You’ve heard it! Pantone has announced, not one, but two colours for 2016!
Rose Quartz and Serenity, “a harmonious pairing of inviting shades that embody a mindset of tranquility and inner peace.” The colours have been described as shades that bring a soothing sense of compassion and composure for consumers as they seek mindfulness and well being amidst the daily stress of modern day.
“With the whole greater than its individual parts, joined together Serenity and Rose Quartz demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.”
– Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute
Pantone has stated that the two colours are meant to challenge the conventional associations of gender by blurring the boundary, aiming for a notion of equality.
The internet is buzzing with commentary on the trend with likes and dislikes. So far the interior design world seems to have really embraced the choice. With a light and airy feeling, both shades are ideal for home decor and interior design as they set the mood for a calm and peaceful environment. They are not over powering and therefore easy to pair with a range of other colours. Use of Rose Quartz in upholstery does not come across as overly sweet or feminine, rather it blends in a harmonious way while Serenity lends itself very well to an array of decorative design elements from wall colours to carpets. Possibilities are endless.
What are your plans for decorating your living space in the new year?
Checkout our instagram page for a range of carpets that bring you a sense of tranquility and balance.
Over the past few recent years we have witnessed a revival of the craft and DIY culture. With all the advancement in technology for industrially manufactured and mass produced goods people have come to appreciate the beauty in authentic and handmade artefacts more than ever. Websites and social media platforms such as Pinterest and Etsy, as well as a host of various books and publications, have encouraged crafts and DIY projects either as hobby, business or simply ad hoc design solutions within the house. Naturally dyeing fibre and surface treatment have been among the revived crafts. Before the creation of synthetic dyes, natural dyestuff such as cochineal, madder root and indigo were used to dye yarns. Due to the laborious process and shortage of certain dyestuff, some colours such as purple and red became signs of wealth and royalty. In certain places, the normal citizens were not allowed to wear or use red or purple fabrics even if they could get their hands on them. Those colours were signs of class difference and were meant to be used by the royalty only. Upon the invention of the first synthetic dye in 1856 by the English chemist, William Henry Perkin, the whole world of dye making went through a revolution. More dyestuff could be achieved in shorter time resulting in vibrant colours that were not easy to produce otherwise. They were now available to all social classes. At this time natural dyestuff were still being produced and were in demand since the synthetic dyes used to fade over time. However, by 1868 another discovery by two German researchers resulted in a dye that could withstand light and washing.The world of natural dye making was in a free fall.
Since then, technological advancements have secured our power over final products with impeccable consistency. However, over time we have gone back to appreciate the beauty in natural dyes and handmade crafts as means of luxury. Since 1990s the trend in naturally dyeing yarns has been steadily rising. It is those inconsistencies that we seek in a piece, the imperfect perfections. The term is abrash. “The abrash is the slightly uneven hues that emerge as a carpet ages. The reason is that different dye lots, even of the same colour, can fade at different rates.” This effect is so well sought after that synthetic dyers and carpet makers try to replicate that look through fake methods.
In the book Root of Wild Madder, previously posted about here, the author visits a natural dye factory that is very modern and up to speed with technology where they try to control dyeing results with strict formulas. In a conversation with one of the employees, the man tells him: “We can try and try but nature is always one step ahead of us. It’s a humbling lesson. We have all this machinery and computers, but we are still left at the mercy of the madder root or the walnut or the pomegranate. We can get very close to making the same colour. You may not even be able to see it well with your eyes. But you know in your heart it can’t be done. No two natural colours are exactly the same. This is the mystery. This is infinity.” In the presence of a handmade carpet, one can’t help but wonder about the immense time, skill and craftsmanship that have gone in producing a single piece. This is how handmade carpets become more like art objects and carry a strong sense of history.
See our selection of natural dyed Persian Rugs
If the study of history and current state of carpet making as an art form is one of your interests you would enjoy reading the book, Root of Wild Madder by Brian Murphy. Madder is a natural dyestuff that gets extracted from the root of Rubia tinctorum plant and results in many shades of red. It is widely used for dyeing carpet yarns. However, unlike what the title of this book may suggest, Root of Wild Madder is not an instructional report on how to dye yarns for use in handmade crafts. The book is rather more about the author’s journey and exploration of the whole history and culture of carpets and their meaning and worth as timeless artifacts. It takes us on a journey through noisy bazaares, workshops, distant villages and places where quietly the magic and mystery of carpets are born every day. From high end New York carpet shops and galleries to bazaares of Tehran and Afghan villages, stories of successful businessmen, carpet collectors, natural yarn dyers, Sufis and carpet weavers unravel. Though the book may be a personal travelogue, the author covers a lot of facts about dyeing and weaving as well as history and culture of the regions where carpet making have been most prevalent. He gains knowledge of handmade versus machine made carpets and gives us a picture of the current trend and state of global carpet industry and how the commercial aspect of carpet making has affected this craft over the years. Every carpet has a story to tell and that is what we truly come to understand by the end of this book. Most interesting, however, are the ways the stories of the carpet makers get entwined with the carpets themselves. They become part of the magnificent glory and mystery of the final artifact, a heirloom for the future.
A beautiful moment in the book is when Murphy is having a conversation with the head of a carpet group that studies in Yazd University of Iran, one of the few state funded centers seeking to revive traditional carpet weaving and dyeing. He says:
“The weaver — whether he knows it or not — is making a version of paradise: a perfect, self-contained world. It’s a place we all dream of being, isn’t it? Don’t you think sometimes that it would be nice to step into a carpet and be surrounded by that beauty?”
Check out our exclusive collection of Traditional Persian Rugs.
The most important material to make rugs or kilims is wool.
As sheep have evolved from their prehistoric ancestors to the domesticated breeds of today, so has man’s use of their wool, and the techniques and skills involved in its weaving. The prehistoric sheep had a coat of matted hair more like felt than a fleece that could be shorn.
Sheep were amongst the first animals known to be domesticated by man, and care of the flock led primitive people into a pastoralist existence. Certainly wool has always been the dominant source of yarn in central Asia.
Shearing of the fleece is done by hand and takes place once or twice a year, usually when the flocks have been moved to the mountainous summer place. The amount of wool produced by one sheep varies from one to three kilograms.
In the area where the best quality wool is sought, care is taken over all the processes of preparing the yarn. The wool is repeatedly washed and scoured until it is clean and the natural oil content is as desired. Sometimes chemical compounds such as potash are added to the water to help remove dirt and the superfluous fat and oils. The washing process is important not only to remove the dirt from the fleece, but also to prepare the wool for dying.
Once the fleece is sheared and washed clean it is then spun to produce yarn. Spinning is a very laborious and seemingly never ending task, usually done by all community.
The most common method of hand spinning is with a drop spindle, for which the simplest whorl can be a stone or piece of clay, but a vertical wooden or metal spindle driven through a whorl in the form of a notched or disk is most often seen. With practice spinning becomes an almost automatic task, and it is common to see shepherds spinning while watching their flocks. Women and girls spin in their leisure hours.
They provide the yarn wool by spinning, and the yarns are ready for next step of dying.
The first step is scouring, which means the wool goes to the water and added soap and stirred while it is heated to simmering temperature and stays there about 45 minutes, then removed, cooled and rinsed until the soap has gone. The wool is hung to completely dry.
Tribes and villagers use natural dyes found in their environment for the colors of the wool. Dyes and colors can be found from plants, invertebrates, or minerals. The majority of natural dyes are vegetable dyes from plant sources: roots, berries, barks, leaves and wood.
The dry yarn wool is now ready for coloring. For this, first the dyes will be mixed with water to create the dye bath and then the yarn wool is immersed in the simmering color liquid bath for at least 50 minutes. Then the dyed yarn wool is taken out from the bath and hung for drying.
After the colored yarn wool is completely dry, the weavers will begin to weave the rugs.
I’ve always been a fan of fashion and design, and for years I have wondered why there aren’t more designs and patterns from Persian carpets incorporated into other industries. It seemed only logical. With all these colours and designs to choose from the designer would already be one step ahead. All they would have to do is bring these ancient patterns onto fabric.
Well, this week my question was answered by none other than Hermes. Their new line of aptly called “Tabriz” collection incorporates fundamental colours and designs found in Persian rugs from the Azarbaijan province. Geometric floral patterns with deep solid colours, mixed in with other Persian motifs, like the hunter on horseback.
With historic rug weaving cities in the Azarbaijan region, such as Tabriz and Heriz, there is no shortage of vibrant deep colours and intricate designs. The new collection from Hermes focuses predominantly on the geometric patterns found in this region and successfully integrates the designs into various fabrics for use in dresses, pants, tops, and even socks!
The world of design is moving towards more pattern and what better influence than Persian carpets with their huge variety of colours and designs. What other designs will we see transformed into other mediums? Perhaps we will see these Persian rug patterns work their way into curtains, upholstery, and various other fabric products.
For now, this new fashion trend is a tribute to the work and effort of generations of weavers and rug designers from Iran. Where it will go in the future is unpredictable but definitely interesting to look out for. To get a glimpse into the fashion designer’s mind, take a look at our rug collections for inspirations of your own. Never fear setting creativity loose.
The world of design is celebrating trends of varying prints and patterns. The ranges of carpets we carry offer the opportunity to introduce exotic patterns and textures to your space. From organic forms, to old geometrics and refined lines there is an endless possibility to explore within the world of carpet patterns. The depth of space can be increased through introducing a variety of patterns within one space – allowing a new space to emerge through the intricacies within the floor covering.
The patterns you can explore are endless and the combinations can be quite daring. Through a mixing of carpet type one can combine various patterns of different times and places within one space while maintaining an aesthetic link that tiles both together.