“There is such a thing as a perfect carpet. It requires an understanding of materials, spaces and restrictions and above all, a mastery of design and skill. We’ve shaped this into a precise science, having crafted them by hand, since 1881,” reads a statement on the website of – the little known but quite exceptional – Hands Carpets.
This march, the luxury ‘floor art specialist launched its all-new Forma Collection, comprising twelve designs. Each beautifully hand tufted in 100 percent bamboo silk. Each, an elegant expression of 3D illusionary art, brought alive through a seemingly infinite interplay of pile height variances, colours, textures, and patterns.
“The carpets break design tradition,” said Ravi Patodia, Hands Carpets Managing Director, describing the collection. “These uncommon shapes explore the paradox between the formal and the informal, the obvious and the hidden. And alter the definition of a finite space, to make it about unusual possibilities.”
“The beauty of these carpets lies in their indeterminate form – that can hold different meanings to different people. Because of this, entering the room becomes synonymous with entering the art in the carpet itself – to discover where it takes you. Two people sharing the same space might not have the same visual or even emotional experience.” – Ravi Patodia, Managing Director, Hands Carpets
Including the Forma Collection, the brand now offers a total of 14 collections, which are grouped under three different styles. The Contemporary Style comprises modern designs featuring diverse thematic, stylistic and colour trends such as geometrics, organics, abstract art and pop art, from the minimal to the bold and vibrant. The Forma collection is included in this Style, along with Mineralogy, Lithology, Urbane, Nouveau, Bouquet and Sculpted.
The Traditional Style, as the name suggests, are handmade carpets with classic patterns, using traditional symbolism, motifs and cohesive colour. There are thee collections in this Style: French Savonneries, Amberlynn and Persian. The third Style is called Transitional and can be described as a hybrid of the two previous styles. They combine traditional carpet design elements with contemporary stylistics and colours. The objective here is to evoke sensations that are familiar yet new altogether. The four collections in this Style are: Cryptos, Transient, Lost Heritage and Once Forever.
In addition to the three styles, Hands also entertains bespoke commissions. Clients, guided by the brand’s in-house design consultants, have the freedom to personalise their carpets down to the very last detail, and to the subtlest colour variation.
All the carpets manufactured by Hands are either hand-tufted or handwoven. A hand-tufted carpet is woven by hand – using a tufting gun. Yarn is punched through a backing material by the weaver following a pre-set pattern; switching colours and types of yarn as required. Pile height – the length of the visible pieces of yarn on the rug – can vary tremendously, based on the design. Tufting at Hands is sometimes done with an unpowered instrument. This requires firm hands, a steady temperament, and a skill that’s rare in these times. It often takes weeks to complete one carpet. Handwoven carpets are manufactured by the traditional knot-by-knot method.
The heritage of the Hands carpets dates back to 1881 when an Englishman by the name A. Tellery discovered, by chance, a community of artistically gifted carpet weavers in Bhadohi, a tiny hamlet in the vicinity of the ancient Northern Indian city of Varanasi. He organised the community and began exporting their handwoven carpets to England and beyond. Hands Carpets was established by the Patodia family to continue the legacy established by Tellery and the carpet weavers of Bhadohi, also known as the Carpet City.
Today every ‘art for the floor’ piece produced by the brand is handmade – from hand-knotted wool rugs to hand-tufted carpets, kilims (a flat tapestry-woven carpet) and dhurries (a traditional thin flat-woven rug from South Asia). When sourcing raw materials, the brand places a high priority on both quality and sustainability. For example, non-allergenic wool is acquired from New Zealand, and fine bamboo silk is made out of renewable forestry. The yarns are hand-dyed.
All stages of the design and manufacturing process are in-house with a capacity of 25,000 square meters per month. All products meet the latest standards of indoor air quality as laid down by ‘LEED Green Building,’ and the brand is ISO 14001 accredited. In addition to its commitment to improving the quality of lives of the carpet weavers of Bhadohi, the brand has also signed up with ‘Care & Fair’ and ‘Rugmark,’ two NGOs working to stop child-labour, particularly in the carpet knotting industries in South Asia.
As a result of its commitment to quality, Hands carpets has accumulated an impressive portfolio of clients which include the White House, several royal palaces, and luxury hotels – the Plaza in New York City, the Burj Al Arab, Armani Hotel, and the Four Seasons Hotel in Dubai, to name a few.
The Forma collection is available at the Hands Carpets Showroom at Dubai Design District.