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The Craft of Woven Carpet Construction

This is the condensed version of an article that was originally posted in Mohawk Group's "Off the Floor" blog. Click here to read the full article and check out more posts from Mohawk Group.

Here at Mohawk, we have a long and prestigious heritage of weaving that dates to the 1800s. The founders of our company started with looms brought over from the United Kingdom, and these looms laid the foundation for what was to become the time-honored craft of woven carpet construction.

This heritage of traditional weaving continues today in our Eden, North Carolina plant, which has been home to our Karastan line for decades and remains at the heart of our business.

As part of our reverence for weaving, and as a nod to this traditional craft, Mohawk Group has been hosting an ongoing series of weaving events that both educate and inspire the A&D community on woven construction. We also hold bespoke workshops where everyone involved gets to experience weaving with yarn and make something unique by hand.

RE weaving 1

Our most recent woven workshop was in Boston, where 35 interior designers and architects came together at Red Thread, a beautiful Steelcase dealer that has a showroom overlooking Fan Pier at the waterfront.

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Our instructor, Siobhan Kelleher of Boston Wool Works, explained as we started that Fan Pier played an early role in weaving in the Boston area, as this is where wool fiber was stored in the nearby brick warehouses and would get shipped from its New England sources to other parts of the world.

Siobhan the instructor 3

After Royce Epstein, Mohawk’s A&D Design Director, shared some stories about Karastan’s heritage of weaving, Siobhan shared her experiences with the group, from working in a variety of fiber crafts and preparing yarns, to sharing her love for recycled fibers, which she often makes herself from old clothes.

Royce and Siobhan 4

With history on our minds, we learned some basic weaving techniques from Siobhan and her team. Each attendee was given a small wooden hand loom that was already threaded up with the warp, and then all had access to an assortment of yarns – mainly from recycled or natural sources – that allowed for creativity and custom designs to thrive.

Designers had a great time working on their woven creations, and learning various methods like creating fringe or adding patterns.

Group image 5

It is designs that began on small wooden hand looms like these that sparked the creation of our latest woven collection. Inspired by women weavers of indigenous cultures around the world, our Sunweave woven broadloom evokes natural patterns found in baskets, blankets and textiles to bring the feel of artisanal materials to the built environment.

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