Prized for its softness, warmth and natural strength, sheep’s wool has been used in myriad ways for thousands of years. Its unique natural properties mean that it is water repellent and flame retardant. Our Tibetan wool is collected from the fleeces of sheep living on the Himalayan plateau at high altitudes of up to 17,000 feet. Their wool is unusually strong and springy and is renowned for being exceptionally rich in lanolin, a natural stain barrier. Once collected, the wool is washed and hand-spun into soft yarns. The rich texture and long unbroken fibres mean it provides excellent durability and a wonderful texture underfoot. We believe it is the very best wool in the world for making rugs.
No other fibre rivals silk for decadent softness and luxurious shine. Silk has delighted the senses since it was first brought from China thousands of years ago. The spectacular lustre comes from the prism-like structure of the surface of each fibre, and is unique to silk. As well as reflecting light, this lustre also amplifies colours to a jewel-like intensity. Silk is tremendously strong, and in very old antique carpets it will often outlast wool, though it is considered rather more technical to clean. The finest silk is still thought to be that from China, and we use this to give the ultimate shine and softness. For a more natural feel we use hand-spun Indian silk which gives a more ‘slubby’ and uneven finish.
Mohair or Angora wool is the yarn spun from the fleece of the Angora goat. Mohair has a beautiful lustre that adds a richness and intensity to colours and is generally woven into plain rugs where the tactile quality of the fibre comes into its own.
The Merino sheep, whose rams have long spiralling horns, originate from 12th Century Spain. They grow the most opulent and soft fleece, that is famed for its fineness and delightful touch.
One of the oldest textiles in the world, linen is made from natural flax fibres which are extracted from the stem of the flax plant. Smooth and lustrous to the eye and silky in texture, linen has been renowned for centuries for its versatility and durability.
The fibres of the noble bamboo plant are very long and strong. With special treatment they can be spun into a yarn that is lustrous like silk. Bamboo yarn is uneven in colour and the result is a rustic finish that exhibits interesting fluctuations in tone.
Sumptuously soft and luxurious, our alpaca rugs are made from the finest fleeces of the alpaca, a smaller relative of the llama, originally found in Latin America. Alpaca is thick and delightfully fluffy, making for a wonderful texture underfoot.
Soft to the touch but robust and resilient, our Perennials® rugs are handwoven from solution dyed acrylic which is highly durable and designed to withstand any environment.