Mathis Manniam, tufting or ‘carpet culture’

Often criticized as a generation that can’t do anything with its 10 fingers, Generation Z nonetheless has plenty of challenges for itself. One of the last: to create a community, a culture in the creation of rugs. From Lyon, dozens of young people between the ages of 15 and 30 embark on their own project. This is the case of Mathis M. whom we had the opportunity to meet in her studio in Vieux-Lyon. Two years after buying his first balls of wool, the artist has invested full time in his project and in trying to make the movement accessible to everyone. Meeting with this enthusiast.

It was during the second lockdown in October 2020 that Mathis Manniam decided to make his first rugs. After being I found videos of American artists who created, from their homes, wool logos of all shapes and colors, the young student is directly subjugated. this art of « tufts “, in French “Sewing”, consists of inserting a colored wool thread on a primary base. This process, used to create ‘grandmother’s’ garments, gloves or hats, is also an ancient art on the other side of the Atlantic. When he discovers this world apart, Mathis wants to Frenchize culture and creates his own rugs himself. After’buy a knitting machine gun shaped one day i woke up and bought one on a chinese site », the student in 2the communication year sees in this activity, an opportunity to create alone or with friends, their own pieces. But for that, you need to train yourself: I started researching on the forums. But I was not aware of all the budget that had to be added “, he confides to us. Like any newbie who has to do the scales for him, Mathis completely loses his first stacks : “ they were disgusting he admits, laughing. But she does not despair and rolls her pothole. While the covid paralyzes the country, he decides to set up his own workshop in his room in December 2020. His 10 m2 in his parents’ apartment in the Grange-Blanche district seem small, but pushing the walls, finally get settled in frame-support of more than 1m30 by 1m30 in size to work on his canvases.

The quality of the wool is a very important element for Mathis. Credits: Tristan.

self made man

Little by little I learned to handle the material. and I realized that the most difficult thing is not the creation of the rug but the finish behind it. You had to find the right glue, a fabric for finishing… At first I didn’t know and I bought a lot of random things “. A perfectionist, he spends a lot of money before finding the right doses, the right utensils. At the same time, he develops an account on social networks, today The Dompteur on Instagram and invests mainly in the platform with video formats where he popularizes his profession. After several failures, he finally finds his first client in March 2021He was so happy to make a sale that I had to give him a very accommodating price, almost ridiculous for the time he had put into it.” and without having really believed in it, he explodes the glass ceiling.

Mathis. M, in the middle of his study, posing with his creations. Credits: Tristan.

When I start to get desperate, I think I’ll make a post on twitter where I explain my concept and visuals. This is the post that farted: 5,000 retweets, 1 million impressions, and my mailbox is filling up. That’s when people notice me. I started taking orders, posting tiktoks and tweets, taking a lot of subscriptions. I thought about turning it into an activity. “.

One step back, two steps forward

Despite his arrival in the world of the greats ” At that time, there must have been three quarters of us making locks in France.” Mathis cannot imagine throwing himself body and soul into this unstable way of life. The decides to continue studying and you are considering a Bachelor of Communications where you can do a work-study program. During the summer of 2021, the student saves a little money with his activity of making carpets and gets about thirty clients in 2 months. What to see coming. At the beginning of the school year, he emigrated to Saint-Etienne. for his studies and at the same time enters Focusa clothing store in the Hotel-de-Ville district of Lyon. The time it took him to study, the round trips between the two cities forced him, reluctantly, to put the “carpet project” on hold.

In Focus, I had to put the floor mats aside. I returned to them, after the sale of a custom rug for the store. I didn’t know the store that sold independent brands and the feeling went well with Mathis, the founder. He trusted me and we worked together for a year. “. The accumulated fatigue from already busy weeks and the impossibility of working in his student apartment in Saint-Etienne forced him to resign.

Pokemon; the artist Damso, Ben10, CommedesGarçons… All brands go under Mathis’s gun. Credit: Tristan.

But after graduating in August 2021, he definitely struck out on his own. I kept it for a year in the back of my mind. The fact that I validated my license in 3the year, that I am currently living with my parents, to already have the necessary equipment and the rest of my community in my social networks: everything is aligned to make it “.

The frame on which Mathis creates his rugs measures 1m30 by 1m30. He allows you to create several creations at the same time. Credits: Tristan.

A profession that grows thanks to social networks

If the career of this entrepreneur with human values ​​seems quite traditional, the way Mathis communicates on social media about creating custom rugs is quite new. Via instagram Y Twitter, Mathis discloses and highlights his way of working, his inspirations, his life within the Arche Club. The place is a kind of incubator where the projects of a band of artist friends, videographers, stylists and creatives come to life. It was the social networks that literally spread their ideas and exposed their work.

Carpets take on new shapes. Here, a company logo is displayed directly on the wall. Credits: Tristan.

In April 2021, after a few months of testing his own sewing skills, Mathis embarked on logo reproduction and all the different universes. She publishes the realization of the logos ofArtin particular, the logo “ Tennessee » from the brand Nike or a personal version of the logo of YouTuber “The Rules “. Universes particularly close to the heart of Mathis, who is content to reproduce his own references in wool. A sincerity that attracts his audience, also in instagram : “ All the rugs I post on Instagram are all personal kiffs. There will be no “Nike” or “Supreme” mats. when I know there may be a demand and it may work. When I made the Arte rug it was because I liked the medium and visually the logo is recognizable. Even the rugs that are currently in the workshop: Ben 10, The Totally Spies… I made them because I saw those cartoons. when i was little“.

The pistol, which allows Mathis to penetrate the wool in the neutral base. Credits: Tristan.

“I get a lot of comments from people telling me my account is great because it’s clean and inspiring references that they relate to. “.

On the left, a ball of wool being unraveled, on the right, an unraveled ball ready to be used. Credits: Tristan.

Despite this, the economic reality of the marketbefore we were 3 or 4 in France, now we must be a good hundred ”, should push Mathis to create formats that reach as many people as possible. However, he prefers bespoke creations and For this reason, it invites its future clients to make customizable orders.. This sometimes gives quite unexpected requests: I recently received a request from a girl who wanted to make a rug with a sign that said: ‘be careful there are geese on the way’. She had had a delusion with her boyfriend during a trip to Thailand and I wanted to write this story on carpet. This customer relationship is great. They have a memory that they want to immortalize and I can provide them with a rug “.

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