Rustic Modern Mash-ups

Central Indians weave new life into recycled fabric and plastic to make chairs and stools for Salvage Crafts, on sale via Fab.

By Kristin Belz August 5, 2012 Published in the August 2012 issue of Portland Monthly


Salvaged wood and recycled rope make up this foldable chair from India, sold by Salvage Crafts but discounted this week on Fab.

Fabulous finds for the home come from many sources and corners of the world. Sometimes finding them is half the fun. The Internet has become a trusty guide to have along on our quixotic quests for fab finds from near and far. One such new but already established internet guide is, Fab, the website.

Fab is a cyber storefront that offers short-term discounted sales on home goods from producers around the world, most of them small, new or both. The fast-growing site and its temporary sales make pounding the pavement or roaming the globe that much easier, and economical, for us shoppers seeking the unusual.

Case in point: furniture for sale by Salvage Crafts this week. It’s from Central India, made by “tribal craftsmen” (not women, evidently), of salvaged sheesham wood and recycled fabric or plastic rope woven into seats and backs for chairs and stools. Sheesham, a.k.a. rosewood, is a hardwood often used to craft Indian furniture.

The sale from Salvage Crafts (which is on through August 11) includes chairs, stools, a small folding table and even colorful hammocks and a hanging outdoor swinging chair. The pieces are simply designed, a combination of homey, rustic weave in cottons or plastics and clean lined wood frames. The Cotton Rope Chair Multi (woven in a vibrant red cotton rope flecked with beige and white), for example, is a collapsible, portable, armless chair that would be perfect for as a regular inhabitant of your living room or as a chair you pull from the closet when extra guests come by, and even for outdoors. Regularly priced at $275, Fab has it on sale for $175.

The temporary nature of these sales and the often limited quantities available liken the website to discounted coupon “social media” sites like Groupon or Living Social. With Fab, though, the scope is global, and the emphasis is on modern, often unusual design (for home but also for accessories, clothes and, more recently, food). You can sign into the site and get onto their mailing list for sales.

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