In the indigenous language of Guane, ‘Curití’ literally translates as “tierra de tejedores” or “town of weavers”. For this reason, this small town in Santander is the inspiration behind Verdi, a business that fuses the traditional with the contemporary through one-of-a-kind handmade designs.
It all started with Carlos Vera Dieppa, a pioneer in Colombian textile crafts. In 1996, Vera Dieppa came across what can now be identified as Furcraea Andina, an exotic Colombian plant that produces a natural fiber from its leaves known as fique. This unique material is completely sustainable as the base of the plant lives for over 20 years, and is left untouched in order to avoid deforestation. The process of creating the company’s famed carpets is harmless to the environment as each step is achieved naturally and with great personal care. Verdi pride themselves on the fact that every single item they create is 100% handmade and that their work stays true to the traditional art of the Cu- rití weavers.
With his death in 2010, Vera Dieppa left his design legacy in the hands of his children. In honour of their beloved fa- ther, Cristina and Tomás Vera created the name ‘Verdi’ a colloquial amalgamation of Vera and Dieppa. Cristina and Tomás set out to reinvent the avant-garde by combining the natural fique fibers with metals such as aluminium and copper to “bring light into all kinds of spaces”. For this reason, the Colombian company is considered an icon of exclusivity when it comes to authentic mats and carpets. What makes it so special is not only the brand’s connection with its Colombian roots, but the incredible attention to detail that is always present.
Verdi is a company that focuses on the beauty of the space beneath our feet, revolving around a dedication to contem- porary design, passion for detail and artisan fusion between natural fibres and metal. Cristina and Tomás have initiated the transition from a forgotten industry to one that radiates luxury from Colombia to the world. There is a real sense of pride in what they do and no doubt that the Vera siblings manage to maintain a real sense of identity while still meeting the needs of their clients.
Tomás Vera describes Verdi as “a product of life rather than just a business, something that is visible in the organisation’s collaboration with the people of Curití. In providing so many locals with jobs, Verdi is taking part in helping a community and is additionally granting eighteen families international recognition. As a result, the locals that populate this area give life to the company’s art, with skills they have accumulated over generations that ensures the final product will meet the objective of maintaining a high level of authenticity.
To showcase their product, Verdi recently released a visually stunning video displaying the best of Colombian craftsmanship. In Santander, cactus plantations can be seen from above in a sweeping panorama of the rugged mountainside where Curití is located: a remote town with houses that are almost as colourful as the fibers they produce. The process of creating the enchanting carpets begins with the removal of the thick fique leaves, which are then compressed between metal bars to extract the fiber. They are then ready to be dyed with natural colourings, a meticulous task that requires attention to detail as the dye is absorbed at various temperatures. Finally, the material is hung and dried naturally in the mild weather until it can be brushed and woven with metal into elaborate and vibrant designs on a manual loom.
Recently, Verdi have chosen to go beyond interior design, introducing fashion into their collection with a new addition of a range of beautifully crafted bags. As a result, the company is providing customers with an even greater sense of their traditional values with the essential accessory, a mochila, reflecting the diversity of indigenous traditions that have existed in the country for centuries.