Sunday, December 11, 2011

Natural Hides in 20th Century Design

Natural, hair-on hides are mankind’s oldest textiles.

Originally sought out in the distant past for their durability, warmth, and versatility, ancient man worked with natural hides to create clothes, containers, and even shelter.

In the Middle Ages, as merchants in Europe, the Americas and the Far East began to trade in a wider variety of textiles, man also grew to value natural hides for their aesthetic and symbolic qualities. Well-to-do individuals would display exotic rugs in their homes as signs of prosperity and to provide insight into their travels and experiences.

Today, the functional and aesthetic qualities of cowhide rugs continue to make them a valuable medium for expression by artisans, interior designers, and consumers.

Hair-on hides and their derivative products appear constantly in modern fashion and interior design, and are appreciated as much for the craftsmanship behind them and their natural beauty as for their intrinsic functional qualities and versatility.

They appear in countless forms around the modern household, including natural or stitched rugs and wall hangings, fine upholstery, accessories, and accents.

So how does one incorporate natural hides into living or work spaces?

Before using this beautiful and durable material, all one needs is a brief introduction to the historical use of natural hides in 20th century interior design, and an overview of the design considerations one should employ when using natural hides in the home. No other textile, when used correctly, has as profound an impact on interior space as natural hides. For, as Leonardo Da Vinci put it, “man will never find an invention more beautiful or more simple than nature.”

Rawhide Company has a beautiful selection of natural cowhide rugs and cowhide accessories for the home.

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