Talking about the changeable weather here in the United Kingdom is a national pastime. Our proximity to the Gulf Stream combined with the ever-fluctuating patterns of the Jet Stream is just two of the reasons we see the inclement weather across our fair land. And, there is also the debate on global warming commonly believed to be accelerated by man, but counter-argued by some that this is normal for an interglacial period. Or in other words, It's getting warmer anyway, because we are still at the back end of the last ice age.
Either way, it’s a globally accepted fact that the planet is going to get hotter. Now, I’m no expert when it comes to environmental issues, but it makes perfect sense to me to use the power of the elements wherever possible.
In countries like India, natural elements like the sun and wind have been used to aid many of the phases of rug production. Activities like dying and drying of yarn are normally done out in the open or under canopies. Dying is hot messy work that requires the boiling of dyestuff and rotating the undyed yarn in the dye to ensure a constant colour. Once dyed the yarn is normally hung or laid to dry naturally in the open air.
In India, they have been producing rugs this way since the 16th century, since then generations of weavers and rug makers have been honing their skills to create this enormous cottage industry. Over 75% of carpets and rugs made in India are exported and today India is the largest producer of handmade carpets in the world accounting for around 40% of the production. The largest importers are the USA $731.84 million (USD), Germany $140.58 million (USD) and the UK $78.52 million (USD). Most of these rugs and carpets are produced in the Utter Pradesh region in and around the city of Bhadohi.
Centres for most traditional industries don’t usually happen by accident. The production of rugs in Bhadohi possibly arose from its proximity to the Silk Road, it’s access to water, raw materials and its dry arid climate, for 9 months of the year. Then comes the rainy season July, August and September where the average rainfall jumps from 18mm to 263mm with the month of July peaking to around 300mm of rain, compare that to the United Kingdom’s average of 71mm. In a typical year, the United Kingdom will see around 854mm of rainfall compared with Bhadohi’s 951mm. Needless to say, there’s a lot of water falling in Bhadohi during the rainy season.
As you can imagine during the rains there is a lot of halted production, even working under canopies can hinder the flow of work in persistent rain. The rainy season is also one of the busiest for rug production, as it’s the precursor to the busy autumn and Christmas trade here in the west. So, forward planning for the Indian companies who make the rugs is essential during the rainy season.
Whether it’s a family barbecue or a day at the seaside, we’ve all had our plans scuppered by inclement weather. The weather patterns here appear to be getting more inconsistent, year on year. There is no denying the problem of climate change is global and in India, they are also seeing unpredictable changes in the weather patterns, mainly higher temperatures and erratic rainfall. To an industry that does a high majority of its work outdoors, the changing climate becomes a big issue.
This year we have seen more delays in rug production due to heavy rain. When seeking information and revised timescales for production, the relentless optimism of our Indian partners can be very frustrating. Their culture appears to have a built-in mechanism, designed to anticipate the best in a bad situation. If there isn’t an immediate solution, they often just wait, hoping things will sort out themselves. Dianne Sharma Winter a seasoned traveller of India put it this way, “In India, no one likes to say NO outright, especially to a guest”. And if you’ve read the book or seen the movie “The Life of Pi”, you’ll understand why it’s better to be told an extravagant story rather than hear the painful facts.
The rainy season comes to the Uttar Pradesh region of India every year and delays are anticipated. The painful fact is, with the ever-changing climate associated with greenhouse gas, the rainy season in Uttar Pradesh is getting wetter. The domino effect means rug orders are being delayed and the information we receive is like the British summer, optimistically patchy.
During the month of September, India should really be seeing a significant drop in the rainfall, but today, 30th September 2019, I received the following message from the factory in India: “This is to inform you that we are going through an unexpected wet spell, with continuous rains and very little sunshine. The prediction extends to this entire week and has literally been so these past 2 weeks.
Production all over the place has come to a veritable stand still as apart from the wet ground, some areas are partially flooded and some with no electricity.
Please be informed as this may lead to some inevitable delays in production, since many of our stages of production are dependent on a dry ground and sunny weather.
We are trying our level best to dispatch as many orders as possible on schedule.
Thank you for bearing with us.”
At the same time here in the UK we are anticipating the arrival or Hurricane Lorenzo as it became the most eastern most category 5 hurricane on record in the Atlantic Ocean. Quoting a delivery time for a bespoke rug between the months of June and September, we tend to add, “but, it could take a little longer”. This summer some of the delays we have experienced have been excessive, these delays have been caused by adverse weather. Possibly the same adverse weather patterns that are are happening on a global scale.
When it comes to buying rugs, the words of the Rolling Stones song “You can’t always get what you want” spring to mind. With rug sizes and shapes, it can be so difficult to find something that really fits your living space. And if you want more than one rug in different sizes the task can seem virtually impossible.
Typical UK rug and runner sizes
Generally, rug sizes are fairly standard with a small size of 80cm x 150cm, medium size of 120cm x 170cm, you may find a European size of around 135cm x 195cm at rug specialists and companies like Ikea, a large size of 160cm x 230cm and (when available) an extra-large size of 200cm x 290cm. When searching for a hallway runner then you'll find the sizes are less standard, but usually around 60cm to 67cm in width and between 200cm and 300cm in length. So, looking for rugs that are vastly different from the aforementioned sizes is going to prove difficult. Finding shaped rug like a circle, oval or half-moon is going to seriously limit you choice of size and style, and if you are looking for an off the wall shape, then you may as well just forget it.
However, as the Rolling Stones song also states “But if you try sometimes, well, you just might find. You get what you need”. Yes, there is a solution! At iwantarug.com the rugs are custom made at a standard price to your specific size, shape and design. This means we can produce rug or carpet-runner in any width between 60cm (2 ft) and 400cm (13 ft) and in lengths from 120cm (4 ft) to 600cm (19ft 6in).
Shaped rugs can be produced in circular, oval, half-moon and even irregular shapes like hearts and lips. Or maybe you have an area that requires an “L shaped rug” or a “T shaped rug” these can be produced but you would need to contact us for a quote.
A popular shape that is totally overlooked by UK suppliers is square rugs, at iwantarug.com we can produce all of our designs as a square, but, sometimes the designs don’t look quite right when they are squashed from oblong to square. We do have a category dedicated to square rugs, here we have taken some of the popular designs and made the better suit a square shape. However, if you are working with one of our oblong designs that just doesn’t look quite right as a square, just shoot us an email from the listing using the “press to contact us” button and we’ll give you a solution.
With carpet runners, you may require a long length that will distort the design. You may even prefer the stretched design, the above example shows the variations of a 60cm x 230cm length runner design that has been stretched to around 500cm along with the revised design to approximate the original design scaling. You can have the design either way, just hit the “press to contact us” button, add your required size and we’ll produce a re-scaled image.
Your design Ideas
Some of our clients have a definite idea of a design they want, while others know what they want but have a very vague image in their head. A problem shared can be soon become a design in progress. Just do a quick and simple sketch and photograph it with your mobile phone, then forward it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know what colours you had in mind. We’ll come back with a basic design concept.
Today's home décor marketplace is dominated by the trending colours, which can make it hard when you want to add a little creativity of your own. We see the accent colour trends change from duck egg blue to ochre yellows to dusky pinks, which are generally seated on a bed of greys, beige or taupe.
While it can appear easier mixing and matching décor when it comes to furnishings like cushions and curtains, it’s another story altogether when following the theme to your floor. Today’s carpet colours are frankly, very boring, and while wood floors look very elegant, they rarely offer the pizzazz of colour that a room sometimes needs.
So to give the room some colouration you have to rely on soft furnishing or wall colour. The problem with wall colour is it can sometimes be too “in your face” while the impractical soft furnishing trend of throwing piles of cushions on a sofa means you have trouble finding a place to sit.
Without a doubt, the most practical way of adding much-needed colour to a room is a rug. To be fair, there is a good range of colours in rugs if you are looking for yellows, blues, pinks, greys and beiges. But buying greens, red, purple, terracottas and your options are seriously limited. Your options become even more restricted when you want to combine various colours.
The sad fact is there is 1000’s colour variation available to rug manufactures, but they only tend to use what is trending at the time. So you have this perfect picture of your ideal rug in your head, surely someone must produce it.
At iwantarug.com we can turn that perfect picture in your head to reality. Sitting at this side of the fence I have the conversation time and time again with clients who have abandoned many of their options. It’s really nice to have the ability to rekindle those options and give the benefit of my experience.
One of our clients had a big square room in a typically pre-war house with Art Deco features and ordered two extremely large three seater sofas, one in royal blue the other in a mustard yellow. She wanted a large square rug in predominantly midnight blue and ochre yellow to subtly enhance the Art Deco feel. She chose our Art Deco panel design which worked well as a square with no modification. The rug as produced and delivered in 6 weeks from ordering.
The rug this client had made wasn’t that unusual, the colour combination of blue and yellows seem to fit the trends, but the combination of dark blue and yellow just wasn’t available in the size of the rug she requested.
At iwantarug.com, we have over 90 colours available in quality samples with a further 1300 variations. You can choose the colours that you want to see in the rug, you can tweak the design, you can even produce your own design. Furthermore, we produce a quality bespoke product that is priced similar to high street brands offering similar qualities.
Our rugs are handmade using 100% wool or a combination of wool and viscose. The factory in India has skilled artisans who will convert the design into a finished hand-tufted, jute backed rug. Our website has hundreds of design templates that allow you to colour and recolour in 90+ standard colour options. If there’s something you want to change colours or segments of the design, just email us and it will be done