Rug making is on the rise. The theories behind this textile revival are contradictory—for example, some credit TikTok for spreading timelapse videos of the mesmerizing craft; others think it’s a direct rejection of the digital world—a radical embrace of hands-on, screen-free creativity. Any way you weave it, tufting is trendy.

Tuft Love: Vancouver-based Matt Hanns Schroeter crafts all of his rugs by hand. The process is much slower than making digital art (another practice of his), but bold and beautiful results prove that it’s a rewarding grind. Photo by Denis Gutiérrez-Ogrinc

But for Vancouver artist Matt Hanns Schroeter, making rugs is an outlet for self-expression. “A lot of my work deals with intersectionality, and how identity changes over time,” he shares. For his colourful, organic projects, Schroeter turns to the great outdoors for visual inspiration: patterns in nature, such as cascading ocean waves, influence his designs. His hand-tufted Ripple rugs, for example, feature curvy, interlocking shapes. Each one is made from slightly different materials, resulting in a unique texture and colour palette in every rug.

Photo by Denis Gutiérrez-Ogrinc

Making rugs is generally a solo initiative, but in the last year, Schroeter has collaborated with The North Face (on a one-of-a-kind fuzzy duffle bag, of course) to celebrate Pride, and worked with The Wood Innovation Group (TWIG) to create a reclaimed wood bench for Vancouver’s Interior Design Show. Schroeter has a background in graphic design, which translates beautifully into his tactile creations. “This is a way to bring my shapes into a 3D world—making something that you can touch and play with and feel,” he says.

Photo by Denis Gutiérrez-Ogrinc

This story was originally published in the October 2023 issue of Western Living magazine.