Over the years, the art of weaving and Persian carpet craftsmanship has dwindled. It has been my life’s goal to bring this lost tradition back to the world through my new collection.
Our carpets are woven with wool from the premiere sheep-producing area of Iran, the Ghashghai region. Only the finest, freshly shorn wool from the neck and back of these select sheep is harvested for use in our carpets. The best wool is very long-stranded and has exceptionally high lanolin content (the natural oil that protects the wool from the elements and ultimately repels dirt and foreign matter). This wool has a natural sheen that enhances color and enriches over time.
Orley Shabahang welcomes you to be part of a revival of old world production and striking artistic design.
Hand-spun wool, although very labor-intensive and far more expensive than machine prepared materials, is used in the highest quality carpets. This is due to the fact that the human touch gives the wool a twist, which textures the yarn with an uneven diameter. This uneven diameter absorbs color differently, leading to striation of color called “abrash”. A sort of abrash also results from having used the wool of several different sheep, which may make the color of the carpet change in tone from one end of the carpet to the other. This asymmetrical product ultimately produces a carpet pile that is more interesting and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Additionally, the hand spinning adds strength to the yarn itself. After the wool is spun, it is prepared for dyeing.
Unlike yarn rinsed in city water, river-washed yarn has a vivid, but not harsh, brightness to its colors and a recognizable depth.
The first step in dyeing yarn involves boiling the wool in large pots containing the skins of walnuts and zaj (a mineral salt). Clay pots are preferred to commercial vats. The resulting natural chemical reaction cleans the wool and activates the molecules to accept future dyes without destroying the lanolin.
The best dyes are taken from flowers, leaves, roots, and other naturally occurring substances found in the Iranian countryside. Again, as in the wool, the geographic area from which the dye materials are gathered and their quality will have a direct impact upon the visual appearance of the carpet and its colors.
Take off your shoes and dig your toes in. Get down and touch our rugs with your hands. I guarantee you will feel the difference that quality makes. That is the Orley Shabahang difference.
The quality of the weaving process contributes not only to a carpet’s beauty but also its durability. Orley Shabahang’s commissioned carpets are woven to very particular specifications, including the choice of weave best suited to a given carpet design. A high knot count is not relevant to the artistic quality of a Persian carpet. Instead, attention is given to an optimal blend of materials and weaving technique.
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