Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Rubelli and "The Walls of Venice"
Rubelli, the venerable Italian textile company, has long been known for its sumptuous fabrics that are synonymous with Italian luxury. (Remember how Chuck Chewning, Creative Director of Donghia, recently used those gorgeous Rubelli fabrics in the refurbishment of the Gritti Palace?) But what you might not know is that Rubelli has recently introduced a new wallpaper collection called "The Walls of Venice".
What is notable about this new collection is that the wallpapers are reproductions of some of Rubelli's most storied fabrics, including their "San Marcos" damask and "Vendramino" silk. By using the latest technology, Rubelli has been able to duplicate the look of these fabrics onto sturdy, washable wallcoverings, which give the illusion of being made of fabric. So, a wallcovering might appear to have the sheen of its silk fabric counterpart or the texture and depth of the cut-velvet textile which inspired it. In a way, it's kind of like trompe l'oeil wallpaper. And by reproducing these mostly traditional fabrics onto wallcoverings, Rubelli has managed to make damask, for example, look thoroughly modern, something which is no easy feat.
I think it's exciting, not to mention reassuring, to see a veteran textile firm producing innovative fabrics and wallcoverings for the twenty-first century consumer. I believe that in a design industry that has unfortunately been turned upside over the past decade, such innovation will allow Rubelli to remain a viable company for years to come.
Take a look below at just some of the papers in the new collection. Scattered among the wallcovering photos are a few photos of fabrics that I scanned from the visually enticing book, Rubelli: A Story of Silk in Venice. (These fabric photos, which lack captions, are not part of the new wallpaper collection.) I think you'll get a sense of both Rubelli's old and new ways.
P.S.- The names of the wallcoverings are the same as those of the corresponding fabrics except that the word "wall" has been added to them.
Zecchinetta Wall from The Walls of Venice collection
Vendramin Wall from The Walls of Venice collection
Principessa Kocacin Wall from The Walls of Venice collection
Chiaroscuro Wall from The Walls of Venice collection
Superwong Wall from The Walls of Venice collection