What Makes Stickley Rugs so Special?
I love Stickley Rugs and wanted to share the story behind them, because I think once you understand what makes each 100% Tibetan Wool Stickley Rug special, you’ll want to come into Manderley Manor and take a look at our fine selection of Stickley rugs for yourself.
As I mentioned, Stickley rugs are made from 100% Tibetan Highland sheep wool, and this is important, because many oriental rugs available today are woven using a blend of wools from India, Pakistan and even as far away as New Zealand.
About the 100% Tibetan Wool that Goes Into Stickley Rugs
According to the National Geographic, Tibetan Highland sheep produce some of the most sought-after wool in the world – not only because it’s beautiful and resilient, but also because it’s longer, thicker and more durable than most of the other kinds of wool mentioned.
The Tibetan Highland sheep (which are indigenous to the high plateaus of the four Himalayan Mountain ranges) – live at an altitude of between 15,000 and 18,000 feet, and have adapted to the extremely harsh climate – with hailstorms, frost for six months of the year and average temperatures of -4°F, dipping to −40 °F during the winter months. Because of this, the wool produced for Stickley rugs is completely saturated with Lanolin and produces a wool that’s rugged and yet soft.
Did you know that the ancient ‘silk road’ – which lasted from the 1st Millennium into the 2nd, extended into Tibet, just for the wool?
Like all Stickley furniture and textiles, each rug is created according to exacting standards.
Here’s the process that goes into creating Stickley Rugs:
Hand Sorting the Wool
In the case of Stickley rugs, the wool is sorted by hand, a process which involves separating each of the black, brown, tan and white fibers. This process allows for better color consistency when the wool is dyed (also done by hand), which, of course, aids in the look and quality of each finished Stickley rug as well.
Hand Combing the Wool
After that, the wool is hand carded (combed). This is another important part of the process, because it extends each fiber to the longest length possible, which also helps in making the wool more consistent during the spinning process.
Drop Spinning the Wool
The spinning process is done by hand as well, using a spinning technique called drop spinning. (Take a look at the video at the bottom of this post – you’ll see a Tibetan woman spinning the wool by hand. It’s completely fascinating.)
Hand Dyeing the Wool
The wool from every Stickley rug is hand-dyed as well – using the latest Synthetic Swiss dyes. The wool is dyed in small batches at a time, to help ensure the most consistent colors. And thanks to the Lanolin (a heavy oil) in the wool – which also helps Stickley rugs to be stain resistant – the dyes are absorbed into the wool in different levels of intensity – creating a pleasing to-the-eye effect called ‘abrash’. (The Lanolin also makes each Stickley rug softer.)
The colors in Stickley rugs go from bold and vibrant to classically muted. You can find a style to fit your exacting tastes for every room in your home that will match and complement your decor.
Stickley rugs are tomorrow’s treasured heirlooms.
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