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Posted on: June 30, 2021

Inspiration Everywhere – Riverbed

When it comes to the Orley Shabahang exclusive designs, our Architectural collection has some of the most intriguing and noteworthy patterned carpets. These pieces are interesting because they inspire us to rethink how architectural and geometric designs are used. In this issue of Inspiration Everywhere, we are showcasing one of our favorite Architectural pieces, titled “Riverbed.” Continue reading to unearth the fabulous craftsmanship that went into this carpet and the influence behind its structural and circular design. 

The construction of our “Riverbed” carpet began with high-quality raw materials. Like all high-quality Persian carpets, wool shorn from Persian fat-tailed sheep, bred exclusively for carpet weaving for centuries, is used for the weft as well as the hand-knotted pile. What makes this wool the optimal choice for carpet making is its exceptionally high lanolin content. Lanolin is a naturally occurring oil found in wool and serves as an impressive part of the pile and foundation of the carpet. It acts as a natural stain repellant for the rug, providing simple care and maintenance over the long lifespan of the piece. It also has natural antimicrobial properties, adding a protective layer against mold or other potentially harmful bacteria. In addition, the lanolin adds sheen and depth to a pile and colors. By simply walking upon a carpet with this high-quality wool, one is effectively conditioning the pile by activating the lanolin within its fibers. As a result, the wool must be hand-spun. This step ensures that the lanolin content and tensile strength of the yarn remain intact. This hand-spinning process also creates fabulous striations within the design, as the fibers remain asymmetric throughout, and each strand absorbs the dye a little differently. In our “Riverbed” carpet, dye-masters utilize organic vegetable dyes to create the brown and gold tones found within its repeating circular pattern. After the dying process, the wool must be run through natural spring water to remove the excess dye, then dried to set the patina. Crafting carpets with this traditional process may seem tedious to most. However, Orley Shabahang continues to utilize these time-honored methods because they are proven to produce the best results, that is, the finest Persian carpets in the world today. 

Like traditional village carpets and the elements of nature that inspired them, owner and lead designer Bahram Shabahag became inspired by the rivers that flow through the Caucasus and Zagros mountains. As water flows from the top of the mountain down, its constant stream shapes the boulders and rocks on the surface into rounded circular shapes. Similarly, rivers bend and turn with the landscape, making sweeping heaps of rounded boulders. Like the master-weavers before him, the natural beauty embedded within the mountainside had always captivated Bahram, and he began to translate this natural phenomenon from its three-dimensional form into a two-dimensional design. 

The harmonious combination of curricular elements aligned within the carpet’s rectangular structure creates a beautiful and oscillating pattern that provides foundational texture to any room. The fringe is tucked and sewn into a canvas wrap, which provides a clean and chic look. In addition to the contemporary and repetitive design, the oscillating pattern does not have a primary focal point, allowing this carpet to work in several different spaces, including a dining room, living room, or even a bedroom. 

Wherever you envision this carpet in your home, Riverbed continues to captivate onlookers with its unusual interpretation of Architectural design. Check out Orleyshabahang.com to see the rest of our Architectural collection, and for more of our incredible carpets, check out our digital showroom at 1stdibs.com