Stories

Legends of Carpets

Back to the origin. The cradle of mankind is in Africa, where we get the inspiration for our carpet collection. Discover the whole story here.

INSPIRATION

Ancient Beauty

The last sunrays bathe the savannah in liquid gold. Zebras graze in a hollow, a giraffe emerges from the acacias. The changing incidence of light turns the veldt into never-ending vastness. Towns are teeming with life: fragrant air and the bright colors of the spices at the bazaar, the color transitions on the hand-plastered walls in the alleyways, dust and glimmering heat, shimmering mirages and magnificent orchid gardens. Walter Knoll carpets have been developed in collaboration with fabric designer Helmut Scheufele and are inspired by the landscapes and colors of Africa. The collection draws its strength from the creativity of the continent which materializes into timeless, woven works of art. On some models, the intense reds and blues are reminiscent of reflections in the sky at sunrise; on others, dark natural hues seem to highlight the sparse beauty of rock layers in the desert. Images of naturalness and elegance.

Walter Knoll carpets have been developed in collaboration with fabric designer Helmut Scheufele and are inspired by the landscapes and colors of Africa. The collection draws its strength from the creativity of the continent which materializes into timeless, woven works of art. On some models, the intense reds and blues are reminiscent of reflections in the sky at sunrise; on others, dark natural hues seem to highlight the sparse beauty of rock layers in the desert. Images of naturalness and elegance.

Design process

In the beginning was the inspiration, a trip. Markus Benz together with artist and fabric designer Helmut Scheufele embarked on a journey to Marrakesh which marked  the inception of the "Legends of Carpets" collection by Walter Knoll. Meaningful impressions of people, landscapes and light breaking in the souks  of the medina began to leave a mark – they came to life. After a different  journey to Namibia and Botswana, the leitmotif of the carpet collection was  clear: the landscapes and colors of Africa. 

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Based on the impressions and descriptions of their travels, Helmut Scheufele started to work in his atelier: painting. Painting abstract pictures of their shared impressions which were finally translated into carpet designs. Patterns intensified, yarns were selected, colors developed. Carpet by carpet, detail by detail.

The carpet collection's series

 

Materials

The basic material used in our carpets is wool from the Tibetan highlands – one of the best quality and most sturdy wools in the world. Brought down to the valley by the shepherds from the highland pastures with yaks, the sheep’s wool is washed in rivers, then carded and spun by hand. The wool fibers appear long and elastic. The high fat content protects the carpets from dirt, in an entirely natural way.

Silk

Exquisite Chinese silk in brilliant colors bestows a special shimmer and charming light reflections upon Walter Knoll carpets. Taken from the cocoons of the silkworm moth, natural silk is prepared and spun in silk-weaving mills before being hand-knotted into carpets. In a seemingly haphazard way, a splash of violet rises here, an orange-colored thread there. Extremely fine nuances of color are created, resulting in vibrant surfaces and patterns. Silk carpets are made exclusively from these selected fibers denoting a characteristic play of light and shade.

Nettle fibers

As original as cotton and as shiny as silk best describe the yarn spun from nettles. An exceptional natural product that unites naturalness and individuality in equal measure. To produce this fine yarn, the stems are broken down into their individual fibers and the fibers are then hand-spun. Nettle fibers give Walter Knoll carpets strength and sturdiness.

Production

Ecologically sustainable and socially responsible. Walter Knoll carpets are created by artisans who work in fair conditions and where manufacturing methods are environmentally friendly. They are hand-dyed and hand-knotted in workshops in the Himalayas following centuries-old traditions. The craftsmen prepare the wool, silk and yarn, dye the materials with 100% natural eco-friendly colors and then process them by hand over a period of several months.

Hand-dyed and hand-knotted

Fair Trade: Our Commitment

Each carpet is spun out of the loom knot by knot, row by row, and centimeter by centimeter. Four to five craftsmen sit next to each other on a bench to produce 2.5-meter pieces. It takes months of harmonious and synchronized teamwork and thus, depending on the dimensions, up to 1.5 to 2 years when adding the labor of all weavers who worked on a single carpet. Our partner workshops in Nepal are monitored by Label STEP. They comply with the guidelines of the independent Fair Trade Organization: no forced or child labor, fair conditions of employment and living for the carpet makers, decent and fair wages, and ecologically aware methods of production.
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Brochure

Download our Legends of Carpets brochure.