Little Field of Flowers: Die Cutting
As Boontje’s signature style is often associated with cutouts, Marquina’s solution was a good fit. Sheets of felt from Rajasthan go into a die cutter, which is essentially a combination of a waffle iron and a cookie cutter. An iron press cuts outlines into shapes. Using Boontje’s designs, the team at Nanimarquina created six flower combinations for the process, connecting a large blossom to a small one with a narrow stem that is then attached to the rug. The team had to simplify some of the flowers’ intricacies to keep the corners clean and resilient. Die cutting takes place at SPN Carpets in Panipat, an industrial town and weaving hub on the massive outskirts of Delhi. “We outsource the die–there are lots of die manufacturers in Delhi,” says Tony Mittal, the factory owner. “The machine is about the size of a washing machine. After we press the flowers, we remove them from the machine by hand. Occasionally we find that the edges are no longer crisp, at which point we replace the die.”
These are the dies that SPN uses to cut the felt flowers for Nanimarquina. The dies are placed in an iron press and work much like cookie-cutters–cleanly slicing the patterns from the felt. When the dies no longer provide crisp cuts, they are replaced.