Third generation carpet gallery, Iwan Maktabi, added a new project under its research and experimentation platform “Iwan Maktabi Lab”.

“Ten to One” is their latest collection of sustainable carpets that has been created with Barcelona based artist/architect Edouard Cabay exclusively for MENASA - Emirati Design Platform, an Expo 2020 Dubai programme. Curated by Samer Yamani.

The project examines the ancestral Emirati crafts of Al Sadu weavers and the fisherman’s fishnet knots, using analogue and digital technology that relies on scanning the weavers’ hand movements.

The collection consists of:

- One major statement piece “Sadu over Fishnet”

- 12 limited edition Fishnet fragment carpets

- 12 limited edition Sadu fragment carpets

The carpets are made with 100% Econyl; a sustainable material using regenerated Nylon.

A reflection on the current need for more sustainable luxury design.

Each carpet is hand-knotted in Nepal using ancient weaving techniques.

The statement piece received an additional layer of design through the printing of the robot in Barcelona.

While weaving, the work of the hand becomes so repetitive that it becomes almost automatic, creating a state of meditation.

The design of these carpets represents the hand movement of women Sadu weavers and Fishermen while weaving their fishnets, as expressed by an algorithm.

Both weavers are part of the handicraft history of the UAE.

 “Sadu over Fishnet”, the main piece, depicts the fisherman’s hand movement in woven Econyl. Then, the Sadu weaver’s hand movement is added as ink deposited by the movements of an ink spewing robot.

Al-Sadu is an ancient tribal weaving craft originating from the Bedouins of the desert and is still practiced by Emirati women today.

These carpets were designed by scanning the motions of the fingers weaving a Sadu knot, and generating both a weaving pattern handknotted in Nepal, and a series of curves that were used to paint on the carpets themselves, using paint spilled by a 6-axis robotic arm.


The result is a carpet that features the hand movement of craftsmen, blown up ten times their scale. Hence the name of the collection; TEN TO ONE

"We are delighted to access a new way of looking at carpets and carpet design through the eyes of an artist like Edouard Cabay, who translates fleeting movements into well drawn designs using cutting edge technology. The focus on Econyl material reinforces our commitment to sustainability which we have been championing for almost a decade."

- Mohamed Maktabi co-founder of Iwan Maktabi

"Iwan Maktabi has developed its knowledge over generations in a craft that really values the hand. The interaction of the human hand on carpet weaving elevates the carpet to a point that cannot be reached by a machine. This handcrafted layer put in a contemporary context of incredible technological development, is much needed.

This weaving craft goes together with knowledge. Both need time to be developed, so having the opportunity to work with one of the best rug makers provided us with the possibility to learn and to exchange knowledge, making this project a true collaboration."

- Edouard Cabay Architect/Artist


 “Ten to One’” was created by Edouard Cabay and Iwan Maktabi for MENASA

Emirati Design Platform, an Expo 2020 Dubai programme. “Ten to One’” was created by Edouard Cabay and Iwan Maktabi for MENASA - Emirati Design Platform, an Expo 2020 Dubai programme.

The collection coincides with the launch of Iwan Maktabi LAB, and will be shown at MENASA - Emirati Design Platform

Ground floor - Rove Hotel

Al Wasl Plaza - Expo 2020 Dubai