Schönstaub is a young design-team based in Zurich producing machine woven carpets of high quality for people who love to walk barefoot. The most characteristic thing about their textiles is the nebula pattern that they fortunately used first, before we saw it on almost every piece of clothing or any other decorative piece. The carpets are made by a unique machine that enables the designers to actually weave the pattern and not just print it.
Nadja Stäubli, the cofounder and head designer of the company, wanted their clients to take a piece of this intergalactic fantasy along with them on their trips, so they came up with bath towels as well. We talked with her about the idea behind Schönstaub and discovered a few useful tips on how to clean our rugs.
How did you first think of making carpets and bath towels?
I studied Photography at the University of Fine Arts and I didn’t feel like displaying a photo project as my bachelor work. David Schönen, cofounder and former coworker, and me, had a workshop themed around art and technology at the time, which inspired us to produce a carpet. It was close to when the BP oil spilled in the waters and the media was constantly talking about 'oil carpets'. That's when the idea came up first. Adding to our core business which are carpets, we wanted to offer our clients a product to carry with them on their journeys since our motto is: “The journey begins at home”. So, that's how we decided to make bath towels too.
How far has a bath towel designed by you traveled to?
Hard to say! Our towels have been to Brazil, Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Florida, Panama, Hong Kong, England.
The galaxy pattern, one of your most iconic designs, became such a trend in clothing a couple of years ago. How and when did it catch your eye and what made you introduce it in rugs?
We were very lucky to have the idea with the galaxy pattern much before the trend came up. I would say we were one of the first companies to use this image for home goods. Since we work with the only machine worldwide that can weave in a density of over 1, 5 million knots per square meter, we were drawn to the technique of it, the opportunity to weave high resolution images and not just print them.
Do you know the names of the galaxies or stars depicted on your carpets?
Yes, the names of the carpets are actually the galaxies' names.
Do you have any famous buyers?
We do have some well-known athletes in our client list already, you can check those out on our social media.
In whose house would you like to see one of your creations?
There are many places I would love to see my work in. The house of Marina Abramovic, Pharell, Karl Lagerfeld, Ann Wintour, Roger Federer... you name it!
How does it feel sitting/stepping/ ying on one of your carpets? Do you try them before you put them on sale?
Of course. I have had one laying in my living room for four years now. They are super, super soft and feel cool in summer and warm in winter. Perfect for people who like to walk barefoot.
So you have one of your creations at your house. Have you ever spilled something on it? How did you react? Do you make your guests take of their shoes before stepping on it?
Yes, I do. I just recently spilled a whole can of hummus on it. The Nebula Collection is super easy to clean because of all the stars, so you can't really distinguish any stains. The black and white ones are a bit more sensitive as you can imagine. And yes, people need to take their shoes off in my crib, no matter the carpet.
Can you give us a good tip on how to clean our carpets?
A brush and soap are an effective way to clean the small spills. For bigger stains I suggest going to the cleaners though.
Tell us a few things about your collaborations with artists. Are there any forthcoming ones which you can share with us?
We are still looking into the next limited artist collection. We are very open when it comes to proposals. Of course we need an artist that fits our aesthetics. The next collaboration will be with a traditional Swiss fashion brand, it's planned to be launched by Easter 2015. We are hoping on working with an international fashion brand soon, developing a capsule collection for the home. We have some wishes but it's hard to get in touch with the right people at times.
Is there any specific work of art with which you would like to make a carpet or towel?
I would love to work together with great minds and creators in general. It's always a great medium for artists and there are not so many opportunities like this out there.
Can you give us a hint of what we will be seeing next?
Just keep on looking! A new bath towel collection will be launched in spring, they are already in production.