The magic of carpets

The magic of carpets

Carpets are not just about luxury and opulence any more. A rug on the floor can make any living space come alive and give it a personal touch.Bindu Gopal Rao gives a lowdown on the latest carpeting trends.

“To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.” — Helen Keller If there is one element of décor that adds a touch of sophistication to your living space, it is carpets. Carpets have always had a mystical quality associated with them, and their utilitarian benefits are hard to ignore.

The specifics

Homes have become important spaces for entertaining friends and family. As a result, a lot of young homeowners and business executives are open to the idea of using carpets in their home. While continuing to capture the imagination of rug connoisseurs with rich, classical designs, galleries have also managed to make carpets appealing to a younger generation of consumers with edgy and new-age design concepts, textures and colour palettes. No interior space would be complete without the use of carpets or rugs. Carpets are woven, knotted, tufted or embroidered and manufactured in Lahore and Peshawar (Pakistan), Kashmir, Bhadohi, Tabriz (Iran), Afghanistan, Azer.

“The new trend is to move away from the basic beige or neutral carpet used as a backdrop for interior spaces, and bring in carpets to add colour, texture and as an art piece. Carpets and rugs give warmth and colour and can reinvent any space. Wall-to-wall carpeting is giving way to smaller sizes of carpets with more intricate patterns. Carpets can be traditional or modern depending on the interior style.

Modern rugs made of wool, nylon and even leather are used for contemporary interiors and offices, and are not as expensive as the traditional carpets,” says Alpana Kirloskar, architect and interior designer. Unlike in the past, when carpets were considered a luxury, these days carpets are an important part of the interior products segment. “People can select from a plethora of designs and hues to match any kind of interiors. Nudes to reds, golden to blues; mix-matched or themed, whatever you want is easily available. Quirky and chic designs are the order of the day,” says Ashish Dhingra, managing director, Obsessions.

Buying a carpet can be a tedious affair, as myriad varieties are available and you are sure to be confused about what will suit your home. Keeping in mind the various designs, colours and textures selecting a carpet becomes a difficult task. When considering buying a carpet as an investment, one should opt for a handmade carpet made of natural dyes and high-quality wool or silk.

Apart from the general state of the carpet, it is important to examine the condition of the knots. “A good carpet should not have less than 100 knots per square inch. This will determine how well the carpet may age with time and use. Some patterns with extensive detailing will have more than 300 knots. A carpet with unique motifs and colouring tends increases in value, and this applies to both exclusive silk-on-silk carpets as well as kilms,” says Kirloskar.

Carpets are literally art for your floors. The amount of time taken from designing to hand weaving, an average rug could take at least 3-4 months to finish and involves the efforts of five to six people. It is important that you choose a rug carefully keeping the overall décor theme in mind, because the perfect rug will really heighten the aesthetic appeal of your home and add that touch of luxury and sophistication. “We suggest that you keep designs, colours and size in mind before you decide which rug to buy. Also, you must consider the durability of the rug. Hand-knotted carpets are washable and have a life span of many years, whereas hand-tufted rugs, though economical, have much shorter life spans,” says Ayush Choudhary, rug gallery owner.

Fibre helps decide the amount of money you want to invest in the carpet, as it spells out the quality of the carpet. Some of the most common fibres that are used in hand-made carpets include wool and silk. Fibres used to create machine-made carpets are nylon, polyester, polypropylene and wool. Wool and silk are the most expensive fibres, and they need more care and maintenance.

“The make or density of the fibre must be checked before buying a carpet. Density refers to how closely the base of the carpet has been woven. The base of the carpet is made by knotting or tufting of the yarn used. Higher the density of the weave, the sharper is the clarity of design on the carpet. In fact, high density carpets are more lavish and luxurious in feel and touch. The feel of the carpet will depend a lot on the kind of pile that has been used in the carpet. There are high piles, low piles, loop piles and flat weaves which helps in giving the carpet its character,” says Dhingra

In vogue

Carpets are definitely one of the most popular options for flooring in the home and you have plenty of choices. “Choosing a carpet is a personal decision and totally depends on the décor of a space — while a classical décor would be complemented by a traditional rug, a modern home can be adorned by an abstract or a geometric rug. With regards to textures, there are a variety of them available today — leather, jute, wool, silk, shags and many more,” says Choudhary.

Carpets change along with the interiors these days, hence propylene carpets are the most sought after ones. They are easy to maintain and can be frequently changed along with the décor, as they are cheaper. The sizes of the apartments that people live in has reduced and hence the sizes of the carpets in general have reduced to fit the requirements of smaller spaces. Remember, carpets are like old wine, the more they age, the more valuable they become.

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