FLAT’N digitally prints flooring designs that vary in pattern, color and shape
FLAT’N based in Cologne specializes in tailor-made creation carpet designs, using innovative digital printing techniques to achieve individual patterns, color combinations and shapes.
for interior designer sebastian zenker’s studio munich, FLAT’N has created three custom-made rugs in different sizes. photo: © sebastian zenker
not by the meter and not hand-tied either; not carpet art, but definitely unique: if you talk to sascha schiller about her business APARTMENT, something quickly crystallizes that you might not suspect at first glance, but that makes the brand very special: namely, the possibility of virtually unlimited customization – and that even with an order quantity of one.
one of the biggest advantages of the digital carpet printing process: with manageable effort the designs can be adjusted in color before printing and any color artwork can be adjusted
as is so often the case, the idea for the initiative came from his own needs. Schiller is a product designer himself and founded FLAT’N as a private label for his Cologne studio after researching custom flooring for a project. that was in 2014. since then the collection has grown to include many models of rugs. and now the creative spirit behind the brand wants to focus more on contract business in order to exploit the benefits of custom carpet production even more.
the zenker studio logo provided the pattern for the round blue rugs. the largest of the three individual pieces has a diameter of 3.5 meters. photo: © sebastian zenker
Based in Cologne, he envisions his role as designer, consultant and production interface. production takes place in germany and the process used – chromojet printing – guarantees brilliant printing results, for example on high quality woolen pile. depending on the area of application and expected wear, there are more than two dozen material options to choose from as a print medium, from high virgin wool content to particularly tough polyamide. ‘for all carpets, FLAT’N guarantees very high abrasion resistance, because the patterns are not only applied superficially, but rather dyed deep into the support,Schiller points out. After printing on the roll material, the rugs are cut into any shape and adjusted by deformation.
Cologne-based FLAT’N are also happy to adapt the color and size of the rugs from the existing collection on request. photo: © FLAT’N
finely tuned flooring
a benchmark project which only used rectangular formats, but where FLAT’N nonetheless exhausted all the benefits of customization, is the redefined state stud in mecklenburg, northern germany. During the restoration of the landstallmeisterhaus, the stud guesthouse, individual designs were created for each of the 24 different rooms to match the colors of the walls and textiles – each rug is unique. the glides and floor coverings were produced after a building inspection and based on floor plans and color concepts in close collaboration with the designers on site. the entire implementation and production, including delivery and furnishing of the rooms, took only three months. in the case of a production of rugs of a more conventional style, one would certainly speak of much longer lead times and considerably higher costs.
founder and managing director, sascha schiller sees himself as a designer, a consultant and an interface with production. the designs he provides are printed by the chromojet process and then cut to size. photo: © FLAT’N
on the other hand, the furnishings in sebastian zenker’s studio munich are much more manageable. the interior designer approached FLAT’N with a design idea as part of the redesign of his prestigious space. the company logo serves as a motif for the round rugs. three different sized carpets were made for the interior, ranging from about 2.5 to 3.5 meters in diameter – the manufacturer’s roll material allows widths of up to four meters.
but FLAT’N is also quite open to adapting existing carpet models from the collection. in cologne, for example, a private client wanted existing designs from FLAT’N for his loft, which he had set up in a converted industrial hall, entirely according to his personal color concept. FLAT’N then designed the size and color individually and produced the rugs in small batches.
the composition of the print medium depends on the expected wear. 80% wool and 20% polyamide are standard for FLAT’N tufted floors. photo: © FLAT’N
from unique pieces to series
This is probably one of the biggest advantages of the digital carpet printing process over more traditional carpet making crafts: with manageable effort, patterns can be adjusted in color before printing and anywhere. which color illustration can be adjusted to the color system of chromojet presses. last but not least, this saves considerable costs and allows the rugs to impress both as one-offs as well as in series in larger projects.
by subcontracting the actual production to a partner company – in this respect the label, in principle, again hardly differs from conventional carpet weaving – and by also having it delivered directly from the factory, FLAT’N can react flexibly and quickly to different order volumes. schiller takes care of the individual consultation and design in his workshop in cologne, with a surprisingly small team, as he reports.
the chromojet process guarantees brilliant printing results and high abrasion resistance. the colors penetrate deep into the backing material, which is made of high quality felt. photo: © FLAT’N
simply put, APARTMENT is comparable to a printing service provider. the only difference is that you don’t have to deliver your graphic design out of the box, but are groomed every step of the way with expert knowledge and according to your own design ideas – and that’s how ‘it can be simple to bring unique rug designs to life.
simon keane-cowell i architectonic
October 27, 2021