New Zealand is widely known for there slogan of “Pure New Zealand” and this isn’t just due to its abundance of nature but also the processes of how they treat the growth and harvest of raw materials.
Therefore if you combine the purity of nature with a sustainable manufacturing process you are left with materials that will continue for the next generations… Which we what United Strangers does best.
We needed a material that could meet all sustainable protocols and one that was at least 48cm in diameter, so when reviewing most materials, New Zealand Pine was a material that ticked all the boxes and helps that our owner is from New Zealand.
We import large logs in their raw form, which ranges from 4-10m long, and from there we review each log and decide which piece is suitable for each specific product in our range based on diameter, knots and grains (wastage which is probably the most important job in the process)..
Once this is complete we dry the wood to decrease the moisture, this can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 5 weeks pending on the original moisture levels.
Secondly, from there, we start to process it, as our aim is to keep it as a solid piece with no joins..
Then the wood prepared for CNC-controlled cutting into its different forms.
Finally, once the CNC cutting is completed we then hand sand it and apply different finishes.
With high-quality natural materials, it’s important to work with the material as opposed to force it to do something it doesn’t want to do, so the CNC process is actually quite natural for cutting the wood as it’s following its naturally rounded shapes.
One main challenge we have had is that the wood is a soft wood and we export to 16 different countries so each countries home environment is different, different seasons, dry and humid spaces, and ensuring the wood stays stable across the world can be challenging.. Therefore feel free to reach out to us & we can advise which wood is best suited for your home environment.
The inspiration was taken from the raw log itself, we tend to focus on raw materials at United Strangers and this means if we are efficient with these materials then our final product price point to the marketplace is controlled.
So once we selected the sizing from the raw logs we then sketched a series of forms and began testing these with the CNC machine.
Each carpet looks like it is machine made but actually its created by hand, we have what looks like a machine gun but its loaded with different wool and fibres, we use this wool gun to punch the needle through a PVC layer and insert the wool strand, we can create any design and colourway with this technique and it really is art under your feet.
We feel that our carpets get overlooked as our furniture is quite dominant and tend to steal the limelight off the other areas in the room. From when we started United Strangers we have been growing a steady collection of carpet designs and it was only recently when we looked and felt it needed some more attention as we feel it’s quite impressive.
The carpets tend to be done on the back of the concept for the year, we start with the furniture and once the items have hit the sampling stage we then move on to the carpets but they are all created at the same time, so you are never entirely sure how its going to turn out but we tend to find a home for all of them and they also tend to lead us in different directions as well which we like.