The Sankara Rug: Weaving the past into the future

Bielle Bellingham tells us why she nominated the handcrafted Sankara Rug for Most Beautiful Object in South Africa 2017, the Rug went on to win the public vote.

The Sankara Rug by textile designer Nkuli Mlangeni is an expression of southern Africa’s modernity as well as its rich history of craft, according to interior designer Bielle Bellingham. She was drawn to the work of Mlangeni and her artisan team, not only for their high level of weaving skill but also the cultural research and historic imagery that informs Mlangeni’s designs.

Wanting to celebrate the dying culture of traditional textile weaving, Mlangeni made it the focus of her final year studies as a student with an extended research project that finally resulted in the Sankara Rug, which forms part of a larger series of designs. It is her goal to inspire the interest of younger people in order to preserve this artistic practice.

Explaining her choice of nomination, Bellingham says, “I think that the things we put in our homes are incredibly important aspects of design, in that it is where our memories play out. The fact that she has used this very intelligent, conceptual thinking to inform the design of her rug, makes it even better.”

The Sankara Rug won the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa 2017 vote.