No matter the rug or carpet in question, from the least expensive machinemade doormat to the most recherché of exotic handmade pieces from antiquity, a hallmark of those pieces which excel is a masterful use of materials. In this modern era of customizable carpet design, there is oft discussion – amongst the cognoscenti – of the need to treat rugs and carpets as more than just a ‘white canvas’ upon which any design can be woven. On one hand this seems elitist, yet on the other there is rich appreciation to be found in a carpet which harmoniously blends material, technique, and design; the entire rug as whole if you will as opposed to just how visually appealing it may or may not be.
For rug and carpet traditionalists, hmm, fundamentalists, umm, aficionados, umm… …for those who adhere to the use of time honoured materials, there can be but only one material – perhaps we should say fibre – that stands proud: wool. However, as illustrated herein by the photograph of bailed hanks of undyed wool yarn awaiting processing, the crafting of carpet does start as a plain amorphous white-ish hued mass of materials; not all of which are created equal. This is true for wool – the types numerous – just as it is for the myriad fibres utilized in rug making, each with their own unique properties providing features – and the associated benefits – appropriate to equally varied uses and situations. When purchasing a rug or carpet endeavour to understand the fibres utilized and moreover whether they are appropriate or not for the intended use of the rug, be it hardworking at the front door or precious in a dressing room.