Posted on: July 16, 2018

Staff Pick – Typhoon

This week in Staff Picks, the President of our New York showroom, Chris Lynch, will discuss what makes the abstract Typhoon carpet from our Art Nouveau collection one of his favorites.

Chris’s Pick: TyphoonContemporary Collection – Art Nouveau, Pure Wool, 8’9″ x 12′

There are so many parts of our process that make different carpets so compelling. Certainly the artisan craftsmanship is incredible to weave these hand-knotted carpets entirely in the same way that the great antiques were made, and the hand-spinning of our wool gives our carpets such depth through the gorgeously complex striation that fills every space. What always grabs my attention though is our colors, and this 9′ x 12′ version of Typhoon shows some of my favorites in its dyed and undyed shades. This particular design itself is eye-catching, but the composition utilizing the different shades creates the full effect of the piece.


For those unfamiliar, the colors in every Orley Shabahang carpet are from only all-natural, organic, vegetal sources. We do this not only because it is the right choice for our environment and for the health of our customers and their families, but because it provides the best results. Using natural dyes provides colors that are satisfying to the human eye because they reflect the inherent beauty of the world around us. These can be found in all of our carpets. While we do have blues, reds and other classic shades that echo the gorgrous jewel tones and deep colors of traditional Persian carpets, on the other hand, colors like those from this carpet strike me for their unique nature. The dark mustard yellow with hints of olive, the pale but saturated light blue, the dual dark grays spiked with either blue or purple, and the dark orange tinged with salmon work playfully alongside each other and create a welcoming panoply of colors that work in harmony. Achieving these more uncommon hues calls upon the venerable knowledge of our dyemasters to create colors that push the limits of what one expects from natural vegetal dyes. The image above also provides a great example of the impressive striation that we get from the hand spinning of the wool.

Every bit as incredible as our colorful dyed wool is the undyed wool that we utilize in our carpets. From our herds of Persian Fat-Tailed Sheep there are 24 different shades of neutral tones that we are able to achieve. Not only is each shade special in its own right, but we combine them to create an even deeper collection of earth tones across the spectrum from deep chocolate browns and blacks, through to a wide range of grays and creams. The elegant cream color in this carpet is one of the lightest that we are able to achieve and one of my personal favorite colors in our arsenal, and even more impressive is the process required to gather the wool for this particular color. To accumulate all of the wool for this shade requires the artisans to sort through the wool to find the lightest cream-colored wool, and then to further sort that wool to weed out the absolute lightest for this shade before it is spun into the yarn.

Here you can see the intersection of the dyed and undyed colors to form the overall design and the delicate interplay of these elements. The overall effect, especially in this design that utilizes small, detailed elements to create a large, asymmetric emblem in the center, results in a dynamic piece of art that could complete a space or make a statement all on its own.

And below, another version in pinks and reds that shows off how the design can shine even in a more monochromatic version, and the wide range of reddish shades in this carpet show the full extent of our capabilities.