5 Things Nobody Tells you about Handmade Carpets

A few facts about handmade carpets I learned

Handmade carpets hung on a wall with lots of colours

If you ever tried to get yourself a handmade carpet you’ll know it’s a total jungle out there. It depends on where you are in the world of course. If you are in the West looking for an art piece in other words a handmade carpet you need a reliable source. You don’t want to be ripped off either. Understing the prices and knowing a little bit about handmade carpet can help you a lot.

After living in London for fifteen years, I forgot things can be handmade. Can you believe it? When my husband and I worked on a design project I remembered the beauty of handmade things, for instance, handmade carpets, stairs, doors and etc. We went to a carpet shop somewhere in South London. Needless to say, all carpets were machine-made and I thought nothing much of it.

Once I got to Pakistan, I’ve realised I’ve seen nothing until my husband and I ventured to a few handmade carpet shops. Most carpet shops will claim they only sell handmade products. However, for a newbie like myself, I wasn’t sure and I didn’t know I can trust someone’s word for it. After all, I am in a different country, they know I am a tourist they can take advantage of me.

Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way by going to different carpet shops in Pakistan, Islamabad. I’ve also seen a few handmade and machine-made carpets and now without a shadow of a doubt can tell you which is what.

One

Handmade carpets take a long time to make. It can take up to a year to make one carpet. I was shocked to find out it takes a long time to make a carpet. However, it doesn't surprise me. I studied art and I had some experience with textiles. I know what’s it like to weave wool into a pattern. It reminded me that to weave a handmade carpet takes real care, time, patience, effort and concentration to follow a design you create yourself.

The design and pattern of the handmade carpets are influenced by a person’s ancestors. It’s also a great creative way to express themselves and show off great skills. Therefore, this process does take time as a result strong and beautiful handmade are created.

handmade carpets put in a pile with lots of colours

Two

Handmade carpets last a lifetime. There’s some variation on how long they last. It all depends on what type of wool is used and what type of knots have been used. However, there’s no doubt a real handmade carpet will last you a lifetime more or less. My husband and I often joke, we will be gone but the handmade carpets will still be there. Hopefully, within the family.

Handmade carpets can tell a story if they stay within the same family. It can often be a conversation started at parties if you use handmade carpets at the party.

Three

The longer you use the handmade carpet it becomes softer and nicer with time. This was news to me. I am so used to using things and they slowly shrink, the colours fade like a flower whose life comes to an end. It’s the opposite of handmade carpets. The more you use it the softer and prettier they become. How beautiful, isn’t it?

This idea makes me want to use handmade carpets more and more. I have an amazing prayer carpet. That handmade carpet makes me want to pray more because I want to see my handmade prayer transform into a softer and even prettier version of itself.

Beautiful handmade carpet red, white, green colours Turkmenistan carpet

Four

The colours of the handmade carpet don’t fade. Because all handmade carpets have been made using vegetable dyes, the colours last a lifetime. I love this. I never thought it’s possible. I am used to having clothes but their colours fade with time no matter what products I use to wash them. Handmade carpets feel like magic because of this ‘trick’. All handmade carpets keep their colours and sometimes even intensify with time.

How is it possible? I often asked the carpet sellers. They always replied with a smile saying: “Organic dyes!” What this really means is natural dyes from nature. Have you ever had a pomegranate? You’ll know how deep that red is and how long it stays on your skin or countertops in the kitchen. Beetroot too, the colour of this vegetable is incredible. All the colours of the handmade come from nature.

Five

All handmade carpets have “the party side” of the handmade carpet. If you turn a handmade carpet around when you have your party, the carpet will still have a beautiful pattern, colours and look. It’s amazing how handmade carpet can act like chameleons. Turn it around and you've got a pretty and safe way to enjoy the carpet even if you have red wine around.

Did you know all this? Was this information useful? Anything new or all old news? I’d love to know. There is much more on handmade carpets as I keep on learning about them. If you ever want to learn more about handmade carpets, feel and touch them come to La Galeria del Califa in Barcelona.

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