STÜSSY BOUCHEROUITE T-SHIRT RUGS
08 / 31 / 2021
Stüssy’s home base has been situated on Daimler Street in Irvine, California, since the 1980s. Over the years, multitudes of imperfect graphic and pigment dyed tees began to reside in the warehouses. A handful of t-shirts become ripped through the manufacturing process, stained, or marked with some other error, leaving them unable to be sold. An accumulation like this for decades creates a mass of passive fabric. This project tries to resolve this stagnancy, working through manufacturer imperfections and material stand-stills, circulating an ecosystem of fabric.
T-shirts were first sourced from Stussy’s warehouses in Irvine, California. Roughly 300 kilograms of graphic and pigment-dyed tees from seasons past are gathered in preparation for weaving. To make ready for rug- weaving, t-shirts are cut vertically into strips no longer than a couple of inches in width. This becomes the base material for weavers to begin rug construction.
Situated at the top of the main street that runs through the heart of the town is Ain Leuh Women’s Co-op, home to the Women’s Weaving Cooperative since its inception in 1977. The cooperative has about twenty active weavers and for many, the craft is the primary source of income for their families. There are three small buildings that house vertical looms used for rug weaving and horizontal looms used for weaving textiles such as blankets.
The cooperative is completely self sufficient and does not receive any government funding. Income for the cooperative is funded through the sale of handwoven items such as rugs, blankets and cushions.
Out of an appreciation for the free-form style synonymous with Boucherouite rugs, the t-shirt remnants were woven in a nature that would leave room for the weaver’s imagination. Painterly gestures, Californian landscapes, surfboards, and vintage Moroccan carpets were used as an inspirational springboards. The weavers rely only on a few tools for rugmaking; the loom, a pair of clippers, and a comb to keep fabric knots snug to one another.
To commemorate the inaugural launch and beginning of an ongoing partnership with Artisan Project, Stüssy has created a zine to showcase the weavers, stories, materials, and landscapes that made this project possible.
30 unique t-shirt rugs will be available exclusively on Stussy.com and regional sites on September 3rd at 10am local time.
Special thanks to Nina Mohammad-Galbert/Artisan Project and the weavers at the Ain Leuh Women’s Weaving Cooperative.
Art Direction: Antosh Cimoszko
Writing and Photography: Nina Mohammad-Galbert/Artisan Project
Studio Photography: Michael Bala