In the design industry, one sees all manor of creative and innovative products. It's always lovely when a design has heritage, history and a story to tell. Recently, after a trip to the FRONT showroom in Chelsea Harbour we were blown away by the tale of how their stunning 'Erased Heritage' collection came into being. They tell it better than we would, so below is an account sent to us by the lovely Karisa from their Mayfair branch.
Erased Heritage by Jan Kath
The Erased Heritage collection pays homage to the traditional oriental carpet, taking inspiration from ancient patterns, techniques and standards of quality.
Over the course of history, every community, region and cultural group in the East has developed a particular style of carpet. With Erased Heritage, Jan is ensuring these ideas survive into the modern age. He is preserving not only ancient Persian ‘mother patterns’, but also their unique method of production.
Unlike most carpet weavers around the world, the weavers of the Erased Heritage collection do not work from a drawn pattern. In fact, at no point during the weaving process do they ever see one.
The rugs from the Erased Heritage collection are sung to life.
At the loom, a master weaver sits opposite his craftsmen and sings out commands for the colour and placement of each knot with a rich and sonorous chant. It is a unique process, passed down through generations and protected by UNESCO World Heritage status.
Jan has developed these ancient mother patterns to incorporate his trademark silk erased effects. Evolving the pattern in this way meant evolving the traditional songs of the master weavers. Jan worked for years in collaboration with expert weavers to advance these designs whilst maintaining the UNESCO World Heritage status of the craft.
Once the weaving stage has been completed the rugs have a high, fluffy pile height. They then undergo an extraordinary burning and washing process. The rugs are burned with a flamethrower before being rigorously washed and burned again; this intensive process is then repeated for a month. The wool of the mother pattern shrinks under the flames, causing the knots to contract and the silk knots of the erased effect to appear luxuriously raised. The more the rug is burned, the more defined the difference between the pile heights become. A client can order an Erased Heritage rug a little like they would a steak: rare, medium or well done.
The rugs in the Erased Heritage collection are produced in Agra, India. Agra is home to the descendants of many Persian families, a handful of which have been passing down this astonishing craft for generations. Jan has preserved the authenticity of this technique by setting up a production facility in Agra, rather than in Nepal, where most of his rugs are made. He employs weavers who possess the precious knowledge of the method, in a new factory highly regarded in the industry as the standard for excellent working conditions.
The end result is a rug with a revolutionary look and impossible durability, unparalleled anywhere in the industry. Each rug contains approximately 120 meticulously placed knots of Tibetan highland wool and Chinese silk per square inch.
Erased Heritage combines old and new in a way that has never been done before, bringing ancient design back to life, knot by knot.
For more information about their beautiful rugs, contact FRONT directly. If you'd like to discuss how you could fill your house with interesting and unusual designs, contact Kia Designs today for a free consultation.