January 2012 International Rug Market Report

Jaipur Rug Co's Provenance Collection

While you were watching NFL Playoffs this weekend (or attempting to avoid them) we were hard at work bringing in the newest and best oriental rugs that the world has to offer.  The International Area Rug Market was held this January and Lexington Oriental Rugs was excited to make the trip (read: like a bunch of kids in a candy store.)

There were, of course, the usual traditional oriental rugs to be found at this market, but that is not why we brave the perils of I-75… we go to see what is going to be the surprising hit for the following year.

This market brought two introductions that we definitely would not have predicted a year ago.  The traditional Ikat design made a huge splash at the market, with nearly every manufacturer showcasing their version of the ancient design.  And a new combination of patchwork rug samples with heavy over-dyed color also made a strong showing.

Ikat is a nearly universal weaving style that is very common to many world cultures.  The distinctive pattern originally was created by a textile dyeing process that is similar to tie-dye.  Bindings, which resist dye penetration, are applied to the threads in the desired patterns and the threads are dyed. Alteration of the bindings and the dyeing of more than one color produce elaborate, multicolored patterns. When all of the dyeing is finished the bindings are removed and the threads are ready to be woven into cloth.  The defining characteristic of ikat is the dyeing of patterns, by means of bindings, into the threads before cloth construction, the weaving of the fabric, takes place. Herein lies the difference between ikat and tie-dye. In tie-dye the fabric is woven first and the resist bindings are then applied to the fabric which is dyed. 

Kalaty Rug Corp's Heritage Ikat

Most of the rugs that were presented at market simply recreated the ikat patterns, but utilized traditional oriental rug weaving technique.  Will this pattern be the smash hit that the manufacturers predict?  Only time will tell.

We must admit that the introduction of the patchwork rugs was a bit of a surprise to us.  You can find original patchwork rugs in the marketplace, but these were created due to a lack of materials or funds, not as a fashionable statement.  Frankly, the construction process for creating patchwork rugs with anything other than remnants is not usually cost effective.

Nonetheless, the patchwork rug has mark a mark on the interior design community and the oriental rug world will follow suit.  These rugs were wither woven with a simple patchwork pattern and then stitched to keep the illusion, or were actual pieces of rugs of samples that were bound and stitched together.  After the construction is complete, the entire rug is heavily over-dyed to retain an older looking, heavy color.

Again, the fate of this style is up to you.  What do you think of these two styles?  We would really love your feedback on this issue.

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