The Lapchi Tiger Ikat Carpet

October 29, 2010

Lapchi's Tiger Ikat, From the Tribal Category, shown in Seaweed

“It is better to have lived one day as a Tiger, than live a thousand years as a sheep.” – Tibetan Proverb

ELLE DECOR - Site Spotlight October, 2010

Inspired by a rare late 19th century silk Ikat velvet from the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan, Lapchi’s Tiger Ikat, was designated for October’s “Site Spotlight” by the editors of ELLE DECOR.

The Uzbekistani areas of Bukhara and Samarkand were jewels on the famous “Silk Road”, a meandering trans-continental trade route connecting Asia with southern Europe. Tiger Ikat silk velvets may have traditionally originated in China or Russia before the style re-emerged in Bukhara. This distinctive tiger pelt velvet was a “Baghmal”.

Uzbek homes were decorated almost exclusively in textiles with comparatively little furniture. In Central Asia “cloth made the man” as luxury textiles were indicative of social status – the male ruling elite and rich merchant class often used Ikat textiles as gifts in negotiations. Carpets, walls, bolsters, pillows, throws, window and door openings were adorned with layers of patterned Ikat and embroidery. The Chapan, a highly decorative garment, was layered over tunics and trousers, often in sumptuous silk velvet Ikat patterns.

IKAT is a labor intensive multiple step process in which the warp (vertical) and weft threads (horizontal) are dyed and patterned before weaving. The warp threads are stretched over a wood frame and patterned by applying dye resistant layers of wrapped cotton, wax or rice paste to the threads. Layers of  “resist” are applied before each dye bath, protecting the emerging pattern from successive colors. Each time threads are bound and dyed they are replaced on the frame in the same order from left to right to check patterning. The finished threads are then transferred to a loom and woven. The Bukhara Ikat textiles are often “Warp Faced” – warp threads alone are patterned with color. Double Ikat is patterned on both the warp and weft.

Silk Chapan-Rau Collection-V&A Exhibit

Ikat Silk Velvet-Rau Collection-V&A Exhibit

In a technique similar to traditional Tibetan-Nepalese pile weaving, Ikat silk velvets employ a wire and knife cut to form pile height. Two sets of vertical warp threads are traditional. Layered on top of each other on the frame, the first warp layer is a backing and provides structure while the second warp layer is patterned. The patterned warp threads are intentionally longer in length for their height above the structured layer will become the pile.  To raise the pattern warps for pile cutting, a thin wire is inserted between two rows of horizontal width running weft threads during the weaving process.  Every few rows, another wire is inserted with the weft, the rows are battened down, and the raised weft thread loops are cut free from the wire beneath. The velvet pile is formed and a lush and elegant surface is created.

Lapchi’s Ikat designs embody a culture for whom vibrant colors, patterns and a developed textile culture was part of everyday existence.  As 2010 is the year of the Tiger, Lapchi’s Tiger Ikat carpet in particular, offers a timely walk on the wild side….

Ikat Check by Lapchi

Honeycomb by Lapchi

Lapchi Classics – Categories of Distinction

June 4, 2010

Lapchi Classic - Alpujara in Tungsten - chair from Hive Modern

To wear the laurels of a “Lapchi Classic”, a design must have an enduring legacy of taste and distinction while retaining an inspiring flexibility for thoughtful customization.

Classic patterns are the backbone of interiors of timeless refinement reflecting substance over passing fancy, and quality over faddish display.

Lapchi Classic - Victoria in Espresso

Lapchi Classics have been divided into two design categories, Classic Formal and Classic Floral. These categories are headings rather than specific pattern histories. They were created to provide a general guide to our growing collection and will stimulate interesting and evocative ideas for each and every design project.

Classic Formal patterns derive from the time-honored beauty of designs from Spain, India, Europe, Japan and China. Collectively, Classic Formal patterns have a reassuring ease of use and familiarity, while being a springboard for transitional or contemporary design schemes. Inspired by antique textiles, architecture, and ancient porcelain, these carpet patterns distill all that is balanced and refined in the old world, while offering fresh perspectives for the contemporary interior.

As a group, these inspirations span from crisp striping, to filigree tendrils, to graceful repeats of architectural geometry interlaced with stylized flowers and foliage. With Lapchi’s custom capabilities our core collection of classic patterns deliver authentic, dependable design flexibility for almost any interior application. Lapchi Classic patterns answer to form, function, and detail in the best possible style.

Lapchi Classic Formals - Sash, Kutch, Hodsdon Stripe, Renaissance

Classic Floral patterns, with all their nuanced meanings and associations, permeate our natural world with beauty and history, and our interiors with charm and luscious color. Because of the magically perennial quality of flowers in our lives, antique patterns can bloom anew in “up to the moment” interiors, as well as in romantic decor evocative of another time. The Classic Floral bouquet is composed of patterns from eighteenth century Europe’s gilded salons, Moorish Spain’s secluded fountains and the marbled domes of Shah Jahans’ Taj Mahal.  Lapchi Classic Floral patterns await your inspired arrangement.

Lapchi Classic Florals - Palampore, Broad Leaf, Floral Spray, Zarina

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