Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Art of the Custom Rug

Take a look at this video which shows the process of making a handmade rug in Nepal.  From shearing the sheep to dyeing the wool to weaving, cutting, stretching and washing the rug, each rug is a work of art that represents thousands of hours of craftsmanship.  Thanks so much to my manufacturers in Kathmandu, Nepal for supplying the great video clips and to the sheep at the Minnesota State Fair for holding still long enough to get their wool sheared.  Enjoy!

Contact us for a free colored rendering in a custom size and color palette of one of our over 300 rug designs.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rug for ASID Showcase Home

I recently had the wonderful experience of working with Angela Parker, owner of Interior Places and Spaces, in Minneapolis.  Angela and I worked together to design a custom rug for the ASID Showcase Home on Lake of the Isles.  A home with a view of the lake was the inspiration for 2 fish in the center of the 8 foot round rug...surrounded by sea scroll and fish scale borders and traditional lotus flowers in the gold, sage and lavender tones of the library in the home.  Here are a few pictures of the process and the finished space.

Angela's sketch for the rug

Angela's inspirations for borders on the rug
Kenyan fish bowl from Angela's collection...used for inspiration

The rendering of the rug design

The rug on the loom in Nepal

The rug just taken off the loom in Nepal.  Notice how the weavers use leftover wool yarn to complete the rectangle/square on the loom.  This yarn is cut away in the finishing process.
Finishing stages in Nepal.
The library at the ASID Showcase Home
Designed by Angela Parker

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Recycling Turkish Treasures for Contemporary Interiors

On a recent trip to Turkey, I spent time visiting bazaars, halis and old palaces and everywhere you turned was an overdyed rug.  No overdyed rugs in the Sultans' palaces of course but rather old Hereke rugs worn down to the nubs.

Particularly popular in Turkey are the overdyed patchwork rugs in a number of varieties.   One of the most intriguing techniques to me are the antique wool rugs, shaved down almost to the warp and weft strands and then overdyed in pieces which are patched together...like a quilt.  The pieces are assembled and then the craftspeople hand sew a blanket stitch around each patched piece.  It's a fun way to add a vintage look in an updated colorway and at the same time, take advantage of a process that is using recycled materials.  This technique appealed to my sensibilities as a lifelong quilter as I have often added a blanket stitch on my sewing machine to an applique on one of my quilts.

If you'd like to see the patchwork samples, we have them in our showroom in 20 beautiful colors!  Suite 542 at International Market Square in Minneapolis.

Showroom in Turkey Featuring Overdyed Rugs

Turkish Overdyed Patchwork Rug at a showroom in Turkey
Color: Citron

Turkish Overdyed Patchwork Rug at a Showroom in Turkey
Color: Jean Blue

Suite 542 at International Market Square in Minneapolis

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Making rug samples in Nepal

As a rug designer, it is very exciting for me to see pictures of my rug samples being woven in Nepal.  In most cases, we order a sample, call a strike-off, usually 1 X 1 or 2 X 2 feet, to confirm color and pattern in the client's rug.  Once the strike off is approved, we proceed with the rug.

2 X 2 foot rug samples on the loom in Nepal

As you can see in the picture below, multiple samples are typically made in a row on the loom with the same warp strands connecting all the samples.  When the samples are completed on the loom, they are removed and disconnected from each other by cutting the warp strands in between each sample.  My clients prefer no fringes so the fringes are turned under and covered with a cloth strip on the back of the sample.  All of this work is done by hand and the outcome is a beautiful hand-knotted rug sample to confirm the choice of their rug.

Rug Samples in Nepal

More samples in Nepal--fringes will be turned under and covered with cloth

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stately Damask--A traditional pattern with a contemporary twist

Our Stately Damask rug pattern is one of our most popular.  It's a traditional damask motif updated by limiting it to 2 colors and increasing the scale of the pattern.  In this family room designed by Martha O'Hara Interiors, the rug lays the foundation for a room with fun pops of limey green...a signature style for the talented designers at this Minneapolis-based design firm.

Dream Home--Edina, MN  Photo: Troy Theiss

Stately Damask Rug on loom in Nepal in brown colorways

Stately Damask Rug in trimming and finishing stages in Nepal

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dreaming of Spring

Here in Minnesota, we've had an extremely mild winter...outdoor hockey rinks melting in early February is a rare sight.  So...of course, we're all dreaming of an early spring.  With that in mind, yesterday I created a couple of contemporary rug designs with a few orchids sprinkled on the rugs in bright, fresh colors.  If you have any inspirations for rug designs, please feel free to share them with me and I'll see what I can do to create the rug.  I'm always looking for ideas.

Copyright by Julie Dasher Rugs 2012

Copyright by Julie Dasher Rugs 2012

Copyright by Julie Dasher Rugs 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pink Kitchen Runner

Creating a custom rug for a kitchen runner is a great way to pack a punch of color in your space.  This pink runner in my "Rocky Medallion" pattern was specified by Darsi Floersch at Martha O'Hara Interiors for her beautiful client project.  The project was also an ASID award winner this year.

Don't be afraid to invest in a custom rug for a kitchen space.  If the rug is hand-knotted, all wool and small enough...it can be washed in your laundry or bath tub!  Just be sure to use mild soap (shampoo is a good option...you're basically just giving the sheep a bath :)) and cool water.  Never wash a wool rug in hot water or it may shrink the fibers.  Also, make sure to rinse well.  It will be good as new once the rug dries.  I do it all the time!

Tip: Never immerse a hand-tufted rug in water or the backing will break down--hand-tufted rugs have a cloth backing glued onto the back of the rug.  In a hand-knotted rug, you can actually see the knots on the back of the rug.

Picture is courtesy of houzz.com.

Treehouse Kitchen contemporary kitchen

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lilu Interiors---An Inspired Team

Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the interior designers at Lilu Interiors to create some custom rugs for their client.  The couple is young and loves bright colors...a dream come true for a rug designer who also loves color (in the state of Minnesota where beige and grey are often the preferred color choices)!

After a few renditions, we landed on this Moroccan-inspired rug design in a field of blue with pops of pink, chartreuse and chocolate brown.  In a unique living room setting, Lilu created 3 separate sitting areas but coordinated them beautifully.  The art, pillows and unusual fringed throw on the sofa pull the central part of the living room together and yield a fun, bright and playful space to enjoy family and friends.

Keep it coming Lilu ladies!!

Interior Design by Lilu Interiors/Photos: Susan Gilmore
Rug design by Julie Dasher

Rug design by Julie Dasher

Rug design by Julie Dasher