Sandy Chilewich’s latest placemats echo irregular modern shapes of popular mid-century space-age design. Not quite circular, not quite square, the Abstract Lounge Placemats (2012) are made from Chilewich’s lightweight and easy-to-maintain woven vinyl. After co-founding the successful HUE hosiery company with Kathy Moskal, Chilewich experimented with different fibers until she stumbled upon this woven vinyl, which would become her signature textile. All Chilewich products have a long lifespan, which she says “helps the user reduce both energy use and costs while maintaining a sophisticated and modern aesthetic.” Sold in a set of four. Made in U.S.A.
According to Sandy Chilewich, one of her biggest motivators is to create “a new function from something familiar,” exactly what she did when she produced her award-winning Raybowl, introduced in 1997. The first design from her studio, Chilewich, it consisted of a simple wire steel frame covered in stretchy power mesh. Chilewich already knew a thing or two about stretchy fabric: With Kathy Moskal in 1978, she co-founded legwear company HUE – a wildly successful endeavor that they eventually sold before forging out on their own in 1994.
Chilewich continued experimenting with natural and synthetic materials, pushing their physical and functional limits. Leveraging the success of Raybowl, she moved on to create a completely new design material. In 2000, she introduced floor mats, placemats and totes made from her proprietary woven vinyl. Soft and flexible yet extremely sturdy, the material, which she dubbed “plynyl,” was the result of an intensive research process. “The durability of this extruded yarn, the intrinsic sheen of the material, its tremendous design versatility, and the fact that it is washable inspired me then and continues to inspire me today,” explains Chilewich. It won her the coveted Editor’s Award at the 2001 International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and solidified her career. Read more >