Transcending the Kathmandu Valley

Redevelopment and reïnvention of Nepali-Tibetan Carpetry as a way forward.

The production of carpets in Kathmandu has had a transformative effect on both the Tibetan refugee population and the native Nepali people. It is an industry which during its ascent, golden years, and decline – in volume – provided much needed foreign exchange for a country dependent upon such transactions. It created wealth both in Nepal and abroad, and it has undoubtably contributed to an increased standard of living in the country of Nepal. Likewise, carpetry in Nepal has transcended its ethnographic origins in Tibetan culture and traditions, merging harmoniously with the people of Nepal, and the demands of Western consumers upon which the commercialized trade of today depends.

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Fruition | Handknotted Nylon Part 5 of 5

Feedback, caveats, and the quest to learn more highlight the introduction of 'Nylon Engulfed.'

To explore the creation of a new product is to take a step away from what has been into the unknown, the perhaps unfathomable, the hitherto unrealized. It requires a degree of modernism and a progressive mindset insomuch that conservatism simply tends to favour the status quo. With that comes a degree of irony associated with rug makers of today who while immediately embracing the aesthetics du jour, also favour steadfast traditional techniques even at the expense of efficacy and efficiency, socio-economic concerns, and as is relevant to ‘Nylon Engulfed’ the prototype handknotted carpet made of ECONYL® regenerated nylon, contemporary environmental and climatological concerns.

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The Handmade Carpet | A Review

In attempting to balance the duality of contemporary, the authors err toward history and technicality as opposed to style.

The nearly three-hundred pages of text and imagery of ‘The Handmade Carpet’ contain a wealth of knowledge accumulated over the long and storied careers of the authors Fritz Langauer and Ernst A. Swietly. The assertive authors undoubtably put forth superior and exhaustive efforts in compiling what amounts to multiple lifetimes of experience, information, expertise, commentary, and so forth as they attempt to explain, as the subtitle of the tome – ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Contemporary Rugs’ – purports, contemporary rugs and carpets. In the final analysis however, it must be stated that while the volumn is indeed comprehensive in regard to certain aspects of contemporary carpetry, it likewise lacks in its treatment of contemporary as the word has come to be employed in the colloquial of today.

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Crafting | Handknotted Nylon Part 4 of 5

Weaving and finishing now complete, 'Nylon Engulfed' sparks interest in novel carpetry fibres.

On 10 November 2019 Peter Goudeseune and Sergey Burattin of Aquafil, makers of ECONYL® nylon, Shally Sarawagi of Sarawagi Rugs, and myself traveled to the north-east outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal in order to ceremoniously remove the prototype handknotted carpet made from ECONYL®, now named ‘Nylon Engulfed,’ from the loom. This is not in any way a tradition within carpet making in Nepal – it is a commercial industry after all – but it is ceremony within weaving in Aubusson, France. The tombée de métier, the ‘falling from the loom,’ when a tapestry is removed, via cutting of the warp yarns, from the loom; it’s an irreversible step that concludes the weaving.

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Impetus | Handknotted Nylon Part 3 of 5

The impetus behind the making of a handknotted carpet from ECONYL® regenerated nylon.

‘As a new rug designer I was excited by the challenge that this project brings — ocean inspired pieces that don’t damage the earth,’ says British designer Isobel Morris about her involvement in this project. ‘I have a passion for eco-friendly solutions for wildlife and the environment, I’m dedicated to a better quality of life for myself, society and future generations. Econyl offers a versatile solution for the rug and carpet industry [amongst many] and I’m proud to create designs with what I believe is the future of textiles.’

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