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Modern Art: The Creation of Our Original Mohair Tulus

Posted in: All Rugs Method & Making The Making of King's House Travel & Sourcing Tulu Rugs

Esmeralda is a Modern Turkish Tulu, 9′ x 12.7′, $6500 or by custom specifications.

“Esmeralda” and “Warhol” are two rugs we recently designed in collaboration with our Weaveries in Central Anatolia, and they are the first tulus we experimented with using angora. Angora goat’s wool (often called mohair) comes from Turkish goats, Ankara keçisi. The fibers are known for their luxurious silkiness and their ability to hold heavy, saturated color without feeling dark or harsh.

We wanted to achieve that strength of color and deep saturation that would perfectly complement the abstract designs, inspired by modern art.

Our process begins with sourcing the goat’s wool directly from the farmers in Central Anatolia. The Turkish goats are happy goats, and you can absolutely see the positive effects of a well-loved and well-cared for goat in its wool. The fibers are silkier, more durable, hold dye beautifully and age so well over time.

As we designed the patterns for the rugs in collaboration with some of our favorite master weavers, we turned to abstract paintings and modern art for design elements. What if we took cues from some wild paintings and mirrored those elements in a larger scale? Our goal was to create something whimsical, bright, poppy, unexpected yet not too far out.

Once the rug is cut from the loom, it is taken to a nearby village for finishing. After a rough shearing, the rugs are washed and put under the sun. 

You can see the rugs “sunning” in a courtyard, allowing the colors to mellow slightly under the sun and humid conditions in this small village tucked away in the Anatolian countryside. Sunning is a process that each of our rugs undergoes, a historic technique that surrenders the rug to the elements (yet always under a watchful eye).

“Sunning” is a major contributor to the complexity, richness and depth of color and gives a certain patina to each rug that is so unique.

We all had a laugh at the most authentically “free range” chickens we’ve ever seen! This courtyard also doubles as this family’s personal courtyard, and it’s always a joy to see the family, the kids and their pets.

These two rugs sunned very briefly because we wanted to maintain the saturation of the colors while really bringing out the lustrousness of the mohair angora.

Once I felt the rugs had achieved that delicate and perfect balance of richness of color and silky patina of texture, it was time to do the detailed shearing. I stood alongside the craftsmen as they did the hard work of hand shearing the long, shaggy fibers. The men moved a millimeter at a time, as we hotly debated whether to maintain a higher pile or shear it down.

They would put it on the table, shear it, brush it, and then we would take it outside to inspect its aesthetic it in a wide open space. They take such great pride in their work, and it was really a beautiful moment of collaboration. This hot debate and process went through about six rounds of shearing and inspecting.

Christin makes her final inspection before leaving the rug to be finished by securing the fringe under the rug.

And finally we mutually agreed the rugs were perfect! They returned once more to the courtyard for a final and brief “sun,” after which the fringe was folded under and secured.

It took about one month between hands-on approval in Turkey and the rugs’ arrival at our showroom. It’s always an exciting moment when crates arrive at the shop! Esmeralda and Warhol are now available in our Birmingham showroom.

Rug Details: Esmeralda

ORIGIN: Central Anatolian Modern Tulu
DIMENSIONS: 9′ x 12.7′
MATERIALS: Hand-knotted, hand-spun Turkish goat wool (Angora, Mohair)
COST: $6500
AVAILABILITY: Available now in our showroom or by custom specifications

Rug Details: Warhol

ORIGIN: Central Anatolian Modern Tulu
DIMENSIONS: 9.3′ x 12.6′
MATERIALS: Hand-knotted, hand-spun Turkish goat wool (Angora, Mohair)
COST: $6500
AVAILABILITY: Available now in our showroom or by custom specifications




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