A trip to Thailand, an encounter with the art of weaving and the weave of their life project takes shape. The Reggini, Daniele Morabito and Simona Scollica, a couple in life and in work, have shaped their professional vision, knot by knot, having created a successful production company, not only domestically, but also abroad. It’s called Karpeta, their first creation, born from the desire to transform the carpet from a simple complimentary piece of decor to a new experiential language capable of combining craftsmanship, wisdom of the workshop, innovation of materials and original design.
Ten years after their inception, the Milan Fuorisalone 2016 credits the tenacity of Reggian couple that has been able to start from the bottom, get into the game and find their own way.
We met Daniele and Simona at their company, to talk about their creation and future plans.
Karpeta is now a reality recognized in the world of young design companies, but how did it come about, the start up? To be a company made in Reggio Calabria, what does it mean?
We can say that what characterizes us and has always distinguished us is stubbornness – Simona answers with a look between pleased and puzzled. Puzzled when thinking about the many difficulties that working from Calabria entails. When we decided to embark on this adventure, in love with the art of weaving, the beauty of being able to create from nothing , something of our own, we didn’t know what to expect. It isn’t easy, for example, to find funding for young companies that start from scratch! We were lucky, but it’s not always the case. On our first collection we were only three: we developed everything ourselves, from the choice of the design to development of the prototype to production control. We had nothing! Then slowly we have structured a sales network, and off we went …
Why the decision to produce in India? Doesn’t Calabria have an ancient tradition of weaving?
Yes exactly, very ancient – they respond in unison. We would like to take advantage of the Calabrian technique and we tried this in the beginning, but we could not find really anyone prepared to make the upgrade … you cannot just stay immobile. In 2016 it’s necessary to adapt the end products to the new aesthetic requirements. Creating a “made in Italy” product still remains one of our goals. At the moment, Italy doesn’t produce anything in the category of carpets.
I’m studying this – Simona confesses. To understand the carpet, you must learn to look at it from the inside. Each twist if fiber is a source of inspiration. To understand this art more completely, I’m taking lessons from an 84 year old lady who lives in Milan and has great knowledge about the culture of the carpet. It is a necessary step. This allowed us, for example, switch from tufted carpets to those that are hand-woven with natural fibers. I’d bet on natural fibers.
You mentioned the fibers. I know that in your background there is the constant search for new materials … if I am one of your carpet is made from bicycle inner tubes?
Yes, exactly – now it’s Daniele’s time to respond – The carpet is called Rubber Tube and represents our bet on the environment: we have decided to combine the design philosophy of minimal environmental impact and recovery. Working with raw materials is our best bet – adds Simona – for example we have created a rug from hemp. It was very satisfying, she says, showing me the carpet – it was created on a vertical frame and rolled up manually … she shows me the weave from within (giving a sensation that from the look, it spreads to the touch and in a jiffy you understand design work and construction behind it).
We’d like to make other type of rugs made of hemp, we are trying to activate synergies in the area, to be able to find a high quality raw materials. We also considered Genisteae, but the process is too long … and sheep wool … so we are open and predisposed, but the difficulty finding people/companies willing to get involved with us, to try to create new products beginning with raw materials from our own land. I’m thinking – says Simona – of also creating a training course here. We would really like to create a completely Italian product.
To speak of you as a simple carpet company at this point seems reductive. It seems to me that the fiber of your products are your ideas!
Our philosophy: to believe in what we are doing and wanting each of our products to not respond simply to fashion, but to transmit an emotion that has a deeper meaning. Our ideas come first! – Simona is tenacious. It’s how, for example, Kleos came about: it is not just simply the rugs, but our commitment to the next. Kleos is the name of the only Calabrian wheelchair basketball team, a team that came to compete at the national level, in series B, overcoming many barriers. Karpeta and Kleos are united in this message through a symbolic weave of the Ks.
Karpeta is also the strength of a team. Simona and Daniel did not forget their employees Beatrice Barilla and Pietro Fortugno and the young, talented designers that help them realize their projects. From Calabria to Milan, there are many talents that have endorsed the Karpeta creations, but Daniele addresses all the creative Calabrians who want to bring the company their own creative projects, “We are open to new ideas.”
Meanwhile, Daniel doesn’t stop there, together with the entrepreneur Dario Pulitanò they are creating a new production made in Calabria: Texturae, a new brand of designer wallpaper, completely Italian, that under the leadership of art director Serena Confalonieri realizes new artistic expression and design in which the aesthetic project meets the most advanced technology. All produced and printed in Reggio Calabria.
This is the Calabria of ideas that we love to talk about!