Cover Pinton at the St James Paris luxury hotel. Photo: St James Paris

Featured in the new Tatler House in Hong Kong, the brand uses a rare, centuries-old hand-woven technique to create dazzling rugs and carpets

French tapestry brand Pinton 1867, which launched in Hong Kong at the end of 2021, is a fifth-generation family business that dates back more than 150 years. It specialises in bespoke rugs and carpets, using the centuries-old Aubusson tapestry technique that originally emerged in its namesake town and surrounding areas in the Creuse region of central France. The craft calls for manual weaving, conducted on a loom that is positioned horizontally and created on the reverse side of a tapestry, using hand-dyed yarns. In 2009, the technique was listed by Unesco as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and Pinton is one of the few manufacturers in the present day that still uses the technique.

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Despite its commitment to keeping this traditional craft alive, Pinton prides itself on pushing boundaries. The brand runs a workshop dubbed Studio Lab, which brings together a team of creatives and design and textile researchers to create innovative, exclusive new collections. It also documents techniques mastered at Pinton to develop a library of materials for research, with the goal of enriching the craft and future creations.

This year, Tatler Hong Kong unveiled a new Tatler House, located at Pacific Place Apartments in Admiralty—and several stunning pieces created by Pinton now form part of its brand-new decor. Here, Douglas Azar, Pinton’s managing director, Asia, tells us about the storied brand, launching in Hong Kong and its collaborations with top creatives.

How does Pinton bring to life the art of Aubusson tapestry?

At Pinton, we thrive on innovation, and give new meaning to this traditional art. We are constantly looking for the next gems when it comes to designers or artists to collaborate with. With our Studio Lab, we also explore combinations of materials that drive design and innovation to a different level. We are unique in that we add metal, leather or even wood to our rug collections.

Why did Pinton set up its Asia subsidiary in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong was the place of choice for many reasons, such as the dynamic designer community, the vibrant art life as well as its proximity to mainland China.

What makes Pinton unique in the Hong Kong and Asian market?

The unique metal-insert techniques that we use in our haute couture collection rugs, and the fact that we are one of the few manufacturers to master the Aubusson tapestry. Our Studio Lab is always reinventing the concept of materials and space. We are also committed to sustainability via various initiatives.

What can you tell us about the long-standing collaborations Pinton has had with designers and artists? 

We collaborate with the most talented designers around the world.

For the Aubusson tapestries, we have worked with the most iconic artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Fernand Leger and Le Corbusier, to name a few, have all come to our mill to have their tapestries woven. We collaborated with [Colombian artist] Fernando Botero for a gigantic tapestry now exhibited at the El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá, as well as with [Lebanese American poet] Etel Adan, for whom we have woven more than 50 tapestries. We will be unveiling a unique tapestry of [British artist] Glenn Brown.

Tell us about the Pinton pieces featured at Tatler House. 

In the Salon, a very colourful piece from the designer Alexandra Roussopoulos hangs on the wall; there is also a unique rug from Alix Waline. Meanwhile, an iconic piece from our Studio Lab encompassing 14 different techniques and materials [is positioned on the wall in the Dining Room].

What projects have you worked on in Hong Kong so far?

We have been privileged to work on high-end residential projects in Deep Water Bay, Redhill and the Mid-Levels. In the hospitality sector, we recently made a Jacquard tapestry [made using the Jacquard technique of pattern weaving] for a new restaurant, The Magistracy Dining Room, at Tai Kwun. We collaborated with Dior and Cartier on bespoke rugs.

Read more: Home Tour: A Calming and Artistic Villa in Hong Kong’s Deep Water Bay

Do you have any new collections coming up that you can tell us more about? 

We are constantly exploring new themes. We recently launched a full collection featuring tapestry, rugs and fabrics with the [Paris-based] star designer Pierre Gonalons. We are now exploring collaborations with designers and artists in this part of the world, who embrace unique craftsmanship with an Asian influence.

What are your tips on elevating a living space with tapestry? 

Each space is unique and possesses its own vibe. We believe that walls in homes are under-exploited. The vibration and texture aspects of rugs and tapestries bring new dimensions to spaces.

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