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Supplier Profile

Coral & Hive

The only way to stand on a Coral & Hive rug is barefoot. Not because these are fragile pieces – quite the opposite – but to fully appreciate the combined textures of the fibres and the expert weave. Robust karakul wool and silky mohair take the starring role, whether in their raw colours or dyed in a palette of inspiring natural shades.

About the maker

When Jeannine Birch established Coral & Hive, she aimed to bring the craftsmanship of South African weavers to a wider audience. Today, Indian makers also contribute their expertise, collaborating with designers in London and Cape Town to produce rugs that look and feel like nature was consulted in their creation.

The starting point for any Coral & Hive rug is the yarn. Softness comes from African mohair, texture and bounce are delivered by karakul wool and fleeces from New Zealand contribute strength and easy-to-dye whiteness. Jute, cotton and silk can also be added to the mix. Weave patterns are expertly imagined and executed to bring out the unique characteristics of the raw materials.

Married to that are colour and pattern. Karakul wool comes in the creamy whites, smoky greys and cocoa browns that are central to many Coral & Hive designs. Where colours are achieved through dyeing, they don’t stray from nature’s palette. Expect warm tones of honey, sand and stone alongside new-bud greens and big-sky azures. Patterns echo the environment, reflecting everything from cracked and striated rocks to windblown grasses and the lazy meanderings of rivers.

All rugs from Coral & Hive are made to order and are truly bespoke – you choose the size, colour and pattern, as well as the fibres, you want. Your design will then be meticulously handcrafted in either South Africa or India by expert weavers. The wooden looms used are the medium through which traditional skills create very modern works of art. One of the African looms measures up at 8 x 5ft, making it big enough to handle even super-sized rugs.

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