You may recall that in promoting my last blog post, I suggested the interwebs (and in particular my blog “The Ruggist”, you’ve heard of it right?) are a great way to pass time at work. Under circumstances in which I was perhaps following my own advice, it was on one such lazy work day I was browsing Twitter and noticed my friendquaintance Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo had posted photos of the hand-me-down carpets she was placing in her New York City apartment. It was as though the way back time machine transported me to my early days in rug sales; circa 1998 or so, but it was not the case.
Amy Beth is the author of the widely read design blog ABCD Design, is a fanatical twitterist by the name @abcddesigns, and along with fellow co-host and co-founder @jonathanlegate runs the weekly twitter chat #designtv. For the life of me I have no idea what she actually does for work, but her musings, stationary design, and design comments are always very entertaining!
Returning now to her post that involved carpets from the past, I bring your attention to the following carpets shown in the photographs below which we’ve borrowed from her original blog (Found here! The City Apartment), with her permission.
Bessarabian Carpet from Noo Noo – Pakastan
Imperial Kashan from Noo Noo – Pakastan
Seeing these carpets immediately had me waxing nostalgic about the good olde days of the rug industry when we were all riding high, first on the Bill Clinton unparalleled economic growth machine, then on the George Bush mortgage/banking/credit machine that had all of us making and selling rugs to a seemingly endless supply of customers, attempting in vain to meet a nearly insatiable demand. Then came 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and while the demand vanished (poof!!) the supply is still virtually endless, causing a glut in the market, but I digress, if only slightly. One positive reason why there is a veritable endless supply of rugs is that a good quality (We all know what I mean by that don’t we now?) rug or carpet will and should endure. It should last, it should wear well, and it should be able to outlive several design cycles – coming in and out of style many times in its life, before finally being retired sometime in the far flung future. It should be, dare I say in an unbastardized manner : Heirloom quality!! To quote John Kurtz “If we don’t make good quality rugs now, what will be the antiques of the future?” and I could not agree more. The rugs presented above are, in my humble opinion, a great example of this type of rug.
The back story on the rugs!
The rugs shown above were purchased by Amy Beth’s mother “in ’91/92 from her interior designer” and they were recently (Autumn 2011) given to Amy Beth for her aforementioned NYC apartment. When I saw them in her blog, I immediately emailed her and we exchanged a few emails talking about the rugs.
Having sold I-have-no-idea-how-many-of-this-exact-carpet in the past I was and am quite familiar with the rugs in question. Now of course a few years have passed since I last saw one of these in person, so my memory may be a little off, but this is what I told her:
“If the rug is what I think it is and not a knockoff (we will assume it is not). It was designed by David Grassi for Noo Noo rug which is no longer in business. They were located in Secaucus and made very good quality rugs from India and Pakistan. The rug you have was made in Pakistan (you can confirm this by feeling the texture. Rub your hand back and forth and if it has a fine almost bristle texture one direction and a very smooth pile the other direction it is Pakistani in this case) and was very popular throughout the early to mid 1990’s. As colour trends changed from crisp to earthy this style of rug was often “tea stained a process in which the entire rug was overdyed with a translucent brown to subdue the colours. Yours looks to not have this done. It is 100% wool on cotton. When Noo Noo filed bankrupcy in around 2004/05 David had already left the firm and went to work designing rugs for “Due Process”.”
If I am wrong about any of that, please message me to provide the correct information so that I can post it here, and let Amy Beth know more about her fine carpets. I contacted Due Process for comment in November of 2011 but did not receive a reply before press time in March of 2012.
The brief conclusion.
I love the fact that these are great rugs, of a great quality, and that they’ve been passed down from one generation to the next. They possess timeless (if perhaps dateable but not dated) design and will continue to serve Amy Beth, and her heirs(looms) for many years to come.
The Ruggist’s Final Thoughts
Design, make, and sell only good quality rugs and carpets with enduring design and exceptional materials. Don’t just say your rug is an heirloom, ensure it is one.
I hope you enjoyed reading. Thank you and good-bye.