The Straits Collection is The Rug Maker’s contemporary interpretation of Peranakan or Straits Chinese history and culture, inspired by details in the personal effects of its people and their daily activities.
Peranakan objects are known to be ornate and loud, and we have sought to recreate this cultivated art in our high-quality rugs that would stand out in a modern home. With themes ranging from opulent abundance to a love of laid-back pastimes, the Straits Collection is a must-have for lovers of local designer rugs in Singapore.
The first of the collection depicts a traveller’s journey across lands and seas. Driven from his homeland by disasters, economic necessity, and even political disturbance, he eventually leaves his lineage in search of new shores.
The flecked, almost spattered colours represent some of the turbulence of an epic journey, fraught with excitement and incident at every turn. The velvety lines running through the rug are inexorable, however, and propel you relentlessly to a destination.
The early Chinese exodus accepted cultural assimilation with the local inhabitants in order to survive and thrive. When Western colonization arrived, they once again integrated their life with European influence.
Beginnings is composed of a fascinating cross-hatching that has clearly just started to take place. Multiple cultures and colours are in the process of interweaving with each other in this dynamic, intelligent work.
Beginnings II expands on the idea, offering fresh shades and a glimpse of the intermeshing as it goes a few steps further.
In Peranakan batik designs, most plants are depicted as a floral spray – a fruit or flower-bearing stem or branch – symbolizing posterity. Flowers are significant among the Chinese: especially the lotus, which symbolizes purity as its beautiful blossom grows out of muddy water where it is rooted.
If Beginnings showed the start of an interweaving, Entwine shows the finished and refined result. Also available in another set of colours, it’s an ode to Peranakan culture and aesthetics as well as the opulent beauty of nature.
Nyonyas would gather around the table to gossip, chew sireh, or chit chat while playing Cheki, a popular card game originating from Malacca. Cheki was so immensely popular and addictive that many Nyonyas pawned or sold their jewellery just to try their luck at the game.
Today, the Cheki card patterns and colours are still familiar in Peranakan culture. Available in several colour variations drawn from classic Cheki cards, the rug enjoins you to sit back and pass your time with a little idle play.
An outstanding feature of Peranakan culture is the cuisine, which has strong Malay and Indonesian influences. Besides the food, the Peranakan kitchen is also known for their Art Nouveau tiles with designs predominantly based on floral motifs and auspicious Chinese elements.
As is the case with Entwine, Abundance is a work that uses the lushness of floral motifs to portray opulence. The motif is available in a brightly coloured version as well as a more sedate neutral variant - but both are replete with the fullness of design and grandeur.
The two most distinctive decorative motifs found on Nyonya wares are undoubtedly the phoenix and the peony, signifying marriage and fertility.
The phoenix is a symbol of the matriarchal infrastructure of a Peranakan household, representing supreme beauty and grace. The Chinese believe that the phoenix can only be seen in times of order and harmony.
Meanwhile, the peony is the symbol of spring, romance, and beauty. Taken with the phoenix, it communicates a powerful wish for happiness in the household.
If you like our collection, get in touch with us to inquire about any of the rugs above.
You can also contact us to arrange for your own custom rug to be designed and crafted.