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.
The Four Season's Spa in Doha, Qatar provides a soothing and relaxing environment with a variety of therapies for the body. The entrance to the spa is a beautiful backlit onyx wall which is located at the top of a staircase leading down into the spa located in the lower level. The space is cool and calming with plush rugs and water features providing ambient sound. The hydrotherapy lounge consists of a wave pool with bubble seating, overhead jets, current pools, a kniepp foot bath and laconium beds. Located adjacent to the hydrotherapy lounge are different rooms such as a colour therapy, an ice room and of course the standard sauna and steam within the change room area
Health benefits of Colour Therapy: Colour Therapy is a natural, powerful and non-invasive system of healing that uses the therapeutic energy of the seven colours of the light spectrum. Colour therapy has a history as far back as ancient Egypt, China and India. Light (or the absence of light) can have an effect on the Hypothalamus, the Pineal and Pituitary glands which affects our mental and physical states of health.
JJs Family Spa near Vancouver, Canada is a unique family owned Korean Spa. The Spa is located in Coquitlam, BC, just outside of Vancouver, an unlikely place for a luxury spa but worth the trek. My favourite part of this spa experience was the different themed rooms. Although the finishes are a little outdated and the environment nothing too special, the variety of themed therapeutic rooms is the most unique I have seen.
There is a salt room, a charcoal room, and a red earth room along with the standard sauna, steam,hot & cold tub. The salt room provides relief from respiratory illnesses, improve skin conditions and strengthen the immune system. The Charcoal room restores the body with its antioxidant properties, promoting an alkaline environment for the body. The Red Earth Room promotes blood circulation, helps o eliminate toxins from the body and relaxes the mind to enhance the healing powers of the body. I will definitely return to this spa for the experience.
The spa at the Chedi Hotel in Muscat, Oman is an oasis of relaxation. The beautiful and serene gardens leading up to the spa entrance provide a nice transition from the bright and hot exterior to the cool dark oasis inside the sap walls. The spa treatments offer worldly oriental and ayurvedic treatments or aromatherapy oils. There are treatments from india, Bali, Vietnam along with reflexology and treatments catering to adrenal fatigue. There is a state of the art gym finished with warm wood finishes and technogym equipment along with the latest pilates equipment. There is an outdoor swimming pool next to the beach.