• Deborah

The "C" word!

Well, gee... I think I got your attention now!

In the world of rugs, there are styles of rugs that start with "C": Caucasian, Chinese Art Deco ( which by the way, a happy Ulster County customer had both of these styles cleaned and repaired for her just last week!), but... what happens when you are looking for something and you can't find the exact color palette that you need... or a 9 X 12 is too big.. or that 8 X 10 too small. Now what?

This is when the ”C" word comes in to play: CUSTOM! And throughout my 40 plus years in the business, many times when I use the word it initially leaves people SHUTTERING! The first thing they say is," That's too expensive" or " That takes too long". Well, not necessarily on both counts!

Back in 1979, when I started at the custom carpet manufacturer, Edward Fields, yes there’s no doubt it was quite expensive. At that time, all the rugs made at Fields were done in Flushing, Queens and then later in College Point Queens. We catered to interior designers, architects and celebrities (yep... Donald Trump was one of them!), It was an involved process. An artist rendering had to be made for color, design and scale . Everything was custom sized. After the artwork, it went to our factory to have a " trial sample" made showing the client how the color selection works, as well as the quality ( cut pile or loop pile or a combo) and if it is carved or one level. Special shapes were also something that was very frequently done. This rug shown above is a classic Edward Fields rug called " The Deep". I can't tell you how many times my darling boss and I had this made up for our clients. Any color, size or shape imaginable! From start to finish, it was typically 4-5 months until the end product was delivered. I left Fields in 1988 to have my son and the least expensive carpeting offered to the trade was sold at $70 a sq. yard! Can't even imagine what it would be almost 32 years later.

When I worked at both Einstein Moomjy and J & S Designer Flooring in NJ, the picture

above was pretty much what a lot of carpet stores were doing in the custom world. These

"cut and pasties" as I refer to them were made primarily from either wool or nylon carpet and glued together to make a custom rug. Certainly, making custom rugs this way was far less expensive than a Fields rug, and typically the turnaround time was about 2 months. This time frame (mid 90's) was when sisals and the natural fibers were on the scene, and again gobs of rugs were made with some beautiful borders. I had one myself in a lovely jute with a tapestry border when we were living in NJ.

Today, the consumer has a vast array of choices to do a custom rug. Probably the most common is taking a piece of carpeting and finishing it with a complementary or contrast edge. So many of today’s carpet manufacturers have so many styles to choose from. Traditional, modern, transitional. I am partial to Stanton, Couristan, Prestige Mills and Bloomsburg Carpet. Some of their styles are shown on my website under "Carpets" or certainly you can view their extensive collections on their websites. Many of these manufacturers offer custom applications at their factories, but some of them do require a local carpet workroom to actually put the rug together. I have two great workrooms who have done countless pieces for my clients. If you need a unique look for your staircase (straight flight or with pie and angle steps), that is something that we do at The Rug Garden as seen by the photo below.

Finally, for anyone who is looking for a unique hand knotted piece, well, yes.. that is my specialty! I have several importers who make custom rugs in Turkey, Nepal and India. The procedure is similar to how I explained it with the Fields rug. First, we need to go to these importers to select a style, and colors. Next, a computerized rendering is ordered as well as the required trial sample. This process takes about 6-8 weeks.

After approvals, it gets on the loom in any of those countries indicated. See the photo below for a rug in production. Five to six months typically for completion including shipment.

Here is an idea of what that would cost:

A unique custom size of 8' X 9' = 72 sq. ft @ $26 per sq. ft ( average cost)* $1,872.00

My 20% commission fee 374.00

Sampling & rendering charge 500.00

Grand total $2,746.00

* Wool and silk, bamboo silk and silk would be a higher square foot price point.

It is not in the thousands and thousands that some of my clients thought it would be! And.. you have something that is uniquely your own.

So, that's it for my blog for this time around. Enjoy February and this mild winter we are having so far !

With regards, Deb

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