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Laurie Rudd

Liora Manné explores, charts new design paths

Liora ManneLiora Manne takes textile designs to a new level for indoors and out.
LIORA MANNÉ is a talented and sought-after artist designer with a love of color and a desire to push the artistic envelope into uncharted territories. A native of Jerusalem, Manné's artistry is expressed through unique and intricate textile designs that are finding a welcome home in the casual leisure world.
     "I have always loved textiles," Manné said. "I have worked with batiks, screen printing, tie dying, and now layering and blending." This love of textiles was honed at North Carolina State University School of Design where Manné received a master's degree in textile design and engineering. Following graduation, Manné worked for fabric converters as well as in research exploring printing methods for apparel knits.
     In 1980, Manné moved to New York City to design for the fashion industry while continuing to experiment with textiles. As a result of her experimentation, Manné created a unique new textile she named Lamontage.
     "It is a color blending process that is different from anything else out there," said Manné. "Lamontage is a unique combination of layers hand-created through a non-woven technology."
     The blending is accomplished through a needle-punching technique that also blends colors into unique designs and resulting hues. "I am lucky in my process," Manné said. "We may start with 40 yarn colors and then with blending, we can create endless colors."
     The process is described on the designer's Web site as "breaking the boundaries of traditional textiles and creating a unique textile with unlimited possibilities."
     First developed for use with rugs, Manné's innovative process and products received numerous awards when introduced. Interest from companies seeking to utilize Manné's technique soon followed. In 1997, Liora Manné entered into a licensing agreement with Trans-Ocean Inc. to design rugs in more conventional mediums that included her EVERYWEAR indoor/outdoor rugs. Currently, she does design and license her process for other applications when they meet her criteria. "I only want to see my view adding richness and happiness to life," Manné said. "It is not to add to clutter."
     At a recent textile market, Manné once again was creating buzz. "The latest development is the adding of textures to make the pieces dimensional," Manné said. "Taking something to the next level is challenging and a challenge I welcome on a daily basis."
Goldfish swimGoldfish swim across textured outdoor pillows, which complement one of Manne’s playful outdoor rug designs for Trans-Ocean.
     To keep the excitement rolling, Manné looks to various sources for inspiration. Within her New York City studio, she is surrounded by color; but when asked what inspires her she has additional items on her ready list. "A few things inspire me. Nature, it is so great to look outside. Light is inspiring. I like art and collect art; it is always inspirational and provides excitement. Historically, architectural artifacts inspire me."
     With all this inspiration, it is hard to imagine this designer's creative spark ever needing to be charged; but for this, Manné simply replies, "I open my eyes and look at the world." It is that outer world that welcomed her rugs and textiles and it is the outdoors again that continues to provide additional opportunities.
     A growing line of applications for Lamontage, and its artistic and practical features, continues to be a source of great pride for Manné as well as a base for additional products. Recently, upholstery fabrics were introduced, utilizing the same process and characteristics of previous Lamontage products. "The textiles are for use inside and outside," Manné said.
     With the depth of this designer's creativity, more introductions can be expected. By visiting the company's Web site, www.lioramanné.com, one can find alongside outdoor rugs and textiles, a variety of products including home accents and handbags. Although the casual/leisure industry is at the core of her creations, this is one designer who does not appear to be interested in resting, at least artistically, anytime soon.


Click here to read all the designer profiles in this month's "Behind the designs" feature.

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