'Darth Vader' is an eponymously named limited edition rug by Hadi Maktabi. | Image courtesy of Hadi Maktabi.

‘Darth Vader’ et alia | Hadi Maktabi

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... .

I knew of Hadi Maktabi of Hadi Maktabi Rare Carpets and Antiques long before I met him, though I am not certain how it came to be. Perhaps it was his reputation as someone genuinely and eminently qualified to lecture (in the schooled manner, not the scolding) on the topic of antique Persian carpets, or perhaps it was his embrace of all things modern when it comes to social media, promotion, and brand awareness. Maybe it was the juxtaposition in this forced dichotomy of a man who on one hand promotes himself via Instagram and the like, yet eschews most modern carpet production; I cannot help but wonder his process of deciding what modern things to accept and what to reject. Maybe it is his near zealous obsession with quality and the rare or his love of video games and pop-culture. Regardless of how, it is the latter which brings us to be talking about and with him today.

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Let’s get Intimate w/Jürgen Dahlmanns

Platitudes have already been written about Rug Star, its outgoing and buoyant bon vivant founder Jürgen Dahlmanns, and the critically acclaimed and award winning carpets which bear the individually hand signed ‘Certificates of Authenticity’ of this now iconic carpet house. To belabour and restate any of his accolades would be to do a disservice to a man who, not unlike myself, sees the world through an intellectual eye that imparts a high degree of emotional context to his work. Unlike The Ruggist however, Mr. Dahlmanns enjoys several of the the benefits of his Teutonic origins.

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Hand and Handle are both terms that can be used to describe the feel of a carpet. In 'Touch Me: The Hand(le) of Carpets' The Ruggist explores the meaning of both. | Image by The Ruggist.

Touch Me: The Hand(le) of Carpets

A discussion regarding how a carpet feels both to the touch and when grabbed; the hand and the handle.

How we choose to describe the texture and feel of rugs and carpets speaks volumes to what we most cherish and on first glance it would appear as though anything describable as smooth ranks highly amongst those things. Smooth as glass. Smooth as a baby’s bottom. Smooth as silk. Smooth as velvet, though rarely is the type of velvet mentioned. Each describes something as smooth – that is to say as relatively even and not rough, yet each of these various similes conveys important and subtle differences. Smooth as glass is certainly a desirable characteristic when describing a paint finish, but to describe a carpet, likely not. Carpets should be smooth like velvet! Yes, velvety smooth. Preferably linen velvet. That kind of velvet smoothness, or is it ‘chippy and brittle’? But what about other descriptions? ‘It’s like butta!’, shaggy, wispy, cloud like, durable, pliable, to name but a few. All of which describe what is known as the hand of the carpet and they invite the casual observer to ‘Come on now touch me!’ – quoting the Doors to convey the degree of sensuality carpets with exceptional hand possess.

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Authentically Kooches - The Ruggist

Authentically Kooches!

Around this past Labour Day I had the pleasure of corresponding with a long term friend and colleague named Tom DeMarco. Through a series of emails we discussed his carpet ethos and methodology and how the decisions he makes regarding his carpet construction contribute not only to their quality, but also to their mysterious je ne sais quoi of desirability. Without further adieu, I present a unique behind the scenes look at the creative process that defines one man’s vision for making an authentic carpet in this day and age. Ladies and gentlemen: Kooches.

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