Chris confesses that his carpets show an almost
obsessive attention to detail, from the colors, to the
finishes—the selvedges and kilims and fringes, from the actual
structure of the warp and the weft, to the pile height. Many
people ask him, how important is this, are these things that
really make a difference?
He says “When we first
started out making carpets, I thought we could just draft
accurate drawings of these designs and then simply make something we couldn’t find in the market—decent
reproductions of antique carpets.”
“I quickly found out that it wasn’t enough to
just make good drawings, that beautiful carpets only resulted
when all of the details, from the quality of the wool, to the
quality of the dye colors, to the weaving foundation structure
of the carpet itself, were at the highest level and completely
integrated with each other.”
It is this attention to detail, along with a well
drawn design, that ultimately distinguishes a great carpet from
an ordinary carpet.
Chris feels he has been very fortunate to work
with manufacturing partners who understand the importance of
this attention to detail, and have brought their experience and
energy to this task of getting these aspects just right. It has
required a great deal of trial and error experimentation.
One detail that distinguishes modern handmade
carpets from the antiques is the fundamental physical structure
of the warps and wefts. Modern handmade carpets most often use white
cotton warps and wefts, wherein in the antique carpets we see
all wool warps and wefts. Some say that the cotton foundation is
stronger, but Chris doesn’t don’t buy it. “The oldest carpets
have wool foundations—they’ve lasted hundreds of years.”
Classical Carpets often dyes the foundation wool, just like
we see in the antique carpets, and unlike modern carpets.
This dying serves several functions. When the pile of the
carpet is worn (dozens or even hundreds of years later) the
foundation is exposed. The colored wool weft, when exposed
still brings color to the carpet, rather than graying it out as
a white weft does.