Travelling to India for work was an educational experience. India is a place I want to visit again and again. The people, the food, the textiles, the architecture, the scenery, and the chaos. The architecture of the Taj Mahal is timeless and so beautiful. the colourful street scenes are busy and diverse.
The main focus of my trips was carpet. The carpet factories I visited were a few hours north of New Delhi. The climate is perfect for working with natural wool and silk in most months except monsoon season. The factories have large rooms assigned for dying, weaving, tufting, gluing, trimming, carving and packing.
Yarn colours are chosen from a pom box pictured below. The yarns are then dyed to match the specific colour.
The yarns are then hand tufted using a tufting gun into hand drawn patterns on large cotton backing sheets which are on stretchers. After tufting is complete the rugs have a backing glued on and then dry outside. Then the rug goes into final finishing and gets trimmed or carved according to the design. Carving and trimming is done with large scissors by hand.
Traditional carpets are usually symmetrical. Extremely intricate patterns can be achieved and almost any colour can be custom dyed. I love the neutral palette of this rug, creating a juxtaposition of a traditional pattern in a contemporary colour palette.
Carpet and rugs are an important component to interior design. Wall to wall carpet or area rugs have different functions in different environments. They can help with acoustics, makes space feel warmer, softer, add texture, colour and help to bring together all the finishes in the space for a cohesive design. They can be used for way finding or define an area in a room. Luxury rugs and carpets typically tend to be thick and dense. Natural materials such as silk or wool are typical for luxury.
Commercial and office carpet tends to be either broadloom or carpet tile and is thin and durable. Carpet produced for commercial use is typically made from one of six pile fibers: nylon, polypropylene (olefin), acrylic, polyester, wool, or cotton. These carpets are manufactured mainly in the US, China, and Europe. Custom carpets produced for the luxury residential and commercial market tend to be made in India, Nepal, China, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Morocco, and Europe.
Types of carpet Woven:Woven rugs are produced on a loom. Woven rugs can be either plush or berber or combination called cut and loop pile. Woven carpets are usually the most expensive due to the long and slow process of manufacturing them. These are typically manufactured in India, Pakistan and Arabia.
Needle felt: Needle felts are produced by felting individual synthetic fibers using barbed and forked needles forming an extremely durable carpet. These carpets are normally found in commercial settings such as hotels and restaurants where there is frequent traffic.Needlefelt is available in different qualities, for example 750 g/m2 fibre weight, 600 g/m2 and 500 g/m2. Needle felt carpets reduce ambient noise, making it ideal for use in places which require a tranquil atmosphere and a minimum of noise distraction, such as offices.
Knotted:Knotted carpet is produced by setting up a loom with warp threads on the frame of the loom before weaving begins. A number of weavers may work together on the same carpet. A row of knots is completed and cut. The number of knots determine the quality of the carpet, the more dense, the more precious the carpet or rug. Both vertical and horizontal looms have been used in the production of European and oriental carpets. There are several styles of knotting, but the two main types of knot are the symmetrical (also called Turkish or Ghiordes) and asymmetrical (also called Persian or Senna). Today knotted carpet production takes place in: Lahore and Peshawar (Pakistan), Kashmir (India / Pakistan), Mirzapur, Bhadohi (India),Tabriz (Iran), Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Northern Africa, Nepal, Spain, Turkmenistan, and Tibet.
Flatweave: Created by interlocking warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) threads. Oriental flatwoven carpet include kilims, soumak, plain weave, and tapestry weave. Types of European flatwoven carpets include Venetian, Dutch, damask,haircloth, and ingrain (aka double cloth, two-ply, triple cloth, or three-ply).
Hooked Rug: Handmade by pulling strips of cloth (wool or cotton) through meshsuch as burlap.
During my time working overseas I worked with marble suppliers in Italy to select over 30 different types of marble slabs based on a specification, sample or photograph. We toured several marble yards, including Luigi Antolini, in order to find and secure the different marble & granite slabs. Some of the more difficult stones to find were vein cut green onyx, Septaria, and Angel Jasper. The Green onyx slabs all had red and brown veins which were not desired but that make the pieces very unique.
Sample of ideal Light Green Onyx Vein Cut
Slab selection # 1 Light Green Onyx Vein Cut
Block selection for Dark Green Onyx Vein Cut. The slabs ended up having more red and brown veining than I had hoped for
Angel Jasper is part of the Luxury Precious Stone collection which Luigi Antolini supplies. Over 96 unique precious stone types are available, including Agates, Quartz, Tiger's Eye, Zebra Jasper and many more. These unique slabs were custom made for our project.
Corridor at Luigi Antolini Showroom
The Luxury Precious Stone Collection
Outside the Luigi Antolini Showroom
A fun Granite I found was called Feldspar Gold which was used in a washroom and shower area.
Washroom with Feldspar Gold
Striato Elegante Light and Dark are two beautiful and timeless marbles which, when used together look extremely 'elegant'.
Striato Elegante Light selection
Striato Elegante Dark
Below are two images of options for Cappuccino Onyx vein cut
Cappucino Onyx vein cut
Cappucino Onyx vein cut
In Carrara, many of the marble yards have a view of the mountain, here you see the crane used to move the marble slabs around the yard, with a view of the mountains in the background.
At the marble yard, a view of the Mountains in Carrara
Below are some examples of water jet pieces cut, waiting to be pieced together for a detailed flooring. The photograph on the right shows some water jet cut patterns for borders that have been glued together. A thick layer of resin was applied on top to ensure any and all gaps are filled prior to installation. After the resin is dry it will be removed and the surface will be polished.
Some highlights from a visit to IIDEX 2015 - NEW MATERIALS:
Tempest Wall Board from Northern Wide Plank Flooring uses salvaged wood from old barns set for demolition. A beautiful, natural and rustic wall panelling solution. www.northernwideplank.ca
Vivid Glass from FORMS+SURFACES is glass with multi-layered patterns on the inter layers, etched surfaces creating a sometimes transparent sometimes opaque surface and a play on light, refraction & diffusion. www.forms-surfaces.com
Bark Cloth, Dekonature from DEKODUR GMBH &CO . KG is a broad cloth panel using Ugandan craft in manufacturing techniques to piece together the bark of the fig tree, a renewable resource. www.dekodur.com