Magazine article Sunset

Felt Rug Revival

Magazine article Sunset

Felt Rug Revival

Article excerpt

A young designer brings back an ancient tradition

"Sophisticated yet humble" is how Melina Raissnia describes her medium. It's also a pretty apt description of Melina herself. A painter and the owner of Peace Industry, a new rug shop in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, she's the modern face of a 7,000-year-old tradition.

Through frequent trips to Iran, Melina and her husband, Dodd, developed distinctive handmade contemporary felt rugs using a classic nomadic technique. Unlike traditional patterns passed down for generations, Melina's designs are influenced by the works of Western modernists such as Ray Eames. But what surprises most people is the felt's softness. Melina even encourages store visitors to take off their shoes: "We want them to enjoy how great our rugs feel on their feet."

INFO: Peace Industry (call for hours; 535 Octavia St., San Francisco; 415/255-9940)

How to choose a rug

Although handwoven and hand-knotted carpets are more widely known, Melina Raissnia's felted wool is a good option for those who want the quality and durability of handcrafted wool without the additional expense. …

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