Corn Husk Rug

Useful information

Team members
Darja Malesic
biodegradable rug hand-made circular economy natural material waste material craft video tutorials

Short Description

Hand-making a corn husk rug based on traditional craft techniques with a help of video tutorials.

Detailed Description

The corn husk rug is a simple example of a circular economy, where waste (corn husk) is the basic raw material for a product and it can be composted when the life cycle of the product is completed.

The material used is 100% natural, and in the case of corn leaves, a by-product of a cash crop.

The best thing is to find a local farmer with a cornfield, who might be keen on sharing some with you. Since corn is growing on almost all the continents, and its world production is around 1.1 million tons, hopefully, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Making a rug with video instructions is easy. We begin by weaving a braid, which we later sew together into a circular or oval shape. You can experiment with the shape and the color to create a unique design. Natural dying recipes will be shared for varied colourful creations and it is open for further customisation.

The aim is to transfer knowledge and preserve traditional craft techniques and at the same time offer sustainable product.

Project Details

Does your design take social and cultural challenges and human wellbeing into consideration?

The endless offer of industrially produced goods on the market puts us in the role of the mere consumer. When we buy equipment for home or personal use, we support the model of traditional global consumption with all its harmful effects.

My design and self-help tutorial rejects this consumer model in favor of self-made items. My concept is to help others to make items for themselves, using local, organic, and waste materials, and thereby bring about fundamental change. I believe that encouraging others to be more independent of industrial products helps people and the planet at almost every level, and could be one of the most disruptive movements of our times.

Does your design support sustainable production, embodying circular or regenerative design practices?

The corn husk rug is a perfect example of a product that works 100% within a circular economy. The rug is made from 100% natural, non-processed (corn husk) material, a by-product of maize production. The material used is a waste product that would normally be thrown away. The material is 100% organic and therefore completely compostable once its life cycle is completed. There is no waste.

Does your design use principles of distribution and open source?

The main aim of this project is to offer anyone a sustainable option for making a rug by transferring knowledge and at the same time preserving traditional craft techniques.

A video with the instructions on how to make a Corn Husk Rug is available on the website https://www.darjamalesic.net/pra-preproga.html

Does your design promote awareness of responsible design and consumption?

With growing awareness of the harmful effects of traditional consumption, we are looking for alternatives. This project is offering solutions based on the principles of reducing waste, energy consumption, and resources by rejecting the consumer model in favor of hand-made or self-made products using local material, that is 100% natural, and in the case of corn leaves, a by-product of a cash crop. The corn husk rug, being 100% organic, can of course be composted after the life cycle is completed.