Spotlight On: Custom Cool

Quogue, New York

When Custom Cool’s founder, Eliza Gatfield, decided to start producing rugs, it was more than a business decision. As an architect who has also studied fine arts and textiles, Eliza describes her decision to create rugs as a coming home. “It was a perfect synthesis of my skills as a fine artist and an architect,” she explains. A devout Christian, she knew she would never produce rugs using child labor. When she heard about GoodWeave®, she says, “My hair stood on end.” It was the perfect fit with her values.

The company specializes in custom woven and tufted rugs made in India and Nepal. Eliza enjoys the intimacy of working directly with clients "to create something that is exclusively for them. A rug completely defines a space and can change its psychology of the space."

Eliza loves the designs of women from the Bauhaus movement and enjoys updating old patterns and textures. Of late she has been inspired by a century-old pattern called French Vermicular. Her "worm track rug" morphs as she alters the colors and the materials. Most compelling about designing rugs is the possibility to work three dimensionally as in architecture but with the added components of texture and color. "What is fabulous is the complexity of the weaving process, the variety of fibers, how they are woven and how they are dyed." For example, she uses a broad range of materials and weaving techniques, such as combining bleached hemp in loop pile and cut pile next to Chinese silk, on a ground of space-dyed wool. "I like to bring disparate things together," she explains. "The result is incredibly beautiful."

Eliza, who has witnessed horrifying child labor, insists there is another essential element of beauty in any rug. “Woven into any GoodWeave certified rug is human dignity. A client can see that. When human dignity is not an element, the rug is repulsive.” For Eliza, it is not enough to design exquisite rugs for people with privilege. She believes it is incumbent on her to give back. Partnering with the GoodWeave certification program is her way of doing that.

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Learn about Eliza's journey from activist to artist.

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Custom Cool
Quogue, United States
Custom Cool - East Hampton
East Hampton, United States
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