Main page>  Textures>

Share |


Carpets are usually considered, as two-dimensional objects comprised only of design and color. The true connoisseur, however, recognizes that carpets are really three-dimensional works of art combining pattern, color and texture. In historic carpets, the variety of textures experienced in a piece is the inherent result of the age-old traditions, techniques and materials of the differing cultures throughout the rug-weaving world.

Most makers of new carpets ignore the character that texture could add to their carpets and happily produce all of their designs and colors with the same basic weave and materials. While the result maybe a wide array of styles and palettes, all of the carpets essentially have the same visual ‘feel’ and flatness that in the end could have been woven by a machine.

Driven by Joanna Michalowicz’s—the founder and driving force behind Asha Carpets—experience as a master weaver and textile restorer, Asha Carpets strives to fully explore and exploit the visual and tactile benefits that texture adds to the overall character of a hand-woven carpet. Asha Carpets goal, though, is not to merely reproduce the correct texture of existing historical carpets, but rather to capture and recreate the unique spirit and interest that texture contributes to the artistic merit of antique pieces. In essence, using the qualities of the antique as inspiration in creating a new interpretation of the carpet arts for the 21st century.

The experimentation with texture often leads Asha Carpets into materials and textures or combinations of textures and materials that are not traditionally found in old pieces, but it is exactly these new ideas and pairings that imbue Asha Carpets with a vitality and appeal rarely seen in carpets of recent manufacture. Interestingly, the conceptualized design is not always the primary factor in choosing an appropriate texture for a carpet… in some cases the exploration into different textures leads to the design itself.

These differences in techniques and materials—in other words, texture—found in Asha Carpets reveal themselves through higher or lower knot counts, long and shaggy or short and refined nap/pile (or often something in-between), the fusing of flat-weave and pile, combinations of different wool types and qualities, diverse ways of tying a knot to how a piece is wefted as well as a myriad of other idiosyncrasies that work together in determining the material, physical presence of the carpet itself.

Naturally, with such concerted effort into the nuances of texture, Asha Carpets is constantly introducing new textural ideas into their carpets and have discovered that the diversity of possibilities with texture is endless. Nonetheless, herewith is a brief description of a few of the textures we currently work with:

click on picture to enlarge

Knotted Pile
We weave carpets in a variety of knot counts including 120, 100, 80, 60 and 50 knots. These different knot counts provides us with an expansive vocabulary for interpreting our designs. In general, intricate and curvilinear patterns require a higher knot count, while more open, stylized design work better with a lower knot count. However, constant experimentation has shown that mixing a design with an unexpected knot count can yield magical results.

click on picture to enlarge

A new texture we invented combining ‘Aubusson’ flat-weave and a low cut-pile that creates carpets with a rich and lush voided velvet effect, appropriate both exuberant floral designs to contemporary designs. The soft relief resulting from this technique is as akin to fabric in its visual appeal and material handle as it is to more traditional carpets.

click on picture to enlarge

Another texture we developed that combines hand-knotted pile and soumak flat-weave. Although similar sounding to our Velaubu texture, Velsou results in a heartier, more substantial material that adds an intriguing twist to almost any design. While this technique was originally developed to mimic the recessed corroded areas in antique carpets, it has proven to be an exciting technique in and of itself for contemporary designs.

click on picture to enlarge
Our flat-woven carpets are made in a variety of different textures, from light to heavyweight. The lightweight version is most akin to a traditional kilim, but we will often use a combination of machine-spun and hand-spun wool to make a more interesting and appealing surface. Our heavyweight flat-weaves have an incredibly organic surface that conjures both historical connotations of ancient rush matting as well as a very modern minimalist sensibility.

click on picture to enlarge

Scandinavian weaves
This weave draws on the rich, earthy, unassuming yet imaginative tradition of Swedish workshop weaving in the early to mid-twentieth century. Bold graphic designs in this technique allude to modern architectural, garden, and decorative art forms of the 1940s and ‘50s. The juxtaposition of recumbent, plush-pile design elements and tweeded flat-woven backgrounds, however, creates a subtle low-relief effect which offsets these bold designs; and pieces produced in this technique are available in numerous concordant color-ways.



For more info: ASHA CARPETS, 94-98 Nassau Avenue, suite 360, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Tel (914) 645-1262, e-mail: