Shibori Style | An Exploration

A discussion of the aesthetic and technique as it relates to handknotted rugs and carpets.

From Nathan Tucker of Lapchi’s Rug Design Studio in Chicago, Illinois: ‘I guess when it comes to reïnterpreting a certain medium or artistry into handknotted carpets, there’s always going to be a challenge, depending on how close of an analogue to the original inspiration you’re trying to achieve. In shibori’s case, the general patterning is something that’s pretty easy to recreate with a graphed knot. Specifically, the itajime technique of shibori is something you see a lot of; the more geometric style of block/resist dying.’

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It's Not the Knots... Sort of. 'Mameluka V A' by Rica Basagoiti. The Ruggist.

It’s Not the Knots. Sort of…!

The knot count of a handmade rug is an indicator of quality, but (k)not the only one.

Of all the technical details one could discuss regarding the craft of handknotted rug and carpet making, one stands apart as perhaps the most easily misconstrued, misrepresented, and misunderstood: knot count. This confusion arises for a variety of reasons too numerous to list, but suffice it to say knot count has tended  – rightly, wrongly, or otherwise – to be used as an indicator of rug quality due to its easily discernible and quantifiable value: the number of knots per square unit of measure. As such there is an expedience in saying a higher number of knots equates to a ‘better’ quality rug. Hmmm…. Yes, but that is not the full story.

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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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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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Domotex Hannover 2019 Complimentary / Free Admission | The Ruggist

With Compliments! | Domotex

Domotex, in collaboration with The Ruggist, is pleased to offer qualified attendees Complimentary Admission to Domotex 2019 in Hannover, Germany.

For most people in the Northern Hemisphere the arrival of January signals Winter’s grasp has firmly taken hold, yet for itinerant rug and carpet buyers eager to spot the latest trends, find an antique gem in the rough, or explore the innovations which will drive the future of rugs and flooring, January can mean only one thing: Domotex. Billed by the organizers as ‘The World of Flooring’ the original fair in Hannover, Germany as well as the complementary regional shows including Domotex Turkey in Gaziantep, Turkey, Domotex Asia/ChinaFloor in Shanghai, China, and the soon to be inaugurated Domotex USA in Atlanta, United States, certainly live up to, if not exceed, this moniker. The January 2019 fair in Hannover will host over 1,600 exhibitors who will – assuming past trends hold – attract approximately 45,000 buyers representing in total over 100 countries from around the world. In short, it’s big, it’s important, and if you are serious about rugs and carpets, it’s a must attend. The Ruggist will be there for the duration of Domotex 2019 which runs Friday, 11 January through Monday, 14 January, 2019.

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