The Mystery of Mouliné
“Mouliné is a mystery… the unpredictable nature of the cotton that twists around the wool is like a streak of lightning.”
– Sylvie Johnson, Artistic Director
Mouliné is a plied yarn with a playfully electric character, a light effect created by a strand of white cotton wrapped around felted wool. When the plied mouliné yarn is dyed, the felted wool absorbs the color while the plant-based cotton fiber resists it, maintaining its crisp, white appearance. Like the filament in a light bulb, the cotton thread travels around the plied yarn, creating the effect of lightning as it flashes in and out of the rug’s weave.
While our design team had been working with this mysterious yarn for some time, mouliné made its proper debut with the Atelier 2021 collection. Its unique flash of light can be seen in rugs like Avon and Tuin, adding movement to the thin-felted wool motifs. In tufted rugs, mouliné creates a field of thin-felted wool dusted with dashes of white light, adding optical intrigue to an otherwise solid swath of color. When woven, the irregularity with which the cotton twists around the wool creates a wavering line carried throughout the weave, mimicking channels of lightning against a darker ground, and bringing a similar energy to the piece.
We spoke with Merida’s Artistic Director, Sylvie Johnson, about mouliné yarn and its place in Merida’s yarn library:
What makes mouliné unique?
It is a yarn that has structure, but also a little mystery. The placement of the cotton wrapping around the wool happens in a way we can’t predict. The light that the cotton brings to the yarn as it wraps around the dyed thin-felted wool… it’s like lightning.
If you have just a little bit of mouliné in a rug, it adds mystery. A little here, a little there, a flash of white along the weave of the rug. But when you have more of it, like in Royale or Avon, it’s dramatic. It can be like the accent mark over a letter, or an exclamation mark on the rug altogether.
What does mouliné add to our yarn library?
Mouliné was the only yarn that had this structure, and the only yarn that has an undyed accent. So, visually, you already have a unique yarn. Mouliné is simple and complex at the same time, which creates depth every time we use it.
Crimped wool and mouliné are both plied yarns with a felted wool. What is the difference between the two?
Immediately, you can see a visual difference. Crimped wool is wavy and has a bold texture while mouliné is straight.
But the color is also a big difference. In crimped wool, you have wool plied with wool. In mouliné, the thinner strand is cotton. This is what creates the pop of white in mouliné. Animal-based fibers and plant-based fibers take dye differently, so when the thin-felted wool in mouliné is dyed, the cotton resists the color, and you are left with a streak of light running through the yarn.
To see mouliné yarn in action, take a look at these Atelier rugs:
Looking for something special? Check out Mantra and note the arches of mouliné, an electric motif inspired by the 18th-century Jantar Mantar observatory in Jaipur. From the colorway to the yarn and design, this beautiful jacquard-woven rug is heaven on earth.