Handmade Rugs That Look Like Color Wheels

These carpets, by French designer Constance Guisset, are subtle color studies, blending a multitude of hues into harmonious compositions.

One doesn’t usually expect carpets to be academic studies in color, but these circular rugs are just that: uncommonly subtle displays of colors ranging from pastels to jewel tones. In fact, the so-called Spin rugs, created by French designer and former Bouroullec Brothers staffer Constance Guisset for Nodus, are an exercise in creating colorimetric transitions, mapping and harmonizing a multitude of hues.


“For Spin 1, the whirlwind was a way to have colors melting together, one by one, in a smooth progression, while creating the illusion of movement, which is something central to my work,” explains Guisset, whose work includes the colorful Windmills rotating ottoman for Kvadrat and the fan-like Vertigo pendant light made for La Petite Friture.

Photo by Marco Moretto

Spin 1 is hand-knotted by Nepalese craftsman following the “graph,” a drawing of the pattern on millimeter paper, scaled 1:1, made by a painter called the “graph master,” explains Nodus owner Andrea Galimberti.The weavers reproduce Guisset’s whirlwind in 200 hand-tied wool knots per inch over a classical warp and weft, each rug taking almost four months to finish.
Spin 2 takes only three months to complete. The final product is hand-tufted in India, where bunches of yarn are shot into a canvas sheet, on which the pattern is drawn, using a tufting gun. Working directly on the drawing, tufting is faster than hand-knotting. The pattern, inspired by the stained-glass rose windows of a cathedral, is an experiment in complexity. While most carpets use 20 colors at most, Spin 2 features 200.

In fact, the color selection process took three weeks, and then each hue had to be reproduced correctly in the yarns. In the end, Guisset worked with pastels because they offered the clearest way to establish color harmony, but also, she says, because she wanted the carpets to fit into an interior “rather discreetly.” Discreetly? Not so much. Fit in? Exquisitely.

About the author

Istanbul- and Brooklyn-based Shonquis Moreno is a former editor for Dwell, Frame, and Surface magazines, who contributes to publications that include Wallpaper, Case da Abitare, Whitewall, and Metropolis.