Analyses, insights and articles on latest collections and trends.


A fine carpet gives warmth and pleasure to your feet. Not just to beautify a space, whether it is living, bedroom or dining, but to bring joy and stir your soul. These beautiful carpets are symbols of timelessness connecting between function and art, between a space and the people who live in it. Part of what adds to the timeless aspect of these carpets is their durability; If a beautiful piece of art can last for a very long time, it has to do with proper care and maintenance so that it can not only be compelling for years, but for generations to come.

Here are some useful tips that help in maintaining and keeping your carpet in good condition.

Dealing with dust and dirt
Take special care when cleaning your hand knotted carpet. Sand, grit, and dust can work into the base of the pile and abrasion can damage the wool fibres and result in loss of pile. To remove the dirt and dust, take the carpet outside and gently sweep with a broom to loosen the dirt trapped between the fibres and do the same by flipping the carpet. Vacuum once a week or as more frequently as you wish in the direction of the pile to maintain your carpet. (If the pile feels nice and smooth, it is in the direction of the pile.) Vacuum both back and front side and make sure you protect the threads while vacuuming the carpet. Care should be taken not to brush the loop carpets while vacuuming. Do not use vacuum cleaners with harsh bristle roller bars or beaters as these cause the sides of the carpet to fray or damage the pile of the carpet itself. If you find some loose threads over the surface of the carpet, cut them with a pair of scissor. When vacuuming a Kilim or a hand knotted carpet do not use high suction settings and remember not to vacuum the fringes as with repeated applications some of the fringes may be torn off. In high traffic areas of your home and office, make sure to vacuum the carpet more frequently.


Dealing with spills
No matter how careful you are, accidents do happen and one cannot prevent them. Food and drink spillages are quite common and have to be given immediate attention and cleaned instantly. Before dealing with spills, read the carpet labels for wash symbols and cautions. Once you are sure about the instructions depending on the carpet type and material, you can spot clean or dry clean. For liquid spills, blot up with a blotting paper, paper towel or a clean rag to absorb the liquid and for solids, it is best to use a spoon to scoop them up. Do not rub the carpet as rubbing causes the stains to go deeper and embed into the fibres.  Work the stain from the outer edge to the centre. Blot or clean the spillage until it dries. If you are planning to use detergents or cleaning solutions, make sure to test the detergent on an inconspicuous area of the carpet first. If the carpet colour gets transferred to the white cloth or if you are not sure about how to clean the stain then we strongly urge you to seek professional assistance. Though you will find several methods to remove the stain on the internet, make sure you carry out these methods at your own risk. If you prefer to be on the safer side, it is always better to contact a professional carpet cleaner immediately.

Avoiding heavy weights
Heavy furniture can damage your carpet. If your furniture base or legs are sharp and made of metal, ensure to use protectors prior to setting furniture on top of your carpet to avoid crushing or flattening piles. Avoid keeping flower pots on your carpets. If you really want them on your carpet, keep flower pot trays which collect the excessive water from the pots. If the pot leaks, the carpet will be affected causing it to stay permanently damp. Within two or three weeks the foundation of the carpet can become so weak that chunks can be torn from the affected area by hand leaving your carpet ruined. It is all the better to keep them away from carpets.

Dealing with uneven wear
Due to heavy traffic in certain areas, the carpet will be worn out or discoloured in the same spot. To prevent this, rotate the carpet at 180 degrees every few months. This way the foot traffic is distributed evenly over the entire surface of the carpet. Also, if the carpet is exposed to direct sunlight, chances of discolouration is more. So, rotate the carpet to prevent uneven wear.



Dealing with creases and wrinkles
To avoid creases or wrinkles on your carpets, place a clean thick and dry towel over the area of the carpet which is creased and then iron over the towel a few times in the direction of the pile. If the carpet pile does not return to its original shape, you can repeat the treatment but bear in mind that the iron must not come into direct contact with the carpet.

Dealing with curling
Curling can happen due to quite a few reasons like packing and shipping a new carpet, rolling the carpet while storing or due to furniture weight. When carpets refuse to lay flat, give some time for the carpet's foundation or backing to relax after it is unpacked or rolled out. Try reverse rolling the carpet, this will speed up the relaxing process.

Preventing sun damage
If you ever want to dry your carpet in the sun, keep in mind not to dry it in harsh sunlight during monsoon and on the other, make sure to dry your carpet in shade in summer. If your carpet is damp during monsoons, the wet wool will start rotting faster and will produce a bad odour. Damp can damage carpets that are made from natural materials like wool, cotton, and silk. If your carpet catches moisture, chances are that the moist can lead to moth infestation and mildew growth. But, if you own a Hands carpet you are fortunate, as our carpets are moth proof and eliminate the need to worry about moth infestation or having your carpets being damaged by moths. Fast-forward to summer, note that harsh sunlight is not recommended as the carpet colour can fade over a period. Intense heat can dry out the natural oils in the wool making it weak and brittle. The vegetable dyes may fade substantially when exposed to UV light. The synthetic dyes will fade extensively and this will happen far quicker than with the vegetable dyed carpets. Whilst some fading is essential and natural, too much can ruin the look of the carpet and reduce its lifespan by damaging the pile. This can be prevented by blocking the direct sunlight using blinds or drawing curtains. Pay attention to the placement of your carpet, you can rotate or re-position, and avoid placing the carpet near the windows. Applying UV filters to your windows is strongly advised as they are quick, easy, and inexpensive. However, prolonged and intense sunlight is not good for materials of any kind.

Dealing with pet problems 
Pets do love carpets as they can sharpen their claws, scratch, chew or urinate. But, their actions are harmful to the carpet. In most instances, you can train your pets to scratch a scratching post or chew a toy. When pet hair accumulates in a carpet, gently brush the carpet with a stiff soft clothes brush or utility brush till the dirt and hair cease to come out. Pet urine, if left unattended, can cause severe damage in the form of rotting and discolouration. You can control your pet activities by using a squirt gun which can be used to condition the cat or dog to avoid the getting near the carpet.


Carpet storage
The most practical way to store carpets is by rolling them up tight width wise and storing them horizontally. Start rolling from the side that is opposite the direction of the pile. To prevent the carpet from unrolling, use rope or string to tie around the carpet. Avoid wrapping the carpet in plastic as plastic will prevent the carpet from breathing. Before wrapping, use moth balls or silica gel pouches as protection against moths and pests and wrap in a breathable fabric. Make sure to have the carpet fully wrapped and sealed so that water and humidity do not enter. Store the carpet in a well-ventilated area in a dry place or climate-controlled area to avoid damage. Do not store carpets in a closet or attic without checking every month or so for moths and humidity. Do not store carpets in the basement, the damp environment could lead to irreparable dry rot. Under no circumstances should the carpet be wet or damp when you roll it up directly on the floor for storage. Moisture that cannot escape or dissipate from under the carpet and may also cause dry rot so make sure to prop a damp carpet up, letting the air circulate. Avoid exposing the carpets to direct sunlight. Do not store the carpet in an upright position, as this could result in it losing its shape.

With right care and maintenance, you can extend the life of your carpet and keep it looking new for many years.

Disclaimer: Kindly note that we do not take responsibility for the suggested spot cleaning advice, as stains may vary depending on the material. For difficult and deep stains, your best bet is to contact a specialised or a professional carpet cleaner.

A carpet adds comfort, gives warmth to your feet, hushes the sound of moving chairs, ties in the elements of your décor, completes the look of a room, accents your décor, and makes a space appear more welcoming. But if it does everything except fit into your space, then the whole purpose is defeated. In our previous article, we shared complete guidelines on Choosing the Right Rug Size for Living Room and Bedroom. Now, here are some useful guidelines that throw light on choosing the perfect carpet size for a dining room taking into consideration the size, shape, space, and user requirements.

Things to remember:
-Be careful not to fall into the trap of getting a rug simply because you like the design or the texture.
-Avoid a too small rug that barely contains the table and the chairs.
-The rug size you need will vary based on the size of your dining table and number of chairs.
- When selecting the rug, remember that your table and chairs will obscure the centre pattern and texture of the rug, so be sure to choose a large enough rug size so that any pattern or texture will be visible at the peripheral edges.
-A patterned rug under a glass-topped table adds an additional design element that will take centre stage when your guests are seated at the table.
- Guests should be able to slide their chairs all the way out without catching the edge of the rug.
-Keep 18 inches of bare floor, exposed on the edges of the rug.
- Consider the shape of your space when choosing the shape of your rug.
- Look at your room's furniture layout, and then determine the size you need.
-For chairs to slide in and out comfortably, you should add 24″-30″ to each side of the table for the perfect rug size.
-If your table has extensions or leaves, take measurements with them in place, so you’ll have a large enough rug regardless of the size of your dinner party.

Recommended carpet sizes for dining room

Sizes
Dining areas have stricter rules when selecting a proper rug size. To find out the right size for your dining room, all you have to do is make sure the table and chairs are completely on the rug irrespective of whether the chairs are kept under the table when not in use or pulled out when used. This means when you pull out the chair to sit at the dining table or when you get up from your place, the chair legs should remain on the rug. Take a tape and measure starting from the back legs of the chairs just beyond where the chairs are pulled out till two feet wide from all sides of the table (length and width). This should be your ideal size for the dining area.   Sizes to consider: 9x12, 8x10 Of course, you can go larger if you wish. If you want a very large rug for your dining room, the same rule applies: your rug should act like a frame for whatever furniture or accessories are placed on it. Ensure that there is some space between your rug’s outer border and the floor.

We recommend a rug that is 8' x 10' or larger.
A six chair dining room table will need an 8x10 rug size
An eight chair dining room table will need a 9x12 rug size
A ten chair dining room table will need a 10x14 rug size

Shapes

Consider the size and shape of your space and table when choosing the shape of your rug. Round dining tables in round dining rooms look best over round rugs. An oversized round dining table means an extra-large round area rug. Round rugs have the capacity to create a central point in any space. Eight foot round rugs are a great choice for round dining tables with four to six chairs. Rectangle rugs are the most common types of rugs and can easily be found in many styles and colours. Large rectangular area rugs are usually preferred in dining areas to tie the large room together. Similarly, square rugs can also be made on order in wide variety of styles and patterns in myriad shades and textures. Square area rugs go well with small square dining rooms with minimalist furniture. Other shapes such as oval and octagon are not so common in dining areas, but are preferred in large floor spaces. The same rule of thumb applies to shapes as well.  Ideally you’ll need a rug much larger than the whole setting to ensure that the chairs don’t ‘go off’ the rug’s edge as they are pushed in or pulled out to sit on.

Miscellaneous:
The style of rug is another vital aspect, because the dining room is another area where spills can occur. These little accidents can be far more easily dealt with if there is a flat rug as opposed to a high pile rug on the floor, because flat rugs are generally easier to clean. And if you need to move quickly, your chairs will be far easier to move on a flat rug. After all, flat rugs won’t show furniture marks as much as higher piles.

All you need to do is spend a little time thinking about what you want, what you need, the colours, the shape, and the fabric and weaves options, and once you do these picking a rug will get easier. In this day, with all the dining table size options in the market, it is best to measure your table and room to make sure you are getting the best rug size for your dining space. Eventually, all that matters is that your choice should be based on a good balance of what you love and where the rug is going to be located considering the floor space and furniture.

The rug size depends on the room floor space, furniture and the type of room. Check out the guidelines to right rug size for living room in Part I and for bedroom in Part - II.

Wouldn't you love a cosy, comforting, and a pleasant feeling  under your feet when you step out of your bed first thing in the morning? Every one of us does and a perfect carpet can accomplish that for you. All you have to do is make sure you have the right rug that will sit in your bedroom taking into consideration the furniture and floor space.

Just like our guidelines to Choosing the Right Rug Size for Living Room, we have a few tips and tricks that will help you choose the perfect carpet size for your bedroom as well.

Some general guidelines for proper placement of the rug in the bedroom include:
-The placement and size of your rug depend on the size of your bed and the existing floor space.
-The rug shouldn't touch the walls instead it should leave at least four to five inches between the walls and the edge of the rug or a minimum of eight inches if the room is larger.
-The rug should be large enough to accommodate your feet while getting out of the bed.
-The rug should accommodate the legs of the furniture or you can also have two runners on the either sides of the bed.
-If the rug runs under a side cabinet, nightstand, or dresser, make sure that when you open the door or drawers, the bottom edge of the door is high enough to go past the rug without dragging it along with it.
-Just remember to orient the rug to the shape of your room: rectangles running the same way, square or round rug in a square room.

If the bedroom floor space is small, it is generally assumed that the room can hold a single bed. In such circumstances, place a 5x8 rug horizontally under the bed which can start from the centre of the bed  and go beyond the bed’s footboard. The rug should extend at least 2-3 feet on either side of the bed. But, if you have a creative way of setting up the rug without distorting the balance and feel then go ahead and fling your creativity in. You could even use a nice round area rug to soften the room or you could just place a small rug on the side of the bed you usually get out of. The possibilities are endless with our wide range of rugs which is customizable to any size. In rooms with two single beds, especially the children’s rooms, a rug looks perfect centered between the two.

In a standard floor space bedroom with a double bed , you can place a 6x9 rug that holds 2/3 of your bed. The rug will not go all the way to the wall behind the bed and your nightstands will not sit on the rug. With this layout, the rug should ideally extend 12 to 18 inches past the bottom foot of your bed and can go beyond a ottoman at the foot of the bed if you have one. Besides, placing the rug completely under nightstands is left to the user’s discretion.

Ideal rug sizes for your bedroom

In a larger room, an 8x10 rug will usually be your best bet. For a queen size bed, an 8x10 can hold the entire bed, nightstands but not the ottoman. If in case you want it to hold your ottoman then you can start laying your rug from the bottom two-thirds of the bed which will accommodate your ottoman. This rug size allows you to have 2’6” exposed on each side of the bed and 3’6” at the end of the bed if you choose the second option.

In a spacious room with a king size bed, a 9x12 rug is an ideal fit. This rug holds the entire bed, the nightstands and a bench at the foot of the bed. This layout allows you to have 2’10” on each side of the bed and 4’ at the end of your bed. While choosing a large sized rug for this layout, be aware that your bed will cover most of the pattern when you’re picking out the design of your rug. Pick a rug which has designs dominating on the sides. The larger the rug the more larger your room will appear. In this layout, you can let the rug peek out even more and the most important thing is that the bed shouldn't cover so much of the rug that you hardly see it.

Apart from rectangular rugs there are square, round and area rugs which can be placed in the bedroom to break away from the monotony of straight lines. Following the above principles will help in giving a cohesive or a visual balance to your space. Along with rug size, remember to bring balance and harmony through colours, patterns and texture of the rug to provide a linking element. At the end of it, a rug should aid in creating an illusion of more space. With an equal part of it exposed on both sides, it must create balance and tie the whole room together.

The rug size depends on the room floor space, furniture and the type of room. Check out the guidelines to right rug size for living room in Part I and for dining room in Part - III.

Does the carpet choose the floor it wishes to grace or does the space choose its carpet? There is no right or wrong answer. Whichever the case, the floor space, furniture size, room type, size and shape, all define what carpet size is right for your décor. Choosing the right size is as important as finding the right colour and pattern.

Living, bedroom, and dining room are the spaces where dressing your floors with a rug unifies your furniture and enhances your décor. We have divided the key guidelines to help you choose the perfect carpet size for your home into three parts.

Part – I
Choosing the Right Rug Size for Living Room 

Size matters and it is the most extensive part of any buying process. Before going into the details, you have to remember two things: Firstly, always carry a measuring tape to measure the perimeter of the area you would like the carpet to cover. Secondly, when in doubt, click a photograph of your room and keep it for reference. It could be of some use when you want to show your room layout to a designer or an architect.

In a smaller floor space the furniture is mostly lined up along the walls and therefore, it is always better to have the rug in the centre of the room. Place the rug under a coffee table with all its four legs resting on it. Make sure that all the furniture in the centre of the living sits around the border of the rug, without touching it. Do not forget that your feet should always rest on the rug when you are seated. We suggest a rug size that is at least 5x8. This method is called ‘none rule’ or ‘no connection lounge’ or ‘all furniture off the rug’. Generally, this arrangement is ideal for small spaces and apartments.

In a standard floor space, if your furniture is placed against the wall, ensure that the rug sits under all the four legs of the coffee or centre table and under the front legs of the central furniture like a sofa or a chair. The back legs of the sofa can be off the rug. The suggested rug size is 6x9.  This approach is called connection lounge as it helps to connect the various furniture pieces together to create a sense of good proportion. The designers call this method as 'two rule' as the front two legs of the sofa rest on the rug.

Ideal carpet sizes for your living space

In a large floor space, some furniture can be on the rug and some off the rug. For instance, when it comes to a sofa, the front legs can sit on the rug and when it comes to a chair, all the four legs can fit firmly on the rug. While this is done, make sure there is about 18 inches of bare floor between the rug edge and the perimeter walls of the room. This approach is suitable for rooms that are enclosed and separate from surrounding rooms, as opposed to open concept spaces. The ideal rug size for this set up is 8x10.

In an extra large floor space the furniture is grouped towards the centre of the space, so a rug should be big enough to accommodate all the furniture in the living room and spread beyond. This allows the furniture to float in the centre of your room and makes your space feel bigger. In this set up, whether your furniture is a modular or a sectional sofa, or for that matter any kind of configuration, they should fit easily on the rug. The ideal rug size for this set up is 9x12. This approach is best for large or open-concept spaces. The principle that works best in most settings is that the bigger the rug the larger it makes a room appear.

All these principles help in simplifying your search for the perfect carpet size. Although there are multiple rules on what rug size is best for your home, these guidelines help in determining which approach is most appealing to you and will be effective in achieving the look you desire in your individual spaces. But, if you have personal preferences, then go for what you feel works great in your setting. After all, if your space allows, you can always have multiple rugs in the living room - say a runner running at the entry or an additional rug in front of the fireplace. At the end of it, a carpet's purpose should be met. Be it warmth, symmetry,  visual harmony and connection.

The rug size depends on the room floor space, furniture and the type of room. Check out the guidelines to right rug size for bedroom in Part II and for dining room in Part - III.

What if a 2500 year old story can be told in new ways? What if the understated can make a statement?

At the recently concluded design event - India Design ID 2017, Hands was the most lively and vibrant booth among hundreds. The brand showcased carpets that could tell an ancient tale with new patterns, classic designs with a modern twist, outstanding geometric outlines, distressed look, minimalistic yet elegant, and never before seen shades.

The four-day long event showcased the passion and craftsmanship through a diverse new collection that caught the attention of a lot of people during the exhibit. It is indeed a great platform and an enormous opportunity to be a part of the design hub that is carving a niche for itself globally.
The Hands booth at the exhibit covered 320sqm which had more than 17 carpets ranging from traditional to contemporary styles.

The entry at the booth is praiseworthy with the arch like structure supported by pillars, a chandelier and an enthralling Zalij blue carpet in the background with a floral element in the forefront. Handcrafted with botanical silk, this classic impression carpet is inspired by Arabic architecture.

Zalij blue carpet at the entrance

Carpets that were displayed outside the booth include:

Flare multi coloured hand knotted carpet in pure silk, wool and linen.

Flare Multi Colour

Modern yet vintage in looks,  Ayna Emerald hand knotted carpet in pure silk, wool and linen.

Elixir Fuschia and blue carpet with a graceful pattern involves unexpected texture and depth. It is hand knotted in pure silk and hand carded wool.

Atia grey blue carpet from the Lost Heritage collection, hand knotted in bamboo and botanical silk.

Hands booth at India Design ID

The new Akasa purple gold hand knotted carpet in pure silk, wool and linen.

Drawing its inspiration from an unconventional world,  Mistral rust carpet is all the more appealing with a bold tint.

When one enters the booth, carpets belonging to different collection from Persian to Urbane are displayed. There was one carpet that took everyone by surprise -the 'Renaissance' carpet embellished on the ceiling. The carpet pattern resembles an Aubusson carpet, which has its origin in France.  These carpets have grand designs of frames and cartouches hung with garlands.  They have a clear, neo-classical, almost architectural monumentality and soft coloration reminiscent of Greco-Roman decorative arts.

Renaissance carpet on the ceiling

Every Hands carpet has a name which it has got from the pattern or the art woven on the carpet. But, here's an area rug named after its shape - Sphere, which was displayed on the table. This purple round rug is sculpted and has its colour emerging lightened as it moves to the centre.

Sphere sculpted carpet

On one side were carpets like Mirall, Marquise and Umbra and on the other side were Blossom, Kinetic and Alluriana. The new Mirall blue gold with abstract patterns which makes it both elegant and sophisticated. It is hand knotted in linen, pure silk, and wool. Marquise teal hand knotted carpet in bamboo and botanical silk gives it an organic feel. Umbra hand knotted carpet in pure silk and wool is one of the recherché carpets from the collection. Alluriana yellow beige carpet takes the centre with its inspiration from floral wood carvings. It is hand knotted in bamboo silk. Adjacent to it is the Blossom red black carpet from the Urbane Collection, which is knotted in Tibetan knot style with botanical silk. Right next to it is the Kinetic taupe carpet from the same collection with the same material.

From left: Umbra, Alluriana, Blossom, Kinetic 

Apart from the contemporary designs, the Persian carpet collection also graced the walls of the booth.  The collection includes- Isfahan hand knotted carpet in hand-spun wool, Guldani with floral patterns, Gumbad finely hand knotted carpet in wool and botanical silk, Gobekli hand knotted Turkish design in pure wool and Oushak inspired from early Turkish carpet weaving which is hand knotted in hand-spun wool.

The latest Persian carpet collection

New collection, stunning designs and vibrant colours is not all it was, the unique pieces also stirred the emotions of those who came to visit the booth. "Charming", "opulent", and "a warm feeling" are the words used by the visitors to describe the carpets. If only a glimpse can conjure so many expressions, imagine what the carpets can do when they are laid on the floors of your home.

Marquise teal and Mirall blue gold carpets

For the latest collection of fine handmade carpets, get in touch with us by following the link: http://hands-carpets.com/contact

There's a red carpet rolled out every time there is an entertainment award or a red carpet fashion. With all the paparazzi swarming just to get the first click for their magazine, red carpet has become synonymous to glamour. The Oscars also well-known as the Academy Award first started using a red carpet in 1961, which is now a staple in Hollywood. Nevertheless, it will certainly be a main draw at the Oscars 2017 which is happening this Sunday. So where does all this tradition of putting out an over-sized welcome carpet come from and why is it red?

Turns out its origin goes back to 458 B.C., to an ancient Greek play by Aeschylus. In the play, King Agamemnon returns home triumphant from the Trojan War. The king's wife Clytemnestra seeks vengeance against him for his role in the death of their daughter, Iphigenia. Clytemnestra invites him to walk on a crimson carpet from his chariot to his home, crimson symbolising the colour of the gods. He initially refuses to walk on the carpet saying, “Only the gods deserve the pomp of honor," but he later ends up walking on it, thereby incurring the wrath of the gods.

While there is a disagreement about the carpet colour in the play; some experts say that it is quite likely that purple carpets would have been more standard than red in Ancient Greece and Rome. Purple was the colour from Ancient Greece that was associated with royalty, with Tyrian purple in Ancient Greece one of the most expensive dyes to purchase. Hence, early red carpets were more than likely purple carpets.

Unveiling the significance of the red carpet

After the play, the red carpet came to be associated with both gods and kings. In Renaissance art or in paintings throughout history, you can see red carpets leading up to the thrones and palaces of royalty. This is because red as a colour has long been associated with prestige, royalty and aristocracy. Scarlet happened to be the most prized dyes as it was the most difficult to make and the most expensive.

Fast-forwarding significantly through history when scarlet-hued carpets still continued to denote high status, a notable event happened to make it even more news worthy. In 1821, the arrival of US president James Monroe (1753-1831) in Georgetown, South Carolina, was marked by a ceremonial red carpet which was purportedly rolled out for the President when he disembarked from a riverboat.
The red carpet since then was associated to high-profile events involving political dignitaries.

As time passed, the origin of the phrase ‘red carpet treatment’ came into vogue from the start of the 20th Century, when the red carpet was co-opted by the railroads. In 1902, The New York Central Railroad used plush crimson carpets to direct passengers as they boarded the 20th Century Limited passenger train which had first-class service and ran from Grand Central New York to Chicago. Those who entered the train witnessed a path made by the plush, football field length, vibrant red carpet that spanned the length of the train- from the engine to the observation car.  The passengers had the luxury of enjoying cocktails in the observation car, dinner in the dining car with views of the Hudson River, and a comfortable bed and breakfast on the train before disembarking in Chicago. That was quite a red carpet treatment we could say.

It wasn't until 1922 when the red carpet hit Hollywood at the premier of ‘Robin Hood’ in front of the Egyptian theatre. A long, crimson-hued carpet made its presence and in the following decade the red carpet came out to be the few places where the public could catch a glimpse of Hollywood stars.

On April 17, 1961 for the first time a red carpet was rolled out at the 33rd Academy Awards which took place at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. But, it was in 1966 when the Oscars was broadcasted in colour for the first time giving the viewers a glimpse of the red carpet in living colour on which the actors and actresses made a grand entrance and showcased themselves at the Oscars.
Following this, the red carpet gained its significance in Hollywood and became synonymous to film and music. Ever since then, the red carpet has been integral part of the Oscars, Golden Globes, Grammy's and many such important events.

These days the red carpet used on Oscar night is approximately 16,500 square feet and takes two days to install. It’s made from continuous filament nylon and is replaced every two years. And it is not entirely red. It is dyed with a carefully designed palette of colours to make it look red on Television and is sealed to prevent the colour from degrading. After all, everything points to only one thing- it is the appearance that matters.

This Sunday at the Oscar night you'll admire the red carpet even more and its historical significance.

"Flooring is the foundation of any beautiful room. Start with a great carpet and the rest will fall into place." It is by all means true that you should start with a carpet when you set up your room but there are other aspects to consider too. ‘Principles’ we call them. These principles are vital to set the function, mood and personality while decorating your space. Following these principles will get you the desired look and allow for alterations whenever possible.

Questions to ponder upon: 

What rooms in your home do you want the carpets installed? Bedroom? Hallway? Living? Dining?

What is the traffic to each of these rooms?
The level of traffic on your carpet will define the kind of usage of your carpet. More traffic means more danger of spillage, stains and dirt.

Does the room receive a lot of sunlight?
Place your carpet wisely, so that it is not exposed too much sunlight.

How often do you clean or vacuum it?
Every day? Once in a week?

Answering these questions will help you determine the right carpet for your home.



Pick rug first: If you’re moving to a new place or decorating your room from scratch, then you need to choose a rug first and pick other elements that go well with it. It is ideal to start off by building the scheme from the floor up. Once you are set on the rug, it will help you complete your desired interior. If you are selecting the rug after you have furnished the room, however, look for colours in a rug that complement a favourite piece of artwork or blend in with your soft furnishings.

Choose style: If you follow contemporary style, having plush, cut and loop pile, and shaggy ones look great. Also, a plush shiny carpets with some sheen adds glamour to your space. If your style is classic or traditional, then a Persian, Oriental, Kilims will be apt for your space.



Size matters: Placing carpets in your home actually enhances the size of your room as well as visually appeals to the eyes. The size of your carpet should be big enough to set boundaries and ground your furniture and make the room look spacious. For instance, it should be large enough to at least accommodate the front legs of the furniture on it. Similarly, in your bedroom you need to feel the carpet under your feet when you get out of bed.




Determine focal point: Every room needs one main focal point. Your carpet can be that point or it can support another object such as a painting, crystal ware or piece of furniture. You just don't want multiple things competing, or your room will feel too busy and confusing.

Pick colour:  Pick a colour that goes with the current trend or colour scheme or your decor. Neutral colours such as beige, black, brown or white go well with most of the décor setting. The most high-traffic area of your home should be layered with carpets in darker hues. To present an artistic and classy appeal to your décor, place a contemporary carpet with bright colours. For lounge area, a plain rug with various weaves and textures and modern designs looks great.



Mix and match: Besides, your carpet need not match all your furniture or accessories in the room instead it could match at least the sofa pillows or drapes. Similar patterns and textures like that of your carpet in your decor is also a good choice. Complementary colours are great too and are hard to go wrong. It is highly suggested to have carpet and the curtains in contrast shades to bring in positive vibes.



Every home is unique and requires different kinds of carpets to add the one element that makes it complete. Eventually, the carpet you choose will become the foundation of your decor for each room you design.

Ever stood on the seashore and felt like the ocean is pulling you back to the shores when you are actually just standing in the water? It's an amazing feeling isn't it? This experience stirs emotions in you, makes you feel delighted. Not unlike the emotion a hands carpets inspires. Our craftsmen, artists, designers, weavers and all those involved in the making of a carpet, make a covenant when they first begin to design one. With every effort they put in, they give life to the carpet and make it look piquant and beautiful. When it's ready, this carpet touches million hearts and finally reaches someone's home. And there it is, a piece of art, placed in your abode, so breathtaking, it stirs your soul.

Thought and innovation
The journey of a carpet begins much more prior to a thread, it begins with an idea. The designers reflect on a concept and finalise the design that needs to go into the next carpet. They have the liberty to vary the colour of the design to whatever they wish; it takes a certain experience to know just how the colour will reproduce with different types of yarn under different kinds of light. A carpet with the same design is made into three or more versions with variants in colour. Each shade is set against a pom for reference.  The artists transform the ideas from a hand-drawn sketch to a computer-aided drawing which requires precision of hand. It is drawn on graph paper and each square represents one knot. Outlines are filled in with paint to represent the detail in shades. The final sketch helps the weaver identify the pattern of the rug, and which colour each knot should be in. An expert weaver will rarely refer to the sketch. Printed designs are traced and marked to the minutest detail. Colours, ratios, number of knots, and techniques are described to communicate to a group of weavers the desired effect.  Now, the designs are ready for weaving.

Crafting the design of the carpet

Journey from wool to yarn
The finest cotton, silk and wool which is imported from New Zealand is used in the making of a hand knotted rug.  Wool being the commonly used material for carpets goes through several processes to get the desired yarn. Silk is used primarily for accent because it is not as strong and is more expensive. Cotton is sometimes used in the foundation, but is not seen in the pile. The combination of these materials makes for an extremely strong carpet. First, the wool is carefully sorted and cleaned shedding unwanted particles like dust and grease. After which it is washed thoroughly and dried under the sun. The wool is then spun by hand which is a time-consuming task but essential to get the perfect quality yarn. Besides, there are modern methods of feeding the wool into a machine or say spinning wheel that separates the wool and pulls it into different strands. This way the wool is spun into yarn. The yarn spinning process is repeated until the yarn becomes twisted and strong enough.  Some prefer washing the yarn again in clean water to remove all remnants of dust and waste. Once dried, the required amount of yarn is delivered to our factory in Bhadohi. The thickness of the yarn depends on the quality of the carpet.

Colourful yarns

Dyeing the yarn
Dyeing the yarn is the next step which involves stretching the yarn across the poles which are laid on the edges of a large round vessel. This is a traditional method and the yarn is repeatedly submerged into the dye to ensure the colour is even. Hands uses the natural dyeing method and our palette covers deep, vivid and luminous natural reds, yellows, blues and browns to the innumerable hues of synthetic dyes. A step up from there is the wheeling of the yarn into hot tubs. The dye is heated to a near-boiling temperature for a predetermined amount of time based on the colour, the type of dye and darkness required. If there are large volumes of yarns then the electrical vat serves as a time-saving purpose to dye larger volumes in shorter periods of time. Once it’s dyed, the yarns are steamed, washed and dried in the sunlight.

Dyeing

Yarn is ready
The yarn is then rolled up into large balls and sent to the weavers. Before the weaving begins, the weavers are given the carpet’s full design sketch on a graph paper for reference. Each square on the paper represents a knot in the carpet.

Looming
The hand-knotting process is spellbinding. One cannot take their eyes off of the rhythmic movement of the weaver’s fingers. Once the loom is set up, the vertical threads are tied on to the loom which are called warp. Warps are usually made of cotton, providing an ideal surface for a flat, straight rug. These threads eventually become the fringe of the rug. The weaver secures the warps by arranging horizontal rows called wefts and intertwines the warp to create the foundation of the rug. The weft is ordinarily made of cotton, wool or silk. The weft also creates the edges of the rug, which holds the rug together. This way knot by knot, inch by inch, the weaver works meticulously till the pattern is complete. A colour change in the pattern means a new thread, a new starting point.

Setting the loom

Hand Knotting
Depending on how extensive the carpet size, design and pattern is, a fine hand-knotted carpet can take months to complete. The finest cotton, silk and wool are used in the making of a hand knotted rug.  The weaver uses a hooked knife to cut the knot, and then ties the knot with his or her hands, and finishes the process by securing and tightening the rows of knots together with a comb-like tool. A scissors is also used to clip the threads evenly on the back of the rug. An experienced weaver can tie one thousand knots per hour and one knot every two seconds. This speed is picked up over a span of time. A carpet can be knotted by a single person or in a group on a vertical loom depending on the size of the carpet. There are different kinds of knots that are used to construct a hand-knotted rug. The type of knot used depends largely on the region and how the tradition was passed through the generations. Most countries weave rugs using the Persian knot. There are various kinds of knots, to name a few: Ghiordes, senneh, Tibetan and jufti. The knots are beaten down to ensure the carpet pile is compact. Hand-knotting is the most intricate and labour-intensive carpet weaving process in use today. It requires good hand eye coordination, dexterity of hand, a steady temperament and most of all, a little soul. There is a distinct artistic harmony to this skill, which seems to bind the soul of the weaver to the rug. This is why each rug holds an individuality that is difficult to reproduce ever again. Now you know why a knotted rug takes much longer to create and are more expensive than other types of rugs.

Hand-knotting

Final finishing
The finished carpet is taken off from the loom and the designs and patterns are trimmed using scissors. The carpet is checked for dimensions and against colour, pile quality and detail. After which it is cut to the desired size and polished which is called shearing. This is controlled by a machine and prepares the carpet for the finer aspects of finishing.
Carpets are finished in many ways, depending on the design. Boundaries between patterns are trimmed and cleared up and pile lines are sorted by hand. Embossing helps lift the pattern off the surface which is seen in our sculpted carpet collection. It is a process of shearing areas of the rug pile to create a three-dimensional look. Typically, sculpting accentuates the design in the rug. This process is very difficult and is performed only by highly skilled artisans. This way there are different kinds of finishes like textured, Saxony, cut pile, loop pile. All of these add depth and distinction to the carpet. Surging of the carpet defines its finished size. A craftsman loops yarn around the edges effectively marking the final steps in the making of a Hands carpet.
Trimming the carpets

Carpet washing
Lastly, the carpet is washed by soaking it in water and then the water is squeezed out which removes the dirt and any surplus dye. This way the carpet is washed several times until all the dust, detergent, dirt and yarn particles are removed. The carpet is then laid flat on the ground, and is cleaned by fresh water by forcing the water on the carpet with the hose. The rug washers then use a wood plank, sharpened on one edge, to force the water through the rug pile. This removes impurities picked up during the creation process. The rug then lies in the sunlight until it is completely dry to stabilise the colours. Meanwhile, the colours fade slightly, giving the carpet its beautiful hue.

The last touch

Packing
Before the carpet is sold, it is checked thoroughly and then rolled and packed. You will find a Hands label on every carpet.

Hands labels are stitched on the finished carpets

Your handmade carpet is ready

This is the story of the handmade carpet and all this happens in-house and seamlessly integrated in a tucked away place called Bhadohi. The carpet not only displays a perfect craftsmanship but also is a collective reflection of passion, time and dedication of the people involved in all stages of a handmade carpet. Only a person with a keen eye for detail and an art lover will acknowledge and understand the ardour and rigorous work that has gone into making each carpet. If you desire to have one, you can get it customized to your taste and enjoy what the graceful plush carpet that Handshas to offer.

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