An eyecatching e-cache of bright and bold rugs

Textile artist Ptolemy Mann brings abstract, painterly panache to floors

Wool Red Charcoal Gelim flatweave rug, 240x170cm, from £995
Wool Red Charcoal Gelim flatweave rug, 240x170cm, from £995

It’s said that a website’s landing page must grab visitors’ attention within three seconds to avoid losing them to a more arresting rival. Sussex-based contemporary textile designer Ptolemy Mann appears to have taken this modern maxim to heart when creating her new e-store of eye-catching rugs, which urges browsers to explore with its initial pop of spirit-lifting colour. 

Wool Scarpa Gelim flatweave rug, 240x170cm, from £1,200
Wool Scarpa Gelim flatweave rug, 240x170cm, from £1,200
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Mann has been working as a textile artist since 1997, creating wall-mounted artworks, bespoke rugs, fabrics, cushions, bedlinen and throws, but her dedicated rug business is a new, more commercial enterprise. Featuring handknotted rugs made in collaboration with Hertfordshire-based manufacturer Rugmaker, and flatweaves handmade by craftspeople in India, the vibrant designs explore her self-confessed “obsession” with the transition of one colour to another. In her Tonal Lemon Grey Flatweave Runner (from £425; 75cm x 240cm), for example, a series of floating rectangles merge one into another producing an intriguing ombré effect.

Wool Tonal Lemon Grey flatweave runner, 75x240cm, from £425
Wool Tonal Lemon Grey flatweave runner, 75x240cm, from £425
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The majority of her designs are flatweaves, which are woven with a single colour weft fibre across a sturdy cotton warp in either a geometric or plain design, but for me Mann’s colour blending really comes into its own in her Gelim rugs. This northern Iranian version of flatweaving uses a weft that is dip-dyed across the width of the rug to create a gently grading blend of colours – a technique that, combined with Mann’s contemporary aesthetic, results in delicate yet geometric designs such as Scarpa (from £1,200; 240cm x 170cm), inspired by Italian architect Carlo Scarpa, and Red Charcoal (from £995; 240cm x 170cm), its deep crimson centre slowly bleeding into grey. “I think of these rugs as works of art for the floor,” says Mann. They also happen to be conveniently available in a range of standard and custom sizes at the click of a button. 

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