The Rugs — Billie
To mark the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Max Huber, Poltrona Frau pays homage to the famous Swiss artist and graphic designer with Billie and Dizzy, a collection of rugs based on drawings of two unproduced works taken from the archive and dating respectively to 1936 and 1947.
The Billie rug is named after Billie Holiday, one of the most beautiful and soulful jazz voices of the early 20th century. A tribute to a genre of music much loved by the artist and a passion that influenced his work. As well as his famous works for Esselunga, La Rinascente, Coin, Rai and Montecatini, during his career Max Huber carried out lots of projects connected with this form of music, such as “Ritmo” magazine in 1950 and “Jazztime” in 1952, the cover of jazz encyclopaedia “Messaggerie Musicali” in 1952, and the poster for the “Jazz Chiasso weeks” festival of 1985.
Billie has a rigorous, almost constructivist design that takes up most of the surface of the rug. The graphic is seemingly straightforward, consisting of a few elements highly calibrated in every single detail. Just two graphics on a neutral background: one an intense red, formed by a circle and a vertical line, and the other in anthracite coal grey and made up of two perpendicular lines. The result is a rug with strong formal balance and notable visual impact. In order to respect the original project and proportions, Billie is available in just one size, 250X350 cm, and one colour variant. It is refined with a hand-stitched woollen trim on all four sides.
The Billie rug is entirely handmade on wooden looms using the Tibetan knot technique. Its knots are very dense, 70,000 per m2, to create a very compact and soft surface. It is 50% wool and 50% linen, carefully selected natural fibres that give the rug a velvety and slightly glossy appearance with chiaroscuro and different colour effects depending on your angle of perspective.
The Billie rug is distinctive for the saddle-leather label hand-sewn on the back stamped with the Poltrona Frau logo. To keep the corners rigid, two strips of fabric are sewn onto the back of the rug and embroidered with Max Huber’s signature.