To truly find out about a brand and it’s products, you need to experience their service and as we’re all about interiors here, you need to live with it too to understand how you live with the product. In a true collaboration, Crucial Trading invited me on their client journey. From showroom, to workshop and my own home.
Crucial Trading make bespoke rugs to the interior design trade and retail a selection of rugs through the major retail channels. They are all about natural materials, wool, sisal, sisool (a blend of wool and sisal), seagrass, coir and jute. Crucial Trading understand these materials and the best way of blending and putting them together to create rugs that are beautiful, but also functional.
Crucial Trading Showroom
Starting off at the Lots Road showroom, I met with Rafael Cisek, Showroom Manager, and Hugo Rawlins, the PR for Crucial Trading, and together they introduced me to the brand. There are hundreds of samples to choose from, and numerous boxes of trims and finishes to help you make a rug that truly works in your design scheme.
Rafael was very helpful and explained the materials in detail as well as pulling out larger samples of the swatches that I liked (see below). He also demonstrated the different finishes I could have, plain, with a trim and leather border, or just a leather border on its own.
Crucial Trading have made a sizeable investment in technology, a lot of it behind the scenes that you’ll never get to see (their sampling management is truly impressive), but some of it you do see. Like this large screen in their showroom. It helps you visualise your selected samples on a larger scale, playing with colour and finishes. It’s not the real thing of course, but when playing with little swatches, it’s hard to imagine what it will look like on a large scale, the screen bridges that gap quite nicely.
Crucial Trading Workshop
After placing my order at the showroom with Rafael and letting him have my exact measurements, I was invited to the workshop to see my rug being made.
But first, I was given a tour of the very impressive sampling department. When you log onto the Crucial Trading website and browse the materials, you’re able to order samples. The smart team at Crucial Trading know that this is often the first interaction with their business, so they know how important it is that you receive your samples quickly. Customer service is a priority and this led them to going one step further, and that is to ensure that your samples arrive in a beautiful box, so you feel as if you’ve received a gift. I love that sort of attention to detail.
Hand Making a Bespoke Rug at Crucial Trading
Watching my rug being made was a real treat, from being measured, cut and sewn together, I was shown each step in the process. It’s all very hands on, and each person involved is highly skilled and experienced. Craftsmanship and quality is on everyone’s minds while creating each rug.
The border being hand sewn onto the rug. That large white work surface that is punctured with all those holes is another fantastic machine. Air is forced up through each of those holes and it means that the rug floats on top of an air cushion, making it very easy to move it about.
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? The answer is no. But I’m always willing to try something new. Here I am below receiving instructions on how to sew a leather border onto a rug. Luckily this wasn’t my own rug, but just a swatch. Note the concentration in picture 1 and the trepidation in picture 2 – those machines are quite scary!
As I said above, each rug is hand finished and here they are adding the Crucial Trading label and hand folding the leather border onto my rug.
Crucial Trading Rug at Home
Receiving the rug at home was an absolute pleasure, I wasn’t at home (Am I ever?) when the delivery arrived, but a quick phone call and it was left in a safe place. I was very excited to get home to see the final product in my space.
I’ve just moved and I’ve taken the opportunity to completely redesign the way that I live and the pieces that I live with. I’m thrilled that this rug will be one of the main focal points in my living room.
I’m exploring using natural materials in earthy tones here in my London home. In South Africa, this is common practice, and my homes in SA have always been a celebration of earthy natural materials. I bought this Rattan chair a couple of weeks ago as a filler chair for a space in my living room while I decide what I want in its place, but actually, I’ve come to love it and it works so well with my Crucial Trading rug. What do you think?
And here’s a wider view of my living room. Not bad for having been in this space for only 2 weeks and 1 of those weeks in Milan. There’s still such a lot to do. I’m on the lookout for a vintage desk and a marble coffee table, oh, and a plant pot for my new plant that I picked up yesterday.
The rug looks amazing and it feels amazing underfoot too. The leather border makes it look very elegant and adds a bit of sheen and reflection to the space. I don’t like to gush, but Crucial Trading have really impressed me with their service and product.
Visit the website to find out more about Crucial Trading.