The year was 1928. The first loom was produced by Marshall Field, the American textile manufacturer and retailer that was capable of producing a woven rug. Karastan first introduced its machine-made carpets known as “Mystery Rugs”, the counterpart to the hand-made rugs. The machine technology was so advanced that Karastan put one rug up to a considerable challenge.
During the 1933-34 World’s Fair in Chicago, Karastan created a large version of its Kirman pattern. Instead of just displaying the rug, they asked visitors to walk on the rug to test its ability to be cleaned. Over 5 million people walked over the rug and even spilled food on it and rubbed it in. No one thought that it could be cleaned; it was filthy. Karastan cleaned one side of the rug, leaving the other side soiled in order to show the difference. The results were amazing. The side cleaned was pristine.
Karastan offers a wide variety of rugs and carpets. The textures presented include berbers, loop piles, cut piles, cut and loop piles and shag. A choice of synthetic or wool fibers can be chosen. There are many size from which to choose, starting at 2′ 10″ width x 5’9″ length. Their collection brand names include Antique Legends, Ashara, Cabo del Sol, Carriage House, English Manor, Sierra Mar, Samovar and Metropolitan.
Karastan has continued to conduct research and innovate. Three new varieties of Karastan were born. SisalWool was created in 1992 to tap into the love of sisal. The problem with sisal was that the look appealed to consumers. At the same time, sisal was not pleasing to the touch and it stained easily. Karastan made a carpet with sisal’s texture and aesthetics, but incorporated the stain resistance, soft feel, and durability of wool. Pure New Zealand wool was woven through the back for long lasting performance and appearance maintenance. The SisalWool styles include Agave, Belize, Corvera and Zanzibar.
The second innovation was a finishing process introduced in 1997 called TeaWash. The technique turned wool from glossy to an antique patina. Rich shades of reds, greens, golds and indigo are finely use to create the “abrash” effect of old vegetable dyes. It is an aged appearance that is desirable in home décor. Karastan TeaWash includes the following patterns: Persian Vase, Kirman Panel and Tabriz Medallion.
Finally, in 2006 Karastan introduced Shapura. The collection design is classified as traditional, but also reflects color palettes geared toward today’s interiors. he vegetable-dyed yarns are offered in muted colors such as ivory, peach, and light olive green. The Shapura collection is highly detailed with a somewhat worn effect that is generated by Karastan’s original luster wash. They are described as a “Peshawar” rug, which is a particular hand knotted production from India and Pakistan. The Shapura collection includes Athena, Tiana and Tiana Ivory.
Karastan productions are machine-made, but offer the beauty and varieties of hand-made rugs. Karastan continues to offer quality rugs while being a leader in innovation. They have revolutionized design by introducing SisalWool, TeaWash and Shapura. They are an exceptional addition to one’s home décor.