Issue 11

WEAVING STORIES

Jutta Werner

Photos by Marzena Skubatz Words by Tanja Pabelick

Jutta Werner believes that brands cannot function without people and that authenticity and honesty are vital to their success. The Hamburg native established her own rug brand, Nomad, in 2020 and quickly became a sensation with her Candy Wrapper Rugs; rustling, sparkling, fluffy and soft, they are to the home what a premium basic item is to a wardrobe, coordinating with everything and acting as loyal companions through life. And they come with their own stories. Jutta Werner encountered the ideas and upcycled materials for her designs in the Himalayas and has based her socially responsible production operations in India. The Nomad project has become an ambassador for shifting the mindset, with enthusiasm, instinct, dedication and transparency.

Before starting Nomad you were an architect and worked as an interior designer and curator, with a client roster including some big names. What made you decide to start over?

 

J

W

Well, I actually studied architecture, but my first job was as a interior designer for textiles at a family-run company, where I was showered with support and encouragement. I spent a lot of time there working with fabrics and upholstery. By 2004 I had reached a point where I had mastered the craft but increasingly felt I wanted to work for a brand that more fully reflected me and my personal design perspective. I joined DEDON, the designer outdoor furnishing company, where I could organise my work really flexibly. Like a nomad, in fact, which is why I called my studio Nomad.

So now you had a name for your company, but your first original rug was not created until much later. Where did that impetus come from?

 

J

W

I often travelled to India for various clients and was also involved in photo shoots there. In 2016 I had the chance to travel through the Himalayas with a photographer from ­Delhi. What an amazing experience that was! We often have a mental image of India as a noisy, colourful, crazy country, but in rural areas it’s completely different, very austere and spartan. People live in simple brown earthen huts. Mountain-dwellers might keep a few goats. The only colour is provided by the women’s saris. I experienced nature without a filter, often found myself in dangerous situations. And I had to listen to the photographer because he was the only one of us who was familiar with the surroundings. When I saw his material afterwards, I thought: that’s an absolutely incredible story.

In a small Indian village, Jutta Werner saw balls of sparkling, rustling string, an everyday product that people there use to lash hay bales or hang things up. The silvery cords against the bleak backdrop looked like magical, alien objects. Fascinated, Jutta Werner discovered that the string was the result of twisting together recycled silver and coloured plastic foil offcuts left over from manufacturing, filling and sealing bags of sweets in industrial manufacturing processes. The attractive string played a useful and functional role in the simple conditions of Indian mountain village life.

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