We all know we need to reduce our use of plastics, whether that’s plant pots or straws, cotton buds or coffee cups. Another way to minimise the impact of plastics on the environment is to turn them into something else, extending their life and ensuring they don’t end up in landfill or, even worse, the oceans. Our Product Development Manager Kirsty Orr found an ingenious solution: the rugs on the 9th floor terrace at our newest House in White City are made entirely from recycled plastic bottles.

How the recycled yarn is made

The raw material comes from plastic bottles which are sorted from other recycling and crushed for storage before being sterilised and shredded into flakes. Melt spinning converts them into filament fibre which is processed to make a soft, malleable yarn that, when woven, gives a hand feel similar to wool.

Space Dyeing

‘Space dyeing’ otherwise known as disperse dyeing means that every single spool of yarn is slightly different, because the dye doesn’t take to every piece of yarn in the same concentration so you get subtle differences in tonality. This means when you weave the yarn into a rug every single one is completely unique.

The pit loom

Our outdoor rugs are made on a modernized Pit loom, which is a type of loom where we use warp and weft to weave a rug. The warp is the vertical yarns that are under tension on the loom. The weft is the horizontal threads on a loom that are passed over and under the warp threads to make cloth. Once the pit loom is set up, the rug is ready to be woven.

Weaving technique:

The weaver inserts the weft, one after another as per the design plan. It’s a meticulous process that requires finesse and skill. With our outdoor rugs, the weaver also makes the loop on the rug surface which is a unique kind of weft insertion. The weaver uses a circular rod onto which he keeps winding the yarn to make the loop.