Christiane Millinger knows everything about textiles, down to the molecular level; you could even say it’s a part of her DNA. Growing up in Austria, her family worked in the textile and hospitality industries. Early on, she made socks and little Barbie clothes, eventually attending a textile engineering school at age 14.
As a young adult, she emigrated to America, and began her career with the guidance of Robert Mann, one of the premier rug and textile conservators in the world. The start of her path also coincided with a rug renaissance, which saw the trade turn away from cheap synthetics mass produced in factories to appreciate handspun wool, natural vegetable dyes and weaving traditions. Millinger moved to Portland and inspired by the movement, she established her own showroom in the Pearl in 2000.
Now on NW Lovejoy, Chistiane Millinger Handmade Rugs is still passionate about finding the perfect piece to enhance any room. “I can pick a good rug by intuition, when I see someone, I can pair them together,” she says. The store truly provides a memorable shopping experience, where guests can be confident that the heirloom-quality rugs are sourced locally and responsibly. Millinger’s business even supports Goodweave, a nonprofit dedicated to ending illegal child labor in the carpet industry.
“Living in a day and age when people purchase things online, I feel human beings that love beautiful things are short changing themselves,” Millinger says. “Along with the artist comes history, comes knowledge, comes expertise on what to pick. When you purchase locally, you are knitting the fabric of your community.”CHRISTIANE MILLINGER HANDMADE RUGS