June 13, 2017

Indigo

June 1, 2017 


Indigo has been around for many, many years. It has become established as a colour reference itself separate from weather it has been created with the actual dye. 

Blue, one of the most commonly favourited colours in the world. It evokes a calming presence, and don’t we all enjoy feeling calm? What is it about blue that associates us with the feeling of being calm, could it be that is plays such a large presence as a colour in nature, being the colour of the sky and bodies of water.  Especially when it comes to our homes, blue is a popular choice for bathrooms and bedrooms, the places where tranquility often matters most.

 Summer 2017, we will see indigo in a big way in fashion, but also in home decor. We will notice the increase of not only the textile patterns traditionally produced with Indigo, with the ancient Japanese resit dye techniques of Shibori. But also the solid colour of Indigo itself, sometimes referred to as raw indigo. This is the what is used to create denim, we will see an increase in denim wear throughout the fashion trends. 

But what is Indigo dye made of? Natural indigo is a plant based dye, one of the original plant sources for indigo is a plant called Indigofera tinctoria. To create the dye, plants are harvested and pressed in baths of water until the colour is extracted and the water has fermented. The plants are removed from the bath and the next step can vary depending on the dyers recipe.

As we continue into the year with a focus on natural materials and sustainability, it seems only right that indigo would appear in colour trends for 2017.

May 01, 2017

Spring Clean

May 1, 2017

 

 



With the arrival of May it is pretty safe to say that spring has arrived. New life is budding all around us, the ground and the trees are becoming alive with florals and greenery. 


Eager to put the long winter behind us, we often feel inspired to do some serious cleaning this time of year. If you’ve got rugs in your home than here are three tips for your annual spring clean.

 

1. Switch it up 

It is a good idea to rotate your carpet. Over time the amount of sunlight that a carpet is exposed to can cause certain areas to fade. Furniture placement on the carpet can block the sunlight and in turn cause uneven discolouration. The sun is powerful and no matter how strong the dyes in your carpet are, they are likely to fade from sun exposure over time. Carpet rotation allows for a more even distribution of sunlight. Another plus for rotating your carpet is that any reaction from foot traffic is spread out. 

 

2. Vacuum top and bottom 

This one might not be such a surprise. Hopefully you haven’t gone all winter without vacuuming your carpets! Carpets should be vacuumed about twice a month. It is a good idea to vacuum the top and bottom of your carpet, especially if it is made of wool, as dust can be caught in air pockets. 

 

3.Give it some fresh air

Although you might frequently vacuum your carpets (we certainly hope you do!) It is also a good idea to remove your carpet from your space and clean the floor underneath. It may seem strenuous but it is worth it to keep your carpet in good condition and even help to maintain the flooring underneath. Dust can get caught underneath the carpet and if there is any sort of moisture, this would allow for it to dry. If you’re able to, hang your carpet outside for the afternoon to air it out. 

 

If you have any tips or suggestions of your own - we would love to hear them!

April 01, 2017

Allo, not Aloe!

April 1st, 2017



 
 


Allo, not to be confused with Aloe-Vera, is a Himalayan nettle plant which can be processed into a fibre. Allo is also known as Wild Nepalese Nettle or, Himalayan Giant Nettle plant. For many centuries, Nepalese villagers have used allo to make beds, ropes, fishing nets, clothing, baskets etc.


Raw allo fibre

 The fibre from an allo plant comes from the stem, it is very long and strong. After the stem is cut, the bark is removed and peeled, allowing the fibre to be extracted. Allo can be found growing wild in Africa and several Asian countries. Nettle fibres are highly durable and sustainable. This Himalayan Nettle is one of the longest fibres currently known and it is considered to be finer, stronger and more elastic than linen. Allo rugs are even stronger than the more commonly known sisal rugs.
As we transition into Spring, we’re all itching to finally be able to spend some time outside, wither it be walks in the park, trips up to the cottage, hanging out on a patio or balcony. With any extension of your home outside, comes outdoor decor, that's where allo comes in. 

If you’re looking for a way to define your outdoor space, perhaps an allo rug would be one of the best ways to do that. An allo rug adds great texture to an indoor or an outdoor space. Allo rugs are easy to hang dry, which is important because no summer is complete with some rain showers. Ideally the outdoor area would be covered or the rug placed under a canopy, this would help to avoid summer dirt. However it is important to have regular maintenance for an outdoor rug. Allo rugs are also a good suggestion for a hallway rug, as they are highly durable and can withstand high traffic of boots and shoes. The thick fibre, is a great look for beach houses, holiday homes and cottages.


A blend of allo and wool 

Allo can be blended with other fibres, such as wool, this creates a interesting variety and blend of textures. The natural plant fibre also pairs well with house plants, which have become increasingly popular in homes. 


Now that you know a little bit more about allo, you know not to confuse it with aloe!
March 01, 2017

Marble

March 1st, 2017




 

Marble has dominantly been reserved for kitchen countertops, cutting boards and flooring. However, marble has now bypassed its traditional forms. We are seeing this trend in pieces that are far from stone cold. Breaking free from kitchens and bathrooms, marble is making its way into living rooms, bedrooms, fashion and accessories, stationary and even carpets. 


Marble designs are being translated into textile pieces. This is an interesting approach, as textiles are far from marbles original material. The intriguing contrast between what would be marbles true form, cold and hard stone, to being replicated in something soft and flexible. It is an interesting way to incorporate marble designs in a space that calls for something cozy and soft.


Marble designs have made their way into the carpet and rug industry. It may not always be an exact replica of a marble pattern, but we can see that marble has created inspiration behind some of our current rug designs.


What is it that attracts us to marble, is it the unpredictable natural pattern and texture? There is something intriguing about the natural patterns, colours and textures formed in marble. The gradients of white and grey move together forming a unity of movement. As the stone is formed through a natural state of exposure to high heat and compression, creating a variation of colour, pattern and texture.


We enjoy the contrast of textures found when pairing marble with wood and other raw materials. This trend can even be traced to the inspiration behind Pantones colour of the year, Greenery. With the rejuvenation of exposed natural materials in interiors, we are embracing materials that evoke an earthy feeling. Marble fits right into this category and holds a unique style. Perhaps because marble is an ancient stone, and has been known to represent luxury.

Marble maintains its elegance while being explored and reflected in a new materials. This trend may be coming into it’s second year, but we don’t see it going anywhere too soon.

February 01, 2017

Creating a Custom Rug

February 1st, 2017 

 

 

 The search for the “perfect rug” can sometimes feel discouraging, then perhaps having a rug made specially for you is the right path to take.
 
For those of you who were able to join us at the Toronto Interior Design show over the weekend of January 19th - 22nd then perhaps, you visited our booth and learned a little bit about our custom rug order process.

We’ve put together a few helpful questions and thoughts to consider when creating your custom rug. A rug is a great piece to have in any space, it can be used to bond a space together and create a sense of warmth.


Honeycomb - Gold / 7'7" x 10' / 100% Zee Silk / Vaara Collection


Colour and Design

 
What are the feelings that you wish to evoke from this space? Think about the activities you wish to do in this space. For example, is this a space that you would like to have for yourself to unwind after a long day, sit with a good book or perhaps it’s a space you would like to invite friends for a sociable evening. Or maybe this is somewhere that you would like to be versatile and appropriate for multiple occasions? Choose a colour palette that corresponds with these ideas.

What other dominant colours are going to be used in your space? Would you like for your rug to be a subtle component and pull a space together? Or would you like it to pop out and be a central focus?

Something to consider when choosing the design of your rug is for example, how might your design be effected if furniture is covering a portion of it? If you have a lot of furniture that will be placed on the rug, then perhaps a solid colour, done in a textural weave or a subtle design might be best.

 


Sizing and Arrangement 


The size of the space where the rug is going to go. How much space would you like to have from the wall to the rug? An average of 18 inches distance from a rug to a wall is a popular choice. If the space is quite large then perhaps add a few more inches and minus a few for a smaller space.

Would you like the furniture to be placed on top of the rug, partly on the rug or surrounding the rug? Of course the positioning of your furniture on your rug is influenced by the size of the rug you choose and the space available. However placing a portion of furniture onto the rug can help to unify an area.


Putali / 8' x 8' / 100% Himalayan Sheep Wool / Core Collection 


It is important to consider and embrace the possibilities of custom rug design, the satisfying process of having a piece designed and catered for your space, by you. 



January 01, 2017

Greenery

January 1st, 2017
 
 
 

As many others, we were excited with the announcement of Pantone’s colour of the year for 2017, Greenery. Symbolizing new beginnings and encouraging environmental awareness.

The colour green is dominant in nature, being able to bring in a natural aspect into an indoor space, provides a warm and calming presence.

 
 
 
 

Greenery symbolizes to us something refreshing, natural and inviting. This colour can be considered to be bold but due to it’s active role in nature, we feel it holds a peaceful sentiment.

With greenery portraying environmental awareness and new beginnings, we couldn’t help but feel connected to this colour and what it symbolizes to us. We consider the impact on the environment when it comes to every step of our production process. Starting with the sourcing of our natural materials we use to create our rugs. Processing our Wool, Zee Silk and Allo by hand preserves the natural fibre content which in turn protects the fibres and allows them to be highly durable.

 
 Shambala / 6’ x 8’ / 100% Himalyan Sheep Wool / Vaara Collection
 
Close up of Shambala  

A side from the obvious positive benefits for the environment by being environmentally conscious, our communities and customers reap in the benefits of being surrounded by a high quality truly handcrafted rug.

We honour the connection between the craftsperson and the piece they produce, it is important to us that every step is authentic and believe that no piece would hold the same high quality if they were not. 

 
Naomi / 6’ x 9’ / 100% Zee Silk / Vaara Collection 
 

We are looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in store for us. We hope that after a new Pantone colour is chosen for 2018, the positivity greenery resembles to us will continue to be relevant. 

 

What does Greenery mean to you?



December 01, 2016

Zee Silk

 December 1st, 2016 


 
Zee Silk is a unique silk fibre produced by hand only in Amala Carpets’ facilities located in Thailand. Setting this silk apart from other silk fibres is the hand-processing techniques used to create this highly durable and luminous silk. Zee Silk is obtained by the time-consuming method of reeling the silk cocoon by cocoon exclusively by hand. As it is such a meticulous process, only a limited amount of Zee Silk is produced each year, meaning that only a small number of these exclusive rugs are annually available. 

 

Silkworm Cocoons

 

Raw Silk Spinning 

 

Eliminating any machine processing methods, results in the silk fibres maintaining a high level of sericin. Sericin is the outer protein layer found on silk fibres which gives it strength, durability, softness, and flexibility.

 

Zee Silk after being washed 

 

Zee Silk is hand washed in a bath of tropical fruits that are local to the area and placed in the sunshine to dry. We do not sure any detergents or drying machines, as these can be harmful to the fibre, causing it to weaken. Avoiding the use of detergents allows for the silk to maintain it’s natural properties and supports a healthy environment for our weavers. This also ensures that no pollutants are released into the soil or waterways of the farming community where the rugs are produced.

 

Zee Silk

 

 

 

Our talented team of weavers at our Thailand facility consist mainly of women, encouraging local female empowerment. At the final stage of processing Zee Silk we are left with a beautifully soft, high quality silk fibre ready to be woven into a luxurious durable rug. Making every hand processing step truly worth it.

November 01, 2016

Our Story

November 1st, 2016 



We are excited to share with you that this will be the start of many journal entires to come. 

The Amala Carpets team wanted to have a place where we could share information about our story and our detailed processes, discuss a range of topics such as weaving materials and styles, design trends and events. We decided that the best way to do this was to start our own journal directly on our website. Our journal will be updated monthly, starting at the first day of each month.

First things first, we would like to share with you a little bit about our history and who we are. Amala Carpets is run by the sixth generation of a family of wool traders and rug producers. We run a boutique firm based in Toronto where we sell high quality handmade rugs, manufactured with our own facilities located in Nepal and Thailand.

 

Working together, early 1970s

 

Spinning wool, early 1970s

 

Busy hands carefully hand knotting, early 1970s

 

We offer customization of any of our own preexisting designs through colour choice, weaving style, size and shape. We also welcome new patterns, designs, drawings and inspirations. We enjoy working closely with designers and clients to create the rug of their aspiration. 
 
All of our rugs have been crafted with hand processed raw materials. Every detail from the hand-spinning of the wool and silk to the mixing of our natural dyes has been done with great precision and care. Our environmental sustainability and social programs have captured international recognition. We have a high appreciation and support for ancient crafts and a huge respect for our talented artisans.



Natural light at the weaving studio in Thailand, 2015

 

One of the many talented weavers in Thailand, 2015

 

 Working together to roll up a finished rug, 2015

 

We have a true passion for everything that we do here at Amala Carpets, in every aspect of the design process of each of our rugs. We look forward to sharing more information regarding our processes, current events and discussing design trends.