Machine-made patterned carpet, also known as broadloom or "carpeting", traditionally consists of designs that repeat at regular intervals - both length and width wise.
When Creative Director Ana Cunningham started in the business in 1999, she says designers had to use fairly small repeats when designing a machine-made carpet. "Anything over 39” x 39” (1m x 1m) was considered a large repeat. In comparison to our patterns for handmade rugs, it was challenging to switch over to machine-made carpeting where there were tight parameters on what we could generate design wise," said Ana.
"In recent years, technology has opened up new opportunities, so producing machine-made carpet without a repeat has become a liberating design choice - it changes what used to be a very rigid way of producing carpet into a format with endless possibilities."
BROADLOOM GOOD TO KNOw
What is broadloom?
Broadloom is another word for "machine-made carpet." It is a textile that is woven on a wide loom - historically all area rugs were hand woven on looms, and so the term "broad loom" meant a loom that was wider than the average loom size, and used to make a large carpet.
What is woven Axminster?
Axminster is a machine-made carpet quality suitable for both residential and larger commercial areas but largely used in hospitality. On Axminster looms, the pile and backing materials are woven together in a single operation, making them especially suitable for heavy traffic areas. Axminster is always cut pile and generally the specification is 80% wool 20% nylon.
What is printed carpet?
Printing consists of applying colour to a white carpet base using a sophisticated dye injection method. Both nylon and wool in cut or loop pile are available bases for this print technology.
contemporary PRINTED BROADLOOM FOR A SHOE DEPARTMENT
Our first project with sizeable broadloom without a repeat was created for Canadian luxury retailer Holt Renfrew and installed in July 2016. The sheer size of the women's shoe department called for broadloom. While the design itself provides a soft contrast to the finishes in the space, its massive scale adds a sense of grandeur.
"We simplified and expanded the scale of the Orchestra artwork (from our XXV Collection) into this massive wall-to-wall floorcovering. By recreating the design at full scale in Photoshop, we achieved an incredible level of detail," said Ana.
First the carpet base was tufted by machine into four-metre (13’ 2”) wide goods in wool (80%) and nylon (20%). Then, the colours (eight colours in grey and taupe, along with six blends of the same) were printed on the base pieces.
Six rolls of carpeting arrived on location and were arranged, cut and glued down in the complex configuration seen below. "The final result was a bold and cascading design that really captured the sophistication in the space," said Ana.
ANOTHER NO-REPEAT CARPET FOR HOLT'S
Holt Renfrew was so thrilled with the Ontario project, they asked to use the same concept for their Vancouver store. The pattern of the broadloom was also based on the Orchestra design but used darker tones.
Again, the design itself has been greatly simplified in comparison to Orchestra-the-collection-rug because the original would have been too active for this space. The cascading gradations act as a mostly neutral background to allow the product (shoes) to be a focal point in this area.
NO-REPEAT PRINTED BROADLOOM FOR A HOTEL CORRIDOR
In 2016 at W Hotel in Hoboken, NJ, we invigorated the corridors with a sweeping flow of graphic arcs that continue the length of the corridor. No part of the pattern is repeated - this helps to keep the interest alive as you travel along, and it helps guests to identify each section of the floor. Project lead Ali McMurter said, "This no-repeat design stays true to the fresh, watery feel that was intended for the corridors. And, the freedom of design carries through the feeling of the space."
No-Repeat Axminster FOR a HOTEL LOUNGE
No-repeat is also possible with the Axminster method of production where - rather than printing - colours of the wool (80%) / nylon (20%) are woven simultaneously with their backing on an Axminster loom.
Below are two different concepts for an upcoming hotel lounge and dining room combination. Whether it is nightshades or aquas, the no-repeat design creates an impressive sweep of pattern throughout the space.
"While designing with no repeat has been possible in broadloom for a few years, we are now particularly excited to be working on this with our mills, as they allow us to really push the envelope in this regard," said Ana.