Chilewich Contract Through the Years


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New foundations.

The beauty, durability, and cleanability of our textiles make them a perfect fit for commercial spaces, so we take the plunge, diving into the development of design solutions that will thrive in workplaces, hospitality environments, healthcare facilities, retail spaces, and beyond. We engineer a robust backing system and launch Chilewich Contract with rolled goods for wall-to-wall use. 

Our first fan?
An American design powerhouse.

Word travels fast in the design world. We’re still putting the finishing touches on our first product when Herman Miller seeks us out to provide flooring for its showroom at NeoCon, the most important event of the year for the commercial design industry. It’s the first customer and first order of our dreams and a vote of confidence from a globally recognized leader in design.

An award-winning debut.

We make our big debut at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in our hometown of New York City, introducing Chilewich Contract to architects, designers, editors, buyers, and developers from around the world. Our flooring takes home the coveted Editor’s Award. 

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Gaining speed at the
International Auto Show.

In our first installation outside of the United States, French automaker Renault features our flooring as part of its dazzling stand at the annual Geneva International Motor Show, where top manufacturers unveil their latest releases.

Tiles for miles.

Now that we’re on a roll, we explore new forms of flooring. The versatility and elegance of the square lead us to introduce 18-inch tiles. Cutting our tiles and rolls from the same textile product, with a uniform texture and height, makes for easy mixing and matching, and if an installed tile becomes damaged, replacement is fast and easy.

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Setting down roots in Georgia.

It’s time for a hub of our own. We open our first distribution facility at the heart of the American carpet industry, in north Georgia, a region with a rich heritage in textiles that includes cotton mills and thread and hosiery mills as well as tufted textiles.

Getting down to business.

Our hardworking textiles prove irresistible to workplaces, and we complete our first major office installation. Chilewich flooring brings beauty and durability to the Chicago offices of Doblin, the human-centered design and innovation practice of Deloitte.

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From woven to tufted.

Our TerraStrand yarns prove ideal for tufting. Instead of starting with a warp and making the weft using the loom, a tufted rug starts with a foundation layer. We choose a base of sturdy vinyl and create our first Shag floor mat. With the sturdiness of an all-weather doormat and the plush good looks of a rug, our Shag mats are a welcome addition to any space, indoors or out. 

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No more crying over spilled Frappuccinos.

The refined look and unrivalled cleanability of our flooring leads Starbucks to choose Basketweave tiles for their stores throughout the Midwest. The weave’s distinctive texture and warm neutral hues align with the coffee giant’s focus on making each store a truly welcoming space: a “third place” environment at which to gather to share great coffee and deepen human connection.

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Reinventing the rug.

One size does not fit all, so we begin to make custom rugs at our Georgia facility. Combining an easy-to-clean woven surface with a flexible backing, they offer enhanced slip resistance and durability as well as increased comfort underfoot. Self-bound edges complete the streamlined look.

Yes, we do windows.

With their resistance to UV light and varying degrees of translucence, our distinctively textured textiles excel as window coverings. This launch is a prelude to our successful partnership with The Shade Store, which will debut two years later.

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Bonjour, hola, hallo, and ciao to the EU.

Our international expansion accelerates with the opening of sales operations in the European Union, allowing us to introduce our design solutions to new audiences in new ways.

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Our first patent.

Patent no longer pending. Our hard work and creativity in re-engineering our floor tiles is recognized with U.S. Patent 7,326,661. 

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A fabulous new home in Georgia.

As our operations continue to expand, we move into a 130,000-square-foot facility in Chatsworth, Georgia. The additional space allows us to explore new processes and products, conduct rigorous material testing, and prepare our products for shipment to more than 100 countries.

Gaining admission to the Ivy League.

Our flooring is accepted at Yale, where it is installed at Kroon Hall, the university’s greenest building to date. Designed by Hopkins Architects and Centerbrook Architects, the LEED Platinum-certified building features our Bouclé flooring, which is Green Label Plus certified. 

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From warehouse to factory.

To bring the manufacturing of our flooring in-house, we develop a lamination line, building a massive lamination machine at our Georgia facility.

A stylish arrival in Dubai.

Nestled in the iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s first Armani Hotel opens, with Chilewich flooring and a ribbon-cutting ceremony by fashion maestro Giorgio Armani and Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties. Every aspect of the hotel’s design and service offerings was designed and planned by Armani himself, from the bespoke furnishings to restaurant menus and in-room amenities.

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Even more miles of tiles.

With in-house manufacturing of rolls in place, we bring tile production into our Georgia factory, building the machines necessary to power all steps of the tile-making process. 

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A better backing.

After much development, refinement, and testing, we introduce BioFelt: our innovative recycled felt backing that features an integrated moisture barrier. This composite system provides cushioning underfoot and waterproof protection from spills and stains, making it easier to clean and quicker to dry. Available in tiles and rolls, BioFelt is composed of more than 27% post-consumer content.

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Sustainability strides.

We proudly unveil TerraStrand and discontinue all use of the petroleum-based plasticizers that are typically used to soften extruded yarns. Our TerraStrand yarns are made in the USA and contain a minimum of 18% renewable vegetable content. To keep them soft and pliable, we use a compound derived from soybeans rather than petroleum, which results in a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases compared to traditional plasticizers. ⁣The result: ultra-durable, easy-to-clean products that are better for people and the planet.

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A store of our own.

The expanding world of Chilewich comes to life in our first retail location, located in New York’s Flatiron District. Designed by De-Spec, the store is an immersive experience, with a grid-based, floor-to-ceiling display system that creates an ever-changing 3D matrix of colors, textures, threads, and shapes to echo the creative process behind each of our weaves. The store’s design earns top honors from the International Interior Design Association (Interior Design Competition Award) and the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (Design Merit Award for Interiors).

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A new specialty: seaworthy surfaces.

Ahoy, marine industry! We begin providing our products to boat manufacturers, who find their distinctive design and extraordinary durability ideal for vessels large and small.

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Seeing the weaving on the wall.

With a strong foundation of design solutions in place, we tackle another especially scuffable surface with the launch of wall textiles. Ours retain their distinctive colors and rich textures over many years of use and look good doing it, exceeding 100,000 double rubs and providing heavy-duty (Type III) wall protection.

Entering the Cooper Hewitt collection.

Original design gets its due as seven Chilewich designs enter the permanent collection of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Among them is Plaid, a Contract collection favorite that is woven with overlapping bi-color yarns in the warp and weft, bringing together fourteen distinct hues.

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An even better backing.

Innovation never stops. Our floor mats get a performance boost with a new backing of industrial-grade latex. Eliminating the need for a rug pad, this slip-resistant underlayer is especially versatile, allowing for indoor or outdoor use.

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Into the new design studio
and corporate headquarters.

Moving day has never been such a treat. Designed by our CEO, Joe Sultan, a trained architect, our new creative and corporate headquarters in New York highlights the central role that design plays in all facets of Chilewich. The floor-through space doubles as a showcase for our products, from flooring and rugs to wall textiles and window coverings, with colorful extruded yarns and repurposed fabric selvedge displayed in site-specific installations.

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Speeding into the future with
electric adventure vehicles.

American electric vehicle automaker Rivian chooses Chilewich for the interiors of its all-electric trucks and SUVs, slated to begin delivering in June 2021. “They’re not just designed to look pretty. They’re designed to get dirty,” says Mark Vinnels, Rivian’s executive director of engineering and programs. “They’re designed to have an adventure.” Among the adventurous interior accents are Chilewich floor mats.

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Giving back during a challenging year.

With healthcare workers around the globe facing unprecedented shortages of supplies needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic, we adapt part of our factory in Georgia to make vital protection equipment, producing up to 25,000 isolation gowns per week. The gowns are made of a modified version of a waterproof backing used for our wall textiles and are provided to front-line healthcare workers in partnership with Fabric Sources International and a consortium of companies committed to addressing ongoing supply shortages.

An organic original.

We introduce Fresco, a weave inspired by the rich character of surfaces that grow more interesting with time and patina. Its veil of organic forms evokes the beauty of antiquity and the nuances of nature, from venerable murals to fingerprints and magnetic fields. A departure from our geometrically and texturally oriented designs, Fresco is a versatile new option for floors, walls, and windows.

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Celebrating two decades of
trusted design solutions.

Two decades fly by. Our commitment to original design and American craftsmanship has fueled the development and refinement of solutions for virtually every surface, in spaces ranging from offices and hospitals to museums and vehicles, across the globe. And we’re just getting started. Here’s to the next twenty years!

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