At the heart of Trapos & Fiapos’ success are the traditional wooden handlooms, the local fibers of Cattail and Buriti, a talented founder with a vision and a dedicated team of artisans.
Trapos & Fiapos was created in 1984 by a local country doctor, Teresa de Melo, as a humanitarian project. After her graduation as an MD, Tereza returned to her community, in the town of Santa Rita in the Northeast of Brazil and realized that most of the youth was looking for work opportunities far from the region, creating an exodus of the youngest generation away from their town.
In order to keep the community together she had an idea to bring back to the region their ancestral art of rug weaving. She acquired some second-hand looms and started Trapos with the help of local artisans. Since the looms were originally for hammocks weaving Teresa had to go around this challenge and adapt them to rug weaving. What emerged was an extremely creative production method resulting in an exquisite concept of hand loomed tapestry. What started as a very small project grew exponentially. The look and feel of these rugs are quite unique, with nothing similar anywhere else in the world.
With a strong focus on sustainability, Teresa de Melo decided to work with the natural fiber of TABOA (cattail), an underappreciated fiber abundant in the area. Trapos & Fiapos control the whole process from the carefully cattail harvest to the drying and fiber preparation for weaving. After that, the cattail can be mixed with cotton, goat leather, buriti or any other local fiber which gives the designs a distinguished original flavor.
Teresa’s mission is to redefine materials, to be aligned with nature and to offer a product with essence, truth and an original design but, most importantly, with a humanitarian goal to keep her community and the future generations of artisans together. Each artisan has a say on the projects, they participate in the company’s profits and are recognized for their talents and the many hours spent on each rug!!
All rugs can be customized to your size, patterns and colors.