The 'Plush Solid' quality of carpet by Sambhav shown in colour Royal Blue, as seen during Domotex 2019. | Photograph by The Ruggist.

Plush Solid | Sambhav

Technicalities aside, attraction is still governed by emotion and 'Plush Solid' conjures many.

‘Your eyes may not intentionally deceive, but they do not reveal the tactile nature of carpets.’ – From a purely objective viewpoint one could rightly argue that in 2019 there is little reason to make a solid, that is to say, a single colour handknotted rug or carpet. As many other techniques – broadloom and handloom as two examples – can readily satisfy the visual requirements in order to complete the look at a fraction of the price, the expense of handknotted simply doesn’t fit the technocratic bill. Great design however is never solely governed by technicalities, rather it is a melange of fact and the seemingly irrational nature of attraction, pleasure, desire, and countless other emotions. Thus subjectively, the ‘technical’ look if you will, pales in comparison to the touch, the tactile sensations, the haptics of the particularly sumptuous and decadent ‘Plush Solid’ by Sambhav. 

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'Point Carré' from the 'Infinity Collection' by Sarawagi Rugs. Designed by Else Bozec, handmade in Kathmandu, Nepal. | Photograph by The Ruggist.

Infinity Collection | Sarawagi Rugs

Geometry reigns as structure and design combine in captivating form.

As an admitted fanatic of geometric designs, my bias toward the new ‘Infinity Collection’ by Sarawagi Rugs is self-evident. Designed by textile designer Else Bozec over the course of a months long residency in Kathmandu, Nepal during 2017 C.E. the collection reminds design need not push the technical limits of technique, but rather can excel by masterfully utilizing those limits – in this case the regimented structure of handknotting – to synergistically reïnforce and amplify the design. The varied visual and tactile textures embody the same lively visage of urban façades, with each region inviting new though and contemplation to almost ask – as one would of said façades – ‘What’s going on (in) here?’ I don’t know, but I am captivated while I try and figure it out.

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A stack of folded Iranian flatweaves as seen at Edelgrund during Domotex 2019 | Photograph by The Ruggist.

Look Deeper | Edelgrund

A teasing glimpse of design reminds to look beyond the surface.

Just the most iconic representation of a rug or carpet merchant I can imagine: a simple pile of rugs, this one from Edelgrund. In actuality though it is hardly simple and it represents uncounted manhours of labour; a pile, or stack, of rugs hides so much, only teasing at the beauty within. Perhaps instead of passing quick judgement or critiquing without contemplative thought consider looking deeper in order to reveal more of the details. Rugs and carpets aren’t mere embellishments for the floor, they also serve as allegory for many of our worldly problems. Enjoy the week my friends! What are you doing?

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A sample of Nepali-Tibetan weaving crafted by Silk Road Rug Industries utilizing the time honoured 'Wangden' technique indigenous to the like-named valley in Tibet, China. Historically prized by for its uniqueness the technique has yet to attract widespread attraction amongst modern carpet makers. | Photograph by The Ruggist.

What’s New? | Wangden

A revival of the time honoured Tibetan weaving technique, Wangden.

In an age of limitless custom handmade rug and carpet options, why does the instinctive question, ‘What is new?’ persist in our lexicon? Moreover, why are we so inarticulate? We ask for new, when what we really want is something beautiful and eye catching and well made; the ‘newness’ of wares in the handmade rug industry being a somewhat laughable concept in itself. So while this carpet is newly made, the technique is actually quite time honoured dating to long before the annexation of Tibet by China and the subsequent growth of carpet production in Nepal. It is a Wangden carpet and it is distinctive because of its warp-faced back, supple hand and handle, and in the case of this piece, luxuriously plush pile.

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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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