Although Liora Manné planned a life in the theater, a textile design class at North Carolina State University changed her career path. Intrigued with the dependence of design on cutting-edge technology, Manné completed a master’s degree in both textile design and textile engineering and headed for New York City. She found her passion in home fashion, developing a unique rug-making process using acrylic and polyester fibers hand-cut, blended and layered, then affixed to base fabric with a needle loom. The resulting Lamontage™ products—rugs, pillows, totes and other household textiles—bring together beauty and practicality in a waltz of color and style. Manné recently partnered with the Stephan Stoyavon Gallery in New York City for a group exhibition, “Flowers for You.”
Fibers, as well as materials cut or torn from fabric, are placed by hand, after which a bed plate (with base fabric and design) and a stripper plate (which strips fiber from the needles), both with identical sets of holes for the needles to pass in and out, passes through the web. Needles mechanically orient and entangle the fibers to achieve a coherent nonwoven fabric. The resulting felt-like material can be coated on one side with natural latex for rugs, enhanced with a SmartSilver™ antimicrobial finish for pillows or cut with computerized water jets or die cut machinery for wall coverings. Manné’s custom designs provide a floor show at the Radio City Music Hall and Rubin Museum in New York, Mondrian Hotel in California and Brown University. Consumer versions of Lamontage designs are available at the MoMA Design Store and Bloomingdales, among other retailers.