What Makes The Perfect Abstract Rug
In every aspect of interior design consumers are increasingly seeking not only high functionality, but high style, and are embracing every opportunity to incorporate uniquely beautiful items into their home- personal pieces that will lift their mood from one day to the next. In response to this new attitude, designers have had to turn their focus to aesthetics to transform practical items into pieces of artwork. The designer rug industry is no different, and through time artists and craftspeople have honed their skills to develop a new style of contemporary rugs that stay in tune with the latest interior design trends- the abstract rug.
Twilight Multi, Argent and Twilight Grey Blue (above) form part of our Impasto Collection
The Rug Design Process
Many producers have tried and failed to achieve the perfect abstract rug design. This is not a style that tolerates cut corners. Designers are set the hard task of translating the finest of paintings into a form from which they can be constructed into rugs. Numerous colours woven into a high knot count are the only way to create a continuous flow of colour, without the ‘blocky’ camouflage look of inferior counterparts.
With an abstract design, disjointed colours have nowhere to hide. With no definite pattern, the eye will be drawn in almost exclusively by colour. A successful abstract rug will work in harmony not only within its own entity, but in the context of the most sophisticated of interior schemes.
At Bazaar Velvet therefore, we are delighted to announce the arrival of a collection of rugs we believe are at the pinnacle of this mesmerising rug style. The ‘Twilight’ and ‘Alchemy’ rugs which form part of our Impasto Rug Collections, both give an impression of fluidity that is so difficult to find. Not only are their colours a calming pastel dream, but their texture is breath-taking; with a raised silk pile floating above the base design.
Weaving a Designer Rug
Even more incredible is the fact these luxury rugs have been created entirely by hand, using the traditional method of hand knotting. Every single coloured yarn has been spun, dyed and re-spun using methods that have been practiced for centuries. Each complex abstract design is built row by row by hand tied knots, following a life size pattern drawn onto graph paper.
The finishing however, is probably the most skilled aspect of the creation process. When the rug is first cut down from the loom, the pile is long and shaggy. Once it is trimmed, craftspeople work meticulously to carve around the intricate shapes of the silk, leaving it raised against the trimmed wool background.
These rugs take 3-4 weavers up to six months to make; it is a true labour of love. The first pieces of this new range have now made the journey from India to London, and can now be found at our showroom in the Chelsea design district. We are passionate about these incredible rugs and would be delighted to share them with you. Please contact us to find out more.
What to look for in an Abstract Rug
The more colour tones that are used in an abstract rug design, the more gradual the colour change will be and the more ‘painterly’ the finished rug will appear. This doesn’t mean the rug has to necessarily be ‘colourful’, but have many varying shades within each section. A good abstract design will use between 20 and 50 dye colours. Additional ‘organic’ colour change can also be created using the abrash technique. This is when mixed wool is spun together into one yarn, which when dyed will give a variation of shades.
Abstract designs may be formed from computerized images or paintings. Generally, the more of the design process that is carried out by hand rather than machine, the more convincing the finished product will be. However, computer processing is a necessary part of the design process as it simplifies the design to a manageable number of colours and a level of detail that can be woven. This must be done sensitively, or the finished design will appear blocky or pixelated.
A high amount of skill is involved in creating a successful abstract design.
Good Quality Materials
The best contemporary rugs will be made from high quality natural materials such as lanolin rich wools and genuine Chinese silk. Combining more than type of yarn or using elements of silk will give the finished rug a more fluid finish as the light shines off its surface. Abstract rugs may be made completely of Chinese Silk, but for this type of rug expect a high price tag. Many retailers use artificial silk such as bamboo silk which is less expensive, but has a reputation for being very difficult to clean.
Character in Texture
Rugs that are handmade and hand finished will have a slightly irregular surface texture. Although this is a characteristic of all hand knotted rugs, this will be particularity true of those that are created from hand carded and hand spun yarns. Some abstract designs may also feature hand carved high and low pile, which gives a more definite texture which, whilst not essential, can add an extra dimension to the design.
How to incorporate Abstract Rugs into your Home
One of the great attractions of an abstract rug design is the ease in which it can be combined with modern interiors. Many homeowners tend to choose neutral colored soft furnishings and walls and window treatments, and when these are combined in a room setting, it can leave the space with a desperate need for colour. In this situation a plain or strongly coloured rug can be too overwhelming and feel disjointed from the other furnishings.
This is when an abstract design comes into its own. Many of these designs combine creams and greys with soft colours, providing a gentle hint of colour. Hues can be picked out from these designs and used in other areas of the room.
Our Alchemy Multi CEA7354 rug in one of our clients homes
Where to buy an Abstract Rug
There are many different suppliers offering abstract rugs. However the differences in quality are huge. Always look for something hand knotted from quality materials, such as those on offer by Bazaar Velvet. We include abstract designs in many of our collections, including Impasto, Pacha and Mystique Master-Weave.
Read our Definitive Guide to Rug Design and Colour to help you find your perfect rug.
Some of our interior designer clients who use abstract designs in their projects: