Hand and Handle are both terms that can be used to describe the feel of a carpet. In 'Touch Me: The Hand(le) of Carpets' The Ruggist explores the meaning of both. | Image by The Ruggist.

Touch Me: The Hand(le) of Carpets

A discussion regarding how a carpet feels both to the touch and when grabbed; the hand and the handle.

How we choose to describe the texture and feel of rugs and carpets speaks volumes to what we most cherish and on first glance it would appear as though anything describable as smooth ranks highly amongst those things. Smooth as glass. Smooth as a baby’s bottom. Smooth as silk. Smooth as velvet, though rarely is the type of velvet mentioned. Each describes something as smooth – that is to say as relatively even and not rough, yet each of these various similes conveys important and subtle differences. Smooth as glass is certainly a desirable characteristic when describing a paint finish, but to describe a carpet, likely not. Carpets should be smooth like velvet! Yes, velvety smooth. Preferably linen velvet. That kind of velvet smoothness, or is it ‘chippy and brittle’? But what about other descriptions? ‘It’s like butta!’, shaggy, wispy, cloud like, durable, pliable, to name but a few. All of which describe what is known as the hand of the carpet and they invite the casual observer to ‘Come on now touch me!’ – quoting the Doors to convey the degree of sensuality carpets with exceptional hand possess.

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No Euphemisms, It's a Knock-Off! - ‘Story Stones’ from the ‘Donghia for Odegard’ Collection by Odegard, circa 2000 C.E. | Image courtesy of Odegard Carpets. - The Ruggist

No Euphemisms, It’s a Knockoff!

Too often when discussing what is and is not a knockoff a spade does not get called a spade.

It’s frustratingly cliché, but it’s the rug industry. The later half of that sentence has been uttered innumerable times as justification of some archaic practice that while remaining perfectly entrenched in the rug industry is not quite at home in our current times. Some are egregiously out of touch, others quaint and endearing. It is, after all, the rug industry and we must accept it for what it is or so goes the conventional wisdom. The problems – seemingly infinite as they might be – occur when convention, tradition, and ‘because that is the way we’ve always done it’ meet the modern legal structure in which we have chosen to live. As previously discussed in nauseating detail and considerable length (both on The Ruggist and in COVER) the issue of Copyright in the rug industry is not the simple black or white issue many would have you believe. Even if it were black and white (or is that white and black?), which hue of black and which hue of white are we discussing exactly? So many possibilities that we shan’t touch upon today; the position of The Ruggist is clear: Do not copy. Copy being – of course – a heavily nuanced word. It is however, the complete and utter lack of nuance that once again brings the issue of Copyright back to this electronic page.

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Warholian Kush | Vinyl - A renaissance. The Ruggist.

Warholian Kush | Vinyl

Warholian Kush explores a vinyl renaissance of sorts as the iconic LP becomes inspiration for rug.

Please forgive the liberties taken in the operatic title of this article; given the nature of both the rug design and its originating impetus, it seemed only appropriate to adopt a whimsical, more musical styling if you will. ‘A Vinyl Renaissance’ sounds as though it could be the debut album from the uber cool band you’ve never heard of: ‘Warholian Kush’. And so it should be. Hailing from the utopian hipster paradise of Portland, Oregon the ‘Vinyl’ series of rugs from Brian Robins of Kush Handmade Rugs has not yet – to my knowledge – made it to the big times, though perhaps that will now change. Ladies and Gentleman, without further ado an ode to different times: ‘Vinyl.’

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