Felt has long held craft appeal, but at Peace Industry they've elevated it to a more sophisticated and functional level. Believe it or not, this incredibly dense, matted textile seems to work on the same principles as dreadlocks. It's made using friction, soap, and the natural interlocking properties of raw wool fibers. Watch this film to see how it's done. There's a lot of wonderful felt craft work out there, and the stuff is all the more pleasing for its imperfect, handmade feel. But few people working in this medium have the means to create on the scale of rugs.
Apparently felt rug-making is a traditional craft in Iran, and painter/rug designer/retailer Melissina Raissnia learned the process there, from the masters. Only she doesn't make traditional rugs; her designs are contemporary, with an organic color palette and a playful aesthetic that veers from Keith Haring-esque abstraction to what she calls "organic industrial." Though Raissnia seems to favor a muted, neutral colorway for her samples, she will custom create a piece for you in brighter colors made from fruit and vegetable dyes.
Peace Industry, located in Hayes Valley, also sells Raissnia's paintings on steel panels, as well as textile works by other artists. A group show debuting new artists at Peace Indutsry, called "Approaching Felt," is currently on display, through May 1.
Prices for Raissnia's felt rugs range from $310 for a small rug to $2215 for one that's 6'x9'.
Colorful steel paintings, also by Raissnia, are available by special order. Also available here.