection in 2018, we’ve learned that bringing original textiles to market is a collaborative endeavor that takes patience, persistence and practice. Because our workshop is fully integrated our design team works alongside our craftsmen, and we spend months of research and development before bringing a collection to market. It begins with the yarns, the natural materials that will define the textural palette for each collection. The colors spring from the design inspiration – the story behind the collection – and because every yarn takes color differently the palette expands exponentially once colors are introduced. On the surface, the originality is the inspiration, yarns, colors, and the weaving techniques, all of which we are continually evolving. But the true originality stems from the practice of our craftspeople working hand-in-hand with our design team to create one-of-a-kind rugs of enduring beauty.
Q: What makes American-made products a good purchase? What’s in it for me?
A: To manufacture anything in the U.S. it has to be extraordinary. The market is flooded with cheap, disposable products made overseas by workers who are not paid a fair wage – the cost savings extracted from joyless labor. An American-made product has to be made to the highest standards to justify the investment. It’s the difference between fast food and a farm-to-table dinner prepared by an expert chef; the difference is in the details, from where the ingredients are sourced to how they’re prepared to the spirit of the people at every step. For Merida it’s the things you won’t find on a spec sheet – the choice of materials, the hours of practice, and the joy of making a one-of-a-kind rug – that translates to a transformative experience for you, your clients, and everyone in the process.
Q: How important are the yarn choices in a rug? How has Merida been evolving its yarns?
A: Natural yarns bring life to a rug, and the combination of fibers – whether plied, crimped or felted – will define the rug’s texture, depth and composition. The natural properties of the yarn also dictates how it holds color. For example, a blend of linen and wool dyed with the same color will change the tone.
Currently, our yarn library consists of 11 different yarns, each of which has been hand-selected for its natural beauty, durability and how it will hold the weave. Before each season, we start by exploring yarn combinations and compositions that will become the narrative thread for our collections. While many of our rugs are customizable, our design team invests months of testing how yarns and colors will interact to derive the optimal combinations, so we can advise our clients on the ideal choices. The way Merida blends colors and materials creates a textural palette that is uniquely ours, for rugs that are distinctly Merida.
Q: Given the pace of modern-day manufacturing, is it really possible for craftspeople to derive joy and pleasure from making rugs?
A: To create something of original design there has to be joy in the making. When you own a Merida rug you can feel the mind, hand and spirit of the maker in the workmanship. Because our rugs are all made to order, our workshop is a design lab, where our craftspeople work hand-in-hand with our design team to evolve new techniques and solve client challenges.
At Merida, we are committed to elevating the practice of craftsmanship by providing the space, training and opportunities for craftspeople to practice and develop technique, gain the confidence to innovate, and experience joy as makers. That’s why we started an apprenticeship program to train craftspeople to become master weavers. By creating viable career paths for craftspeople we are ensuring a future where beauty and originality are valued above all, and the joy and pleasure of the maker fuels a more sustainable planet.