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720 Sunset Pond Lane, #2
Bellingham, WA 98226
USA

360-647-3395

True North Textiles is a boutique weaving studio producing original rugs that experiment with contemporary color and texture while remaining reverent to time-honored traditions. We specialize in working closely with designers and homeowners to develop palettes and patterns that integrate effortlessly and beautifully into interior design schemes. Our rugs are made in America

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Journal

Design blog focused on textiles, rugs and pattern.

 

Filtering by Category: handmade rug

What's Prettier than Lavendar?

Angela Boyle

The completed lavender dining room rug is nearly 10x10 feet.

The completed lavender dining room rug is nearly 10x10 feet.

Ann Lundquist Design and the True North weavers teamed up for a recent project.

When people think purple, they think PURPLE. But this diverse color doesn’t have to be so bold. In this twill rug, lavender is combined with subtle rose and mossy browns. With the soft colors of a garden, this rug brings the outdoors safely in to the dining room where this rug will settle in.

You can just make out the mesmerizing angles caused by the twill and three colors.

You can just make out the mesmerizing angles caused by the twill and three colors.

The three unique color groups are woven one after the other. If you look closely, you can see that the cotton warp creates angled lines in one direction. But the three colors create angled lines to the other. A quick glance might see a floral lavender rug, but the more time you spend with it, the more depth of character is found.

With such subtle colors, it can be hard to select just the right combination. We offered up four color combinations, all focusing on lavender. The client was able to review the colors in their dining room. The lighting is so important in how the colors will look together. The colorway for one room with just a lamp can be very different from the best looking color way in a room with large south-facing windows.

Four color options let them pick the best colors for their lighting.

Four color options let them pick the best colors for their lighting.

This rug also has a unique finishing choice. Just because you choose a rug in one colorway, doesn’t mean the whole rug must be that color! The customer here wanted a concentration of the lavender on the ends. So to start and finish the rug, we wove 5 inches using only the lavender colorway. You can almost smell the heady scent on the breeze. Since we have six weavers at the shop, Our Creative Director, Amy Tyson, will often create a quick overview of the pattern we are trying to create. This helps keep all the weavers on the same track. Here you can see our plans for the lavender fields guarding the rug border.

Working from a design spec helps keep all the weavers with the same goal in mind.

Working from a design spec helps keep all the weavers with the same goal in mind.

Next time you think purple, think lavender. Then think rose. Then think of all the other colors in your own garden. Or the new garden you want planted in wool on your floors.

And don’t miss the inspiration for romantic Interiors at Ann Lundquist Design.

Heddle to the metal!

Angela Boyle, Weaver

Patti Bosket Picks Bronze

Angela Boyle

Inspiration runner.

Inspiration runner.

Patti Bosket, au naturel, is an interior and wedding designer. She creates warm, comfortable designs using natural elements. Recently she came across one of our Melange rugs on Instagram and knew it would fit perfectly in a room she was designing.

Where are is the Melange rug now? Where in the world? What sort of room?

The rug is in a Northwest rustic home in Leavenworth, Washington. It is in a hallway lined with a collage wall of a local artists’ relief prints, drawings, sketches, and watercolors of local birds.

Rug in its Leavenworth, Washington, home. (Photo courtesy Patti Bosket)

Rug in its Leavenworth, Washington, home. (Photo courtesy Patti Bosket)

How did you pick these colors for the rug needed in this room?

I was looking for touches of turquoise to add to the room, and the combination of the native American influence and the earth tone colors of blacks, browns, and turquoise on this rug grounded the floor perfectly.

Inspiration from the Melange Collection.

Inspiration from the Melange Collection.

How does living in Washington inspire your design style?

I was born and raised in Washington, and the elements of nature have always been my inspiration. I love to bring the outdoors in when designing with clients.

Close up of Patti’s Rug

Close up of Patti’s Rug

Custom runner for Au Naturel.

Custom runner for Au Naturel.

Interview with Production Manager Meg Lehinger

Angela Boyle

Meg threading our 10’ loom, Gladys.

Meg threading our 10’ loom, Gladys.

Formerly a weaver at Lark Textile Design, Meg Lehinger was the first employee of True North Textiles. With four years at True North Textiles under her belt, Meg has recently been promoted to Production Manager. She brings a lot of care, consideration, and kindness to her work, so she is a fantastic point person for Amy Tyson, our CEO and lead designer. In addition to all the weaving, backing, and other production tasks that everyone at True North Textiles does, she is also in charge of imparting the bigger picture from Amy to the team while Amy is out visiting suppliers and showing our rug designs.

What drew you to weaving at True North Textiles?

Interior design and home interiors. I love interior design. I thought True North Textiles would be a great opportunity to be a part of custom designing interiors. Even if it’s just the rug, I like knowing that we’re a part of a bigger picture of interior design.

Do you do any interior designing?

I’ve been passionate about interior designing since I was a little kid. I can’t say I’ve done anything professionally with interior design, except my own home. Like hobby interior design. Just a lot of ideas stored in my brain. I think it’d be fun, professionally.

Meg at the sewing machine.

Meg at the sewing machine.

How often do you change your house?

I did just last weekend. I decided to change around my whole house, switching all the rooms this weekend. I will move the couch to the opposite wall about every other month.

What does a Production Manager do?

They facilitate the system so that everyone knows what needs to get done and ensures that were all on the same page. I’m assisting Amy with making sure that things are being done properly. I double check what Amy has done and relay the message to the rest of the team so that we’re all aware of what’s going on. At least, that’s my goal. I don’t want anyone to feel that were just being told, “Do this. Weave 36 feet, and you’re done.” I think it would be great if we could all understand what the bigger picture is for that 36 feet.

Is it by chance that you are so involved in the yarns—ordering, organizing, checking—or part of the production management?

Right now, we’ve got so many different colors of yarn that it's a little hectic. I think its nice that just one person orders the yarn right now. We don’t want too many people trying to do the same task because then things might overlap or be unnecessary or one thing gets left  undone. But down the road, I think we’re all going to be ordering yarn. And we’re all going to be doing the same tasks. But for now, it seems like we're just trying to put systems in place so that it makes sense for everyone.

Meg weaving on our largest loom, Thor.

Meg weaving on our largest loom, Thor.

What is your favorite part of the rug-making process?

I like the backing and finishing. I like weaving. That’s hard  because I really like the whole thing. There isn’t one part of the process that I don’t like. I even kind of enjoy it when there’s a problem. I don’t want there to be errors or reasons to problem solve, but I really enjoy when there is. It’s a fun challenge to try to resolve. But the backing and the finishing are also fun, just to see it in its final form. The weaving is fun because it's the actual pick by pick, even though its hours. It’s hard for me to enjoy the final piece without having done the middle work. There’s so many different steps. You kind of have to enjoy it all to enjoy the final product.

When you’re weaving, do you like a small rug or a big rug more—like a 4’x6’ or a 11’ x 30’?

I like 4’x6’. It is a lot faster, so it seems like a rug instantly appears at the end of the day. But a 4’x6’ is also a size that really resonates with me. I can picture this in a home. Whereas with an 11’x30’, I like how massive it is. And it's really cool to see essentially carpet instead of a small area rug.

Meg seaming the border on the mitered-corner rug.

Meg seaming the border on the mitered-corner rug.

What has been your favorite rug?

I don’t know that this is my favorite, but it was the biggest challenge for me, and it was a success. It was a mitered-corner rug that was bigger than  our loom can weave. They wanted 15 feet wide by 33 feet long. So they wanted a border around the whole rug. We are making a similar mitered-corner rug soon for the same client. The first one was fun because I learned how to problem solve turning a square edge into a mitered corner, and then seamed these mitered corners together to create a border around this gigantic rug. It was a really big challenge, but it worked out and it was really beautiful. The new one is small, only 6x9, I think. So it’s cool to know that they liked the look of the mitered corner. Even though our loom can weave anything less than 12 feet, they just want that look.

Do you have any personal weaving projects you would like to share?

I wouldn’t say I have a whole lot of projects, more that I have plans. But I do a lot of experimentation and trying to educate myself, like learning to weave fabrics. I’ve spent the last five years teaching myself how to do that. So it's a lot of trying things at home. A lot of things I haven’t turned into anything useable, it’s just stored away as a reference for what I learned. A goal of mine is to learn to weave fabric 45 inches wide so I can cut and sew it into things. I like design, so useful objects are kind of what I’m interested in doing. I have done weaving at home that’s just visual artwork, like tapestry. But for me, I just like functional projects, so I am trying to teach myself how to do that.

Meg’s Leclerc loom. Image from Meg Lehinger

Meg’s Leclerc loom. Image from Meg Lehinger

What kind of loom do you have at home

I have a 45” wide Leclerc counterbalance.

Does it fit?

Part of the inspiration for rearranging my furniture this weekend was to move my loom to the biggest room of the house. I think that tends to hold me back when weaving at home. If I can’t walk in a straight line, inching around this tiny little room, it’s really hard to work. It’s a big loom for my house. But I love it.

What do you do when you aren’t weaving?

I like to be outside. I garden a little bit. Any change I get, because I need a partner, we go on really long hikes. Tomorrow we are going out on a grand expedition. That will be all day long. I mostly just like to be outside and go hiking.

Would you ever take a small loom on a hike?

I’ve really wanted to use a backstrap loom. It's a loom that is set up with the tension around your back. It anchors to one point, like a tree. You have the threads set up around a dowel, and you can roll this up and take it with you anywhere you want, and you just hook it around a tree or a stop sign or something. I’ve never spent  a long enough period of time in one place, unless I’m camping. I would like to make one of those and take that out.

For Meg’s turn at choosing colors for a Melange rug, she made this bronze runner.

For Meg’s turn at choosing colors for a Melange rug, she made this bronze runner.