Behind the Scenes of a Custom Rug Order

Behind the Scenes of a Custom Rug Order

What’s the process to commission a rug? Follow the story of a recent custom rug order— our largest-ever commission project!

An ambitious vision

After encountering Multicolores artwork at Amy Kaslow Gallery, custom order clients Bob and Diane sat down with the team on a sunny afternoon in Santa Fe during the International Folk Art Market.

They explained their vision: bespoke hooked rugs to adorn the staircase risers of their home. The design would complement treasured décor elements: a green Venetian chandelier and Persian rug. Bob and Diane brought sketches and photos of their home, and a palpable enthusiasm for the project!

Custom rug inspiration Venetian chandelier
Custom rug inspiration Persian carpet

It was the largest custom order Multicolores has ever undertaken: 17 individual coordinating pieces, totaling 59.4 square feet!

Later, Bob and Diane reviewed rugs in our IFAM booth, seeking an artistic style to fit their vision. Together they identified Bartola Morales Tol of the Patanatic rug-hooking group, impressed with her use of color and blend of geometric and nature-inspired design figures.

Fabricating a custom order

Bartola with extra large rug
Bob and Diane opted to work with Bartola, appreciating her masterful work and distinctive style

Back at Multicolores headquarters in Panajachel, we discussed the parameters of the project. Bartola was up for the challenge! The project would be a full-time, multi-month commitment for her. Diane had identified favorite local plants and animals to serve as inspiration: including lily of the valley, tulips, monarch butterflies, hummingbirds, and ladybugs.

Bartola’s first challenge was to source paca (secondhand garments) to match her color palette: salmon pink background, sage green borders, and multicolored figures. She spent many hours sifting through garments at the paca store to find the elusive shades.

Custom rug sketch


Bartola had to work precisely within specific dimensions—each rug needed to be an exact fit for the space on the stair. And while the pieces shared a color palette and repeating border motif, each design was also completely unique.

Work in progress

We checked in along the way, sharing progress photos of Bartola’s work.

Bartola custom order

The project took several months to complete. When all 17 pieces were finished, ArtWorksinterns Hilda and Micaela did a final quality control check, then shipped the order to Bob and Diane in the U.S.

ArtWorks intern Hilda packing a custom order

The final result: a win-win project!

After installation, Bob and Diane shared photos of the beautiful rugs adorning their stairway:

Custom staircase rug
Custom rug installed on staircase
Bartola and daughter Marjorie at the Multicolores office
Bartola and her daughter at the Multicolores office

Reflecting on the project, Bob shared: “Diane and I are always looking for win-win relationships.

“When we were introduced to Multicolores and the talented artists who perform magic using simple tools and cloth– we found the win-win relationship we were looking for.”

Thank you Bob and Diane for your trust, vision, and enthusiasm about this project!

Placing a custom order: tips & what to expect

  • Share your inspiration: Gather inspiration images, including color palettes and pictures of the space where the finished artwork will be installed. Browse our shop to determine which styles and designs appeal to you.
  • Expect higher pricing: Custom work requires additional time and focus, on everything from sourcing materials for a specific color palette, to designing from inspiration images. Artists are compensated accordingly with higher rates! We provide a price quote for every custom project and ask for a non-refundable deposit.
  • Patience is a virtue: During some seasons, we may be too busy to take on custom work. Artists may choose to accept or decline a custom order, based on their interests and other responsibilities. Most custom orders require several months— best not to be in a rush.
  • Respect the artist’s creative voice: Each artist has creative control of her designs, themes, and colors. Approach a custom order project with respect for the artist’s creative freedom, rather than a fixed idea of how the final artwork will turn out. We’re certain you will be thrilled with the result!
  • Embrace color variation: Rugs are made from dozens of recycled secondhand garments, which means it’s impossible to guarantee exact color matches. For embroidered products, base cloth is often available in a limited range of colors.
  • Enjoy the process: Many artists love working on custom orders, and our team enjoys the opportunity to forge these creative connections!

Ready to invest in your own custom Multicolores artwork? Fill out our contact form and a member of our team will get back to you!

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