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Integrity . . . Skill . . . Execution . . . Karma ... IN THE BEGINNING ... On the plateaus of the Himalayas, close to the sky, the ancient Tibetan art of rug making has been passed from one generation to the next. During the last 70 years, this craft tradition has passed from one culture to the next by virtue of training and skilled hands of Tibetans exiled from their homeland in 1959, while traveling thru Nepal, where the Tibetan carpet making tradition lives on. The art of making Tibetan carpets by hand using the finest materials is honored and nurtured by RugGuy Galleriez. Each carpet is carefully hand-knotted, the methods virtually unchanged from time before written instruction, using traditional techniques in the execution of contemporary design. The subtle imperfections of natural materials and the variations of the human touch are celebrated by RugGuy Galleriez in every stage of the process. The result of a commitment to promote individual inspiration in all of its production. Truly, each carpet is unique unto itself, and the Nepalese weavers enjoy the challenge of making new designs and constructions, allowing a little of their own spirit into the soul of each rug. INTEGRITY  OF THE WOOL Tibetan highland sheep, semi-domestic and hardy, roam across the great Tibetan plateau. The sheep run basically wild and because of the great height of 15,000 feet at which they live, the wool we get from Tibet is a very strong and long staple fiber. Unquestionably, Tibetan wool is among the finest natural fibers in the world for rug making. It is silky yet resilient and strong, lustrous and rich with lanolin, the natural secretion sheep give off to protect their skin which, in wool, gives it the natural protection that 'Scotchguarding' simulates. Tibetan wool contains myriad shades of brown and black as well as countless variations of white. Previously brought by Yak over the Himalayas, now by truck, unscoured and dripping with lanolin, Tibetan wool is the untamed soul of each of these RugGuy Galleriez carpets. The wool is unloaded near a flowing stream from the mountain watershed in the town of Pokhara. It is separated into light, medium and dark color groups, and vigorously washed in the cool clear water, then lay out in the brilliant sun to dry. Soon to be loaded and carted into the villages to be carded. CARDING The first step in the creation of RugGuy Galleriez’s rich yarns is called carding. Like all of the steps used in creating their rugs, this one is performed entirely by hand. One handful of wool is placed between two metal-toothed paddles and gently combed until the fibers are roughly aligned. It is a labor-intensive process that has been traditionally used to prepare wool for spinning. While a machine could comb the wool and align its fibers in the blink of an eye, it would break the fibers and make the resulting yarn too uniform. By comparison, hand carding respects the precious fibers, and the resulting yarn is very long and distinctively raw. Hand carding is a step most manufacturers avoid because it requires massive organization and human effort as well as substantial added expense, but RugGuy Galleriez believes that yarn quality is too important to compromise. Starting with the best product at the beginning naturally produces superior results.  SPINNING In homes and small village compounds RugGuy Galleriez’ workers sit at simple, foot-powered wooden wheels carefully guiding the labor-intensive process of spinning with a practiced hand, a steady foot and a keen eye. The balance between wheel and hand is too delicate to yield a mechanically uniform product. Happily, the rich, organic texture of the resulting yarn couldn't be more beautifully imperfect for RugGuy Galleriez’ Rugs. DYEING Dyeing is one stage in the production process where RugGuy Galleriez believes that the modern improves on the ancient. In keeping with the Tibetan tradition the skeins of raw yarn are dyed in small lots by hand called ‘pot- dyeing’. The pigments are provided by Swiss metal complex dyes. They enable color consistency well within the acceptable range of a handmade production. The variation of absorption in the hand spun yarn creates an effect called ‘abrash’. Just as important, the Swiss dyes enable RugGuy Galleriez access to a far greater range of colors than ancient rug makers ever had as they constantly evolve the palette and decorative applications of RugGuy Galleriez Tibetan Carpets. COLOR SELECTION & FIBERS RugGuy Galleriez has a standardized color system called ‘color-podz’. Each sample shows the cut (velvet) and looped execution of the wool, along with the silk. Fibers may also be dye matched to paint chips, fabrics, or any other inspiration. Dyemasters in Nepal have an arsenal of dyestuffs to work from and consistently amaze clients with their expertise. When a match is made it is recorded in the logbook to be used for formulating the quantity needed for a rug. This includes a small amount of yarn as well. In addition to Himalayan wool, and Chinese or Indian silk, there are a variety of organic fibers including  hemp, sunpatt, nettle, jute, banana silk, and soy silk to name a few. DESIGNING (GRAPHING) THE PATTERN Once a design or rendering is approved, it is sent to the factory in Kathmandu. There it is printed and studied by the artist in charge of graphing it. A large full scale drawing is made which shows each portion of the design, and consequently each knot location that is to be tied. The graph is a work of art in it’s self. The finished graph is carefully folded, wrapped in plastic, and sent to the loom where it is hung above the weavers eyelevel for review as the rug is being knotted. In addition a color key is supplied of the dyed yarn, as the graph is typically painted with “wild colors’ so the weavers know where each color and texture are separated. This in particular when a tone-on- tone design is being made. WEAVING RugGuy Galleriez Tibetan Carpets are woven by hand, knot by knot. Each knot results in a single point of color in the pile of the finished carpet. A standard 9x12 foot RugGuy Galleriez carpet comprises between 525,000 and 1.5 million of these individually handtied knots. An interesting footnote to this story of incredible craftsmanship and patience is that the company's weavers employ the Tibetan Loop Senneh knot. In this technique, each knot is tied around two warp threads, then looped around a metal rod ‘dunde’ placed horizontally across the loom. When a given row of knots is completed, it is hammered down to the prior row with a ‘thowa’ mallet. The row is cut with a small knife called ‘churi’. The rod freed, and the pile exposed. After locking the row with a weft thread, it is secured with a metal ‘panja’comb. Weavers at the loom knot row after row, creating a dense, luxurious fabric. The weavers pull each knot tight with a different force, and must work at the same pace as the weaver next to them. There are 3 weavers working on a 9- foot wide loom. There is no advantage to being the fastest when weaving a fine rug. SHEARING + FINISHING Once the weaving is finished and the carpet is cut down from the loom the pile is crudely leveled with large steel shears. About 18” in length, these Tibetan scissors ['Jam-tse'] are themselves a tool that requires some time to master. The details are trimmed with a smaller version that are primitive yet razor sharp. Those who do the shearing use an old Tibetan weaver's trick lining the part of the scissors where they put their fingers with wool, so they don't get blisters. After the pile is cut down on the carpet's surface, long pointed scissors are used to lightly emboss between different colors in the carpet, enhancing the clarity and vitality of the designs. WASHING After the weaving process is complete, each Rugguy Galleriez Carpet is finished with a technologically advanced process that gently cleans, softens, and ages each rug, enhancing its patina and highlighting its color. A resin finish is also applied, augmenting the wool’s natural resistance to stain and setting the colors. Washing is a process where modern technology actually accentuates the hand-made charm, and the lush feel of the carpet. RugGuy Galleriez Carpets are finished with the Tibetan Wash system developed and performed by experts in an effort to continue environmental awareness “BIO-WASH” strives to recycle precious natural resources, and recover damaging post-wash residual waste. RugGuy Galleriez helps promote the weavers’ welfare and their families through the “CARE & FAIR” program. RugGuy Galleriez is a proud partner with Goodweave. A portion of each sale is donated directly to Goodweave, to help eradicate child labor.
MANUFACTURING RugGuy Galleriez 312.933.8321 Illinois www.therugguy.com Tibetan wool for custom carpets Tibetan wool for custom carpets carding wool | hand carding wool spinning material for custom rugs dyeing custom carpets custom rug materials custom rug materials designing custom carpets custom rug weaving custom rug weaving Art for the Floor, a soul for your room. TM
RUGGUY GALLERIEZ, INC. 312.933.8321 Mark@TheRugGuy.com www.TheRugGuy.com
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