Back to the roots! The “Erased Heritage” collection pays homage to the traditional Oriental carpet. Finding inspiration from old patterns, techniques, and standards of quality, Jan Kath also turns to old master weavers to bring these designs back to life. Knot by knot, they hand produce Egyptian Mam... More
Back to the roots! The “Erased Heritage” collection pays homage to the traditional Oriental carpet. Finding inspiration from old patterns, techniques, and standards of quality, Jan Kath also turns to old master weavers to bring these designs back to life. Knot by knot, they hand produce Egyptian Mamluks, Iranian Bidjars, and Turkish Konyas using the original colors.
But the simple reproduction of old ideas is not the “JK”philosophy. The inclusion of the word “Erased” in the collectionname is a clear indication that Kath incorporateshis trademark alienation effects in these creations. A speciallydeveloped antique finishing technique makes it lookas if new rugs have already been lying on the parlor floorof a manor house for years on end. “Just like every Bavarianvillage has its own traditional dress, every community,region, and cultural group in the East has developed aparticular style of carpet. It’s fascinating how, over thecenturies, different areas have developed such differentsignature features and styles,” explains Kath. “With theErased Heritage collection, we are helping to make surethat these ideas survive into the modern age.” This is truenot only for the patterns and materials used, but also forthe unique method of production: while most carpet weavers around the world read the pattern from a drawing,directions for pieces in the Erased Heritage collection aresung aloud. The loom master, head of the carpet weavers,sits with a drawing of the knotting instructions oppositethe workers. From this position, he reads out commandssuch as “seven coral red”, “five garnet”, “two beige”, andso on. He then translates this information into a kind ofchant and sings the next steps to those tying the knots in arich, sonorous voice. “This unorthodox process is used bysmall family businesses,” notes Kath. “It’s extremely laborintensive,and not at all straightforward to apply these oldproduction methods to my designs. But the effort is definitelyworthwhile. The results are carpets with a revolutionarylook that combine old and new in a way that hasnever been done before.”