Colors: Orange Color

Handwoven Textiles Made in Maine

Luddites were weavers who rightly feared industrialization would take their jobs, arguing not against the societal advances, but the loss of their livelihoods. It’s a prescient understanding of the effects of industrialization on production, without accounting for the benefits which later come. In a world wherein so much is mass produced, it seems the appreciation of handwork is on the rebound.

A Look at an Iconic American Style: Distinctively American in its aesthetic, the classic braided rug endures at the hands of Capel Rugs.

In French the phrase ’s’il vous plaît’ translates literally as ‘if it pleases you;’ you are undoubtably quite familiar with its abbreviated English use on invitations—it is the S.V.P. in R.S.V.P. As a pun, plait as a noun is also a braid, or as a verb to braid, and from the perspective of ‘Made in the Americas’ nothing could be more pleasing to those with an eye for the traditional vernacular than a classic braided rug.

Transplanted Techniques Define the Modern Era

In the Fall 2017 issue of Rug Insider we explored traditional Iranian felt making at the hands of Peace Industries in the article Revivalist Modern, pages 39-41. But seeing as no one country or region holds a monopoly on the technique it is such that we now explore traditional Turkish felt making, made modern and transplanted as it has been to Massachusetts. This is the story of The Ram and The Worm.

For almost a century the American firm Karastan has been providing the style and functionality demanded by American consumers. In examining their history and ethos, Rug Insider wonders what can be learned.

Industrialist Henry Ford has long been the recipient of accolades praising his creation of the assembly line and for innovating production in order to provide design within reach if you will, long before a certain current business co-opted the term. Bringing design within reach, or to the masses, is perhaps the single most praiseworthy effort any company can aspire to achieve.

Owing to its origins as a historically rare, difficult, and thus cost-intensive color to produce, purple has long been associated with regality and the privileged.

The Greek title of this feature, Porphyrogénnētos, translates literally as “born in the purple” and was the Roman and Byzantine concept under which children born to reigning emperors held superior rights to the throne over siblings born before their father ascended the imperial throne. The “purple” aspect derives from the purple-hued porphryry rock interior cladding of the Porphýra, or the Purple or Porphyry Chamber. This was a free-standing pavilion of the Great Palace of Constantinople, now Istanbul, Turkey in which heirs to the throne were born. It denotes favor, privilege, power, prestige, and favoritism.

As for the modern use of the color, it associates with rarity, royalty, magic, mystery, and piety. When it’s paired with pink—eroticism, femininity, and seduction. Perhaps this is why purple is so loved by many (and also disliked just the same).

Laurie Downing is no stranger to the world of rugs and carpets. So while her new firm Wool Song brings refreshing, colorful, and stylish hand-knotted carpets to the market, it does so with the knowledge and history of the craft and the industry. On first look, it’s a formula for success.

To attempt to describe the softness of alpaca is to nearly exhaust the dictionary of adjectives amounting to soft, luxurious, and the like. We first met Sumaq Alpaca in 2016 and for this “Made in the Amercas” issue of Rug Insider we venture both north to Canada where the firm is based, and south to Peru where its rugs are made, as we explore the remarkable fiber.

To talk rugs and carpets with Laura Parker is to enter into an atypical discussion encompassing far more than “Is the rug the right size?,” “Is it within budget?,” or “Can it be made with more orange in it?” In fact there is little typical about Laura Parker—particularly when it comes to rugs. Rug Insider set out to find out why.