Zv’yazani is a young Kyiv-based brand, designing handmade rugs with signature variations of traditional Ukrainian patterns. The brand founders dream to revive old Ukrainian art of weaving, combining it with modern trends. Currently brand offers three main types of rugs: rugs with Ukrainian motifs, Morocco style rugs and exclusive items made by individual requests.
Zv’yazani studio, opened in the beginning of 2018, is a joint project of Olga Karetnikova-Kotiahina and Natalya Osaulenko. Two young women met few years ago at a party and quickly became good friends. They already had their own businesses of producing of women`s clothes and accessories for baristas. Once Olga and Natalya had a conversation about their future career, and came to the decision that they both were interested in production of handmade rugs.
This idea initially came to Natalya after she saw a rug from India in her friends` apartment. She liked it so much that was ready to pay for producing a similar carpet in Ukraine. But it turned out that ordering a handmade rug by individual design is a challenge: masters did not want to take on unusual and difficult process of weaving complicated patterns. Natalya was surprised to find out that it was easier to buy a handmade rug abroad than to order it in Ukraine.
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Natalya and Olga started to visit museums, exploring Ukrainian weaving traditions. They were completely charmed by rugs with old Slavic patterns. The designers decided to create a unique mix of these old patterns and modernity. The women came to the West of Ukraine, to Ivano-Frankivsk oblast`, looking for weavers. However, the task was not easy – there were not many professionals with appropriate experience.
Olga visited India and found experienced weavers, but it was too expensive to deliver ready items to Ukraine. After that, Olga and Natalya together came to Morocco. They also found professional weavers there, but faced another problem: all weavers lived and worked somewhere in the desert, so it was no possibility for establishing direct contact with them – all communication was done only through mediators. However, the designers took the risk and bought some Moroccan rugs for sale.
After that, there was another try to find Ukrainian masters. This time Olga and Natalia were lucky: they were contacted by young weavers from the Carpathians, who were ready to produce handmade rugs. The designers rented room for weavers in their town and launched production.
It was a year between taking decision to start business and manufacturing of the first rug. Nowadays, Zv’yazani team includes three weavers from the Carpathians, technical manager, SMM specialist, full-time designer and, of course, brand founders Olga and Natalya. The brand also works with talented Ukrainian illustrators such as Lilith Sarkisyan, Sasha Godiayeva and Anya Moskunova, who create beautiful sketches and drawings for rugs.
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Currently Zv’yazani brand offers rugs and carpet runners, but the designers plan to expand production, adding decorative pillows, bedcovers and blankets to the assortment. The brand already has its own series of 10 rugs with modernized traditional patterns and design of well-known illustrators. There is also a separate line of authentic Moroccan rugs.
Each rug is handcrafted using wooden weaving looms, similar to those that were used by Ukrainians few centuries ago. All rugs are made of sheep wool from Ukraine. The wool is painted with aniline acid and food dye in manual way. The items are also treated according to Netherlandish technology: cotton cloth is glued to the base of a rug, which makes it stronger and elongates its life.
The production of an ordinary rug with dimensions 2х2.5 meters and simple geometric pattern takes around 3–6 weeks. Each thread is manually weaved in correspondence with sketch. This is very complicated work. The brand offers rugs with dimensions 2х2.5 m, 2.5х3.2 m and 1.5х1.5 m. However, there are no strict limits in rugs design – the clients may request any dimensions and sketch in individual order.
Price depends on rug dimensions and complexity of a sketch. In general, prices vary from UAH 16 000 for a small rug to UAH 30 000 for a large rug. Carpet runner prices are approximately UAH 3 000–6 000.
Zv’yazani brand is planning to win international market. In the beginning of the next year, Olga and Natalya will present their rugs in Hannover or Paris on an international rugs exhibition.
The brand is also going to open a new workshop in Kyiv in the nearest future.
Photo source: website of business mentioned above. All photos belong to their rightful owners.