Frequently Asked Questions
How did Tapistelar come about?
I first discovered fique textiles and crafts while living in Colombia, where I moved to in 2017. I immediately saw so many possibilities with this beautiful material. I was excited to experiment, to blend the artisans’ fascinating know-how with my own ideas, so I decided to launch Tapistelar.
How long ago did you start making rugs?
I launched Tapistelar in 2019. My family was part of the textile industry in 15th
century Abruzzo, Italy, so I drew on that heritage and on the inspiring creations of the Colombian artisans to conceive the brand.
How did you meet the artisans you work with?
I went to Colombia on sabbatical when I was 23. I then decided to stay and work for an NGO that focused on supporting the reintegration of guerrilla victims into society by forming agricultural and craft cooperatives. That’s where I met some of the artisans that are now part of the Tapistelar team.
Were the artisans already making rugs when you met them?
Yes, the artisans I work with have been making rugs and other objects with fique fibre for generations. It’s a beautiful craft and skill that is usually passed down in families from one generation to the next. My work with them is very collaborative; I design the rugs in Italy and partner with them to turn those ideas into realities.
Where are the rugs made?
The short answer: in Colombia! The fique is harvested and treated in the mountains of Santander and then, depending on the type of rug, they can be woven in Santander (knotted rugs) or sent off to Bogotá (horizontal loom rugs) where our local artisans work their magic.
Do you have stock?
We don’t work with stock. All our rugs are made to order. We love making custom
pieces for each of our clients, helping them bring their vision for a particular space to life. Also, no stock means less waste. We do have samples in our studio in Rome, though.
What materials do you use?
Most of our rugs are made with a combination of fique and metals (copper, stainless steel and/or brass threads). Fique is a succulent plant native to the Andean regions of Colombia; people there have been using its fibres for centuries to weave all sorts of everyday objects.
Do the metal threads make the rugs itchy?
Not at all. The threads are very thin and soft to the touch.
Do the metal threads get rusty?
No, rusting is not an issue. We treat them with a special patina to make sure they
How visible are the metal fibres? Do they stand out a lot?
The metal fibres are usually more visible under low artificial light; for example, under floor lamps at night. During the day, with natural light, they have a very subtle shine.
Can you make the rugs without metals?
Yes, all our rugs can be made using only fique fibres.
How long and wide can you make the rugs?
Our rugs can be as wide as 450 cm (this is the size of the loom), and there is no limit on length.
Can I have my rug made in any other shape?
Yes! We are happy to accommodate any specific requirements, from circular rugs to other applications like wall coverings, panels, upholstery, etc.
Can you make the border a different colour than the rest of the rug?
Yes! Our rugs are highly customisable, and borders in particular can be adapted to
your taste, because they are hand stitched after the rug itself has been woven on the manual looms.
How long does it take to make one of your rugs?
All rugs are made to order, and our entirely manual production process takes 10
weeks. But they are very much worth the wait, we promise.
When will I get my rug?
Once a rug is ready to ship, it usually takes around 2 weeks for it to reach its new
home. This time frame may vary depending on local customs.
Are the rugs pet friendly?
We recommend horizontal loom rugs for households with pets. In any case, our
clients who own pets have never had problems with the rugs, but it does depend on
each animal and their behaviour.
Will the rug get damaged if I place furniture on it?
No need to worry, fique is a very sturdy material. In fact, it has been long used, and still is today, to make sacks for Colombia’s global coffee export.
Are the rugs slip-resistant?
Yes, the backing on our rugs prevents slipping. Also, the significant weight of the
rugs makes it unlikely that they will slide or move, particularly if large furniture, like
sofas or tables, is placed on them.
How do I clean my Tapistelar rug?
1. Pat the spot dry with a clean cloth.
2. Spray bleach free detergent on the stained area. We recommend Vanish Oxi
Action. Let it work for a few seconds.
3. Gently scrub the stain with a clean towel.
4. Pour some water on the rug and gently rinse off any product residue.
Fique fibres naturally repel liquids, but you will get better results if you treat spills