Archive for the ‘Rugs’ Category

A very expensive rug

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

The famed Pearl Carpet of Baroda has an astonishing starting price of $5m and will become a record breaking rug if it sells, beating the rug that sold for $4.45 million back in 2008.

The silk Persian rug in New York, Christies that sold in 2008 broke all records for the highest grossing rug but this Pearl Carpet of Baroda is expected to reach way over the $5 million mark

The sale of the spectacular rug will be handled by Sotheby’s and the auction will be the first for their new offices in Doha. Commissioned by the Maharaja of Baroda in India in the 18th century, the Pearl Carpet was created using an estimated two million natural seed pearls farmed from the Arabian Gulf. Embossed with gold set diamonds, rubies and emeralds in their hundreds, the centre piece of the exquisite rug are three large round rosettes put together using table cut diamonds set in silvered gold. This rug is seriously blinged out!

Originally intended to be gifted to the tomb of the prophet Mohammed in Medina, the Baroda rug never made it to its intended destination as “Gaekwar” Kande Rao, the Maharaja of Baroda, died before the rug could be delivered. The persian silk rug designed to echo a similar rug that exists in the Taj Mahal, the Baroda example has remained in the Indian princely family since the Maharaja’s death, briefly appearing at exhibitions such as the 1985 landmark exhibition ‘India’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

A house is not a home until it has it’s own a helipad.

Friday, September 10th, 2010

In 2008, to spend £50m on a new house seems excessive to say the least but to then splurge another £30m on doing it up  is mind boggling. But the super-prime section of the London property market is an exclusive world, with laws of its own. Indeed, the new Kazakh owners of the grandest house on The Bishops Avenue, north London’s billionaires’ row, believe they bagged a bargain when they bought the Toprak Mansion earlier this month.

But the decor, it seems, is not right! Despite the five reception rooms, nine main bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, all spread over 23,000 sq ft, the place is to too small. So, although Toprak, with his woollen rugs, one of the most expensive new-build properties sold in Britain at the time, this house has probably been lived in for less than a week or so since it was completed in 2001, the owners are calling in the builders and the bespoke rug designers.

By the time they’ve finished, as well as all the basics de rigueur for the self-respecting billionaire – such as wireless audiovisuals, pressurised purified water on tap and automatic security shutters, they will also build a new 30-seat cinema, squash and tennis courts, a billiards room, a beauty salon, a 24-carat gold-plated whirlpool bath, a new staff lift and a small river, complete with canoe. Even the helicopter gets its own lift: the helipad in the garden will sink into the ground and the roof will slide across the top.

The end result, expected to cover 42,000 sq ft, looks certain to outclass its next-door neighbour, Lakshmi Mittal, whose own 25,000 sq ft house, Summer Palace, can be peered into from the mansion’s 80ft main reception room. (Not that Mittal is often there: the Indian steel magnate spends most of his time at his other home in Kensington Palace Gardens, west London.)

But where are the carpets and rugs? Currently being imported from india and expected to be laid on every floor in the mansion.

Pakistani rug makers hit by the flood.

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

The people of Winnipeg, canada, who are buying handmade rugs from Pakistan could be throwing out a lifeline for about 200 flooded-out artisan families- more work.

“That’s what they want,” said Yousaf Chaman, the director of the Mennonite Central Committee’s rug program. Chaman,  the Pakistan-born and raised American helps run a fair trade program for rug-makers whose rugs are sold at MCC’s Ten Thousand Villages stores.

“They have temporary help, food and shelter but the biggest desire we hear from the artisans is ‘I want to get back to work and to normalcy,’ ” said Chaman who visited the artisans in May.

“Beyond income, it’s the routine you have,” said Chaman, who spoke to his counterparts in Lahore last wednesday morning about the plight of the artisan villagers.

When the flood hit, 200 of the 850 rug-making families scrambled to save their unfinished rugs, looms and equipment. The anchors of the loom are unfortunately buried more than half an metre into the ground and had to be left behind.

“The situation is, so far, that they can’t get work. They’ve got no house, no loom installed. People are basically sitting in tents. Most of their houses are still under water,” said Chaman. It may take months for the water to recede and begin to rebuild people’s homes, he said.

Walking on Art

Friday, August 27th, 2010

With fall in the air, people are thinking about options on how to warm their homes. Laura Kirar, an interior and product designer with offices in Manhattan and Miami, suggests focusing on the floor. Hardwood, ceramic tile or concrete can feel nothing but chilly in the winter, and short of installing under floor heating. Soft floor coverings and area rugs are the best way to add warmth underfoot, says Kirar.

”I look at a room like I’m making a three-dimensional painting,” said Ms. Kirar, who has designed bathroom fixtures for Kallista; furniture for the Baker and McGuire companies; tile for Ann Sacks; and a line of rugs for Tufenkian, called the New Moderns. ”If the right rug’s not there, you just know that something’s missing.”

There are many options beyond standard wool rugs for creating a distinctive look and feeling, said Ms. Kirar, who used a mixture of wool and hemp in her rugs to give them a casual quality. She also incorporated patterns inspired by contemporary artists like Gerhard Richter and Sol LeWitt and the composer John Cage to give them a modern, playful look.

At Aronson’s Floor Covering in Chelsea, she took off her shoes and tested various alternatives to stiff, fibrous sisal. She especially liked the products from Merida Meridian with a woven blend of wool and paper cord, including a zigzag design called Rhythm. The material had a smooth, pleasant texture, ”like sisal but not as hairy,” she said, that would make an ideal runner with binding along the edges.

At the Kasthall showroom in Midtown, Ms. Kirar gravitated toward the long-haired rugs that resembled shag carpeting. Running her fingers through the fibers of the linen Sam rug, installed on a wall, she described it as ”silky but earthy.”

For spare-no-expense luxury, she stopped at F. J. Hakimian, also in Midtown, to see rugs patched together from pieces of 1940s Persian and Turkish kilim panels, in wool, cotton or goat hair, which can be ordered in custom sizes, from long, narrow runners to large living-room rugs.

”Of all the things I get to choose for my clients, rugs are my favorite,” she said. ”It’s like shopping for art.”

Things to think about when buying an oriental rug

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Oriental rugs have not only been valued for their artistry and durability, but also their association with taste and gentility, although now a days you don’t have to be a Brahmin to buy one. Now there is a glut of affordable oriental rugs on the market and now thanks to an end in 2000 of the 20-year ban on Iranian textiles there is now an expanding range of other floor covering options to be held.

Determining quality can be tricky due to the many subtleties in materials, design and craftsmanship. But if you use your wits, you can find a rug that not only suits you and your style but can also become a sound investment.

But before you let a dealer unroll a single rug for you, keep some basic guidelines in mind. For example decide how much you want to spend and where you want to put the rug. If it is going to be in the dining room, you will probably want it bigger than the table, possibly a dark colour to camouflages nasty spills. And just so you don’t come across as a rug noob, call the rug a “carpet” when it is more than 6 ft in length.

Your next decision is whether to buy a modern or an antique rug. Though there are exceptions, the best-quality rugs are either very old or very new but will also be made in the old traditional way, to the opinion of most dealers and collectors- “There has been an effort in the last few years to return to the way rugs were made a century ago,” said Mark Hopkins, president of the New England Rug Society, but that happened to be before the widespread use of chemically treated wool, synthetic dyes and mass production techniques which discouraged weavers’ creativity. “Some of the new rugs are like the antiques in that they are unique, one of a kind, works of art,” said Mr. Hopkins, a retired advertising executive who has a large collection of Oriental rugs.

Prices will vary according to design, provenance and condition, but you can get comparable antique, and new, room-size Oriental rugs for  around £2,000 to £10,000. Rare collector’s rugs, like a 12-by-14-foot Sultanabad, circa 1870, may go for a large sum of around £100,000 to £200,000.

A Little bit about Persian rugs

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

The art of carpet weaving has existed in Iran since ancient times. This is proven by  the 2500-year-old Pazyryk carpet, dating back to 500 B.C., during back to the Achaemenid period.

The first documented evidence on the existence of Persian carpets came from Chinese texts dating back to the Sassanid period (224 – 641 AD).

This art underwent many changes in various eras of the Iranian history to an extent that it passed an upward trend before the Islamic era until the Mongol invasion of Iran. After the invasion, the art began to grow again during the Timurid and Ilkhanid dynasties.

Over time the materials used in carpets, including wool, silk and cotton, will decay. Therefore archaeologists are rarely able to make any particularly useful discoveries during archaeological excavations. What has remained from early times as evidence of carpet-weaving is nothing more than a few pieces of worn-out carpets. Such fragments do not help very much in recognizing the carpet-weaving characteristics of pre-Seljuk period (13th and 14th centuries AD) in Persia.

The weaving of pile rugs is a difficult and tedious process which, depending on the quality and size of the rug, may take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete.

To begin making a rug, one needs a foundation consisting of warps strong, thick threads of cotton, wool or silk which run the length of the rug and wefts similar threads which pass under and over the warps from one side to the other. The warps on either side of the rug are normally combined into one or more cables of varying thickness that are overcast to form the selvedge.

Weaving normally begins by passing a number of wefts through the bottom warp to form a base to start from. Loosely piled knots of dyed wool or silk are then tied around consecutive sets of adjacent warps to create the intricate patterns in the rug. As more rows are tied to the foundation, these knots become the pile of the rug. Between each row of knots, one or more shots of weft are passed to tightly pack down and secure the rows.
Depending on the fineness of the weave, the quality of the materials and the expertise of the weavers, the knot count of a hand made rug can vary anywhere from 16 to 550 knots per square inch.

When the rug is completed, the warp ends form the fringes that may be weft-faced, braided, tasseled, or secured in some other manner.

Sunny days with rugs

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Supposed to be the hottest day of the year and it certainly feels like it. The cats have been avoiding the shaggy rug today, perhaps they are feeling the heat too. They have been suffering with allergic reaction to something, perhaps pollen like us. Can cats take antihistamines?

Whilst lounging in the garden today I began to think about days gone by when the rich landed gentry would bring all their furniture, rugs, chairs everything out into their gardens and spend all day drinking tea and eating scones whilst their staff waited on their every need.

In those days they had large hand made Axminsters and Wiltons rugs with their complicated patterns and intricate designs. They must have looked fabulous in their expansive gardens.

It’s that time of year…

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Big Brother has landed on our screens in the UK and the house is as amazing as ever! Custom made wallpaper, whirl pools, chill out areas with custom made upholstery and a nest, this place is so cool everyone should envy the big brother house mates.

This house is going to be the last Big Brother house ever in the UK, or so they say, 10 years of the big brother house and UK television audiences have seen some of the most outrageous and crazy interior design as of yet.

It’s colourful and bright with a carnival/ circus theme. And as it’s the last ever series the producers have paid tribute to stars of the show from the last 10 years.
Painted on the bathroom wallpaper and on plates on the kitchen are images of host Davina McCall, 42, interviewing a housemate.
There are also drawings of Orlaith McAllister, 31, and Craig Coates, 26, kissing in the pool for a dare on BB6 as well as BB7 lovebirds Mikey Dalton, 27, and Grace Adams Short, 24.
There are also plenty of pictures of chickens, homage to birds that housemates looked after in the first few series’.

For the first time since the Big Brother phenomenon started,  housemates can see people coming and going from the Diary Room also heading up to the outside world once evicted.

The interior of the house is almost completely perspex, making the house so public that no one can hide, the only place to not include prespex in it, is the toilets. The floors are all custom made for the house, all of which feature intricately designed rugs and carpets. In previous years rug company’s such as Amazed and Woven Ground have been given the responsibility and honour to design for the BB house.

An article on The Rug Company

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

One of the biggest name in rug design and manufacture in the UK is The Rug company. Set up by  Christopher and Suzanne Sharp in 1997 The Rug Company have only but prospered in the rug market. In the beginning the rug market was filled with old rugs descended from old traditional persian rugs. Their mission was to inject originality and design into the rug market and that is exactly what they have down. I’m sure they aren’t the first to do it but they have collaborated with many fashion designers on their rugs. Original versions of Paul Smith’s candy-striped Swirl, Vivienne Westwood’s ineffably British Flag and Marni’s brilliantly bold Margherita are becoming increasingly collectable. “Hopefully, people will look back on this period and see that it was an interesting time for rugs,” says Christopher. All of their rugs are made by Tibetan weavers based in Nepal, each rug is spun, cleaned, dyed and knotted entirely by hand, in ethically sound conditions.

Christopher says: “We set out to do one thing and we have stuck to it. We make great rugs. Not furniture, not tables, not chairs, just rugs.”

Modern rugs as wall hangings?

Friday, June 4th, 2010

The rug has always traditionally sat on the floor but it could also look great as a piece of art on a wall. Many rugs that are mounted on the wall are hand woven tapestries, normally very intricate and have delicate designs woven in. Many tapestries are hung in museums or churches due to their religious and historical natures. A tapestry is woven on a vertical loom. It is composed of two sets of intertwining threads, those running parallel to the length, the warp and those parallel to the width, the weft.

Unlike tapestries that are woven and are usually rather thin due to the use of cotton or silk threads, there are other types of rugs that can be hung onto walls. Amazed Ltd use wool rugs with thick pile for their wall hangings, using this type of rug can bring a contemporary feel into any room. Most of their rugs are indented with interesting patterns and designs, they are also oddly shaped and can be designed and made in many different styles and colours.

Maybe the future of large rugs is not on the floor but on the wall…