The Animal Rug Company

ABC Berlin, 2015, Exhibition View

ARC – Animal Rug Company



The Animal Rug Company is a social entrepreneurship fabricating functional rugs from used stuffed toys pelts.

Together with an advisory board of investors, we finalized the business plan and strategic economic model that would support ARC as a sustainable, socially and ecologically responsible company producing high end luxury items carefully crafted out of garbage.

An exaggerated amount of used stuffed animals that wait for owners on shelves of second hand stores, now become dismantled, unstitched by the seams, and reorganized into floor carpets. A collage of soft discarded toys and stories assembled together bringing forward a function as an outcome. This carpets are the alternative vegan option to the animal pelt that most luxury furniture houses offer today.

Pluma, 2016, Stuffed animal toy skins, 8 ft x 6,5 ft
Jardin Secreto, 2017 Stuffed animal toy skins Alex Fernandez-Casais Collection 8 ft x 6,5 ft
Larosa, 2017, Stuffed animal toy skins, 10 ft x 8 ft
Seven Seas, 2013,Stuffed animal toy skins, 15 ft x 10 ft
Milky Ways, 2013,Stuffed animal toy skins, 18 ft x 11 ft
No Rain, No Rainbows (2011)
Galaxy, 2010 Stuffed animal toy skins Collection of Charles Coleman
Peacock, 2010 Stuffed animal toy skins Courtesy of the artist and Spinello Projects
Rose Petals, 2010 Stuffed animal toy skins Benjamin Feldman Collection
Royal, 2010 Stuffed animal toy skins Collection of Alan Kluger and Amy Dean

“I found that in every culture, [the teddy bear] is just an icon, an archetype.”


Agustina Woodgate (born 1981, Argentina) is a Miami-based artist making photography, installation, sculpture, video, and performances that often respond to a specific place or situation. She is interested in the relationships that people have with their surrounding environments and how the accelerating pace of technology affects those relationships.



Woodgate collects large quantities of second-hand, mass-produced stuffed animal toys. With her assistants, she deconstructs and restitches them into colorful patterned rugs using traditional quiltmaking techniques. She references traditional rug making through the symmetrical patterning of these objects.



The rug series takes inspiration from the artist’s own teddy bear, Pepe, who was her only stuffed animal growing up. Pepe has accompanied the artist since childhood, moving with her from country to country and from studio to studio. For Woodgate, stuffed animals represent memories of their owner—even after they are donated or discarded. When she reorganizes them as artmaking materials, she creates new social narratives. What was once personal and private becomes public, communal, and new.

(2) (Image credits: Courtesy of Spinello Projects, photo by Joshua Aronson (detail); photo by Ken Sawyer/PEM; courtesy of Spinello Projects; Courtesy of Spinello Projects, photo by Joshua Aronson; courtesy of Spinello Projects; courtesy of Spinello Projects.)


Trevor Smith on Agustina Woodgate: Transcript (2)

When I was talking with Agustina Woodgate about the origins of her rug pieces that are made from eviscerated stuffed toys, she told me this story: when she was a young girl growing up in Argentina, she had one teddy bear called Pepe.

Because there was only one, she had a deep, emotional attachment to it. She still has it to this day.

So, when she moved to the United States as an adult, she was surprised by how often plush toys ended up in second-hand stores. Did this mean that these toys were less loved?

Moreover, if she plush animals were so abundant, could she use them as raw materials for her work?

After making these works for several years, she is now planning to form the Animal Rug Company, giving new life to these stuffed animals for years to come.


Animal Skin rugs

(3) The Skin Rugs series has taken Woodgate nearly two years to complete, and has involved a painstaking process that has her cutting up cuddly stuffed animals into various patterns, and stitching their synthetic and often stubborn, fur into succinct designs. Woodgate used the “skin” of the stuffed animals the same way one would to create an actual bear skin rug. Even more surprising is that fact that the Woodgate had never sewn before taking on this project!

Each rug uses somewhere between 50 to 70 toys that were either donated to her, found, or purchased from Goodwill. The incredible patterns depicted in each rug not only show her knack for choosing complimenting hues, but for creating eye-catching designs on a large scale — her smallest rug measures 7’x9′.

Although Woodgate admits the series was one of the more arduous undertakings of her career — from sourcing to sewing — she also says this project is a personal favorite, and one she’ll continue to explore.

Agustina Woodgate, Argentina


Agustina Woodgate  is an Argentinian artist who lives and works between Amsterdam and Miami.

Woodgate works in a variety of forms, including radio, public art, and sculpture.

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