The Nodus Project: 60 Fair Trade Designer Rugs & That New Carpet Smell

The nodus Project

Nodus is a craft workshop of experimentation with a cultural plan. Reviving the oldest wisdom and knowledge in the art of carpet design, Nodus reinterprets the area rug by using the vision of the most innovate designers and architects, producing only unique pieces.

The Nodus Project

above: detail of Dark Flower, designed by Massimo Gardone

above: detail of Carpet Ali, designed by Italo Rota e Alessandro Pedretti

For the Nodus Project, the Italian interior design company, Il Piccolo, selected the best carpet manufacturers from six countries of the world (Nepal, Pakistan, India, Turkmenistan, China and Turkey) visiting them one by one, verifying material, technique, expert craftsmen and ethical production. Each carpet from Nodus is a unique piece, made by hand every step of the way.

These unique works of art were exhibited in the Il Piccolo showroom during the “Salone del mobile” in Milan last April. The Nodus carpets were to be admired for 3 weeks with a menu that changed weekly.

The Nodus Project gathered the enthusiasm and support from some of the most respected and well-known Italian and foreign designers. Among them: Bartoli Design – Fabio Bortolani, Italo Rota and Alessandro Pedretti, Alberto Artesiani, Matteo Thun e Antonio Rodriguez, Luca Nichetto, Massimo Gardone, Palomba and Serafini Associati, Donata Paruccini, Antonella Negri, Massimo Iosa Ghini, Matilde Alessandra , Pietro De Rossi, Enrico Franzolini, Francesco Lucchese, Gianfranco Fenizia, Peter Rankin, Smanks Design and James Irvine.

The result is a collection of 60 carpets that outline a new horizon of shapes and colors, that unhinges borders and go beyond simple functionality. The unusual collection of carpets incorporate dynamic and organic forms, various plays on old patterns and colors, and inspiration from contemporary and everyday products such as fabrics, tablecloths, books and maps.

All 60 are fabulous, but here are a few of my favorites:

Peter Rankin
above: designed by Peter Rankin
Francesco Lucchese
above: designed by Francesco Lucchese
Matteo Thun e Antonio Rodriguez
above: designed by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez
Antonella Negri
above: designed by Antonella Negri
Bartoli Design
above: designed by Bartoli Design
James Irvine
above: designed by James Irvine
Alberto Artesani
above: designed by Alberto Artesani
Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez
above: designed by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez
The ones below are different carpets that actually “tie” together:

detail of how the small carpets above tie to one another:
Luca Nichetto
above: designed by Luca Nichetto
Pietro Derossi
above: designed by Pietro Derossi
Antonella Negri
above: designed by Antonella Negri
Alberto Artesani for Nodus
above: designed by Alberto Artesani

above: designed by Matteo Thun e Antonio Rodriguez

The carpet below is designed to have a portion leaning up against the wall:
Luca Nichetto
above: designed by Luca Nichetto

above: designed by Antonella Negri
City Up Milano by Peter Rankin
above: City Up Milano by Peter Rankin

Most of the 60 rugs are available to customize and purchase. The site’s customization process is so much fun, you may just want to play on it. Simply choose from their styles, then a screen like the one shown below appears. On the right is a line art drawing of the chosen rug and on the left is a color palette upon which you can click to see that style rug in your color choice:

above: rug shown in customization screen is City Up Milano

Next, you choose the shape, the size and finally whether or not you want 100% wool, 100% silk or a combination of the two. Note: For obvious reasons, some of the shapes and colors can not be customized.


Whether you purchase or only appreciate the quality of a piece from Nodus, you can be assured that the carpet has been produced with the utmost respect, first and foremost for human rights, and the right to good working conditions and fair compensation.

Their partner in Nepal for the carpets weaving adheres to the “RUGMARK” association. This way, they are sure and can reassure their clients and customers that their products are made with the utmost respect of human rights and a complete transparency of the productive chain.

The guarantee is from Rugmark, the international foundation that for 14 years has been working to end the exploitation of child labor, and rigorously inspects the manufacturing process every 3 months. For more information visit

That New Carpet Smell:
A weird co-branded item? Maybe, but Nodus also has a fragrance. And no, it doesn’t smell like new carpet… read on.

Nodus room fragrance

In their words:
Nodus as sensory experience. We have created carpets that are recognized without being seen and remember the good feelings by creating a relaxing atmosphere.

“Nothing in the world of great has been done without passion” –Hegel

Olfactory Notes
Composition and fresh aromas spiked with touches of eucalyptus and cypress in the note head. The sparkling agreement of juniper berries that characterizes the note body, evokes the scents of the Mediterranean scrub. The ground slightly amber induces a relaxing atmosphere.

Pagan culture in the juniper was considered a protective element, and then to transfer the element of home and of living in harmony with your space. Even in the north to go east to Russia and south in the Middle East it was believed that juniper had magical and protective properties for the home.
Buy the Nodus Scent here.

Purchase or see all 60 rugs here.
Choose your rug and start customizing it here.