Posts Tagged ‘social responsibility’

KWGS: Stephanie Odegard: Sustainable Design and Social Responsibility

April 14, 2010

Stephanie talks with Rich Fisher.  Follow the link below to hear and then visit Philbrook April 15th at 5:30 to learn more.

KWGS: Stephanie Odegard: Sustainable Design and Social Responsibility (2010-04-14).

Designer Weaving a Better World

April 13, 2010

Apples and Oranges

April 10, 2010

In our current retail economy, we have seen an explosion of lower end copies designed to look like their higher end counterparts.  From mid-town to downtown, the streets of New York are filled with vendors and their carts.  It is a virtual global market where products ranging from purses and scarves to jewelry and watches are sold at amazingly low prices.  The day following the Oscar awards, knock-offs of red carpet couture gowns are designed to be sold for a fraction of their original cost.  But we aren’t really fooled.  We know what we are buying.

When it comes to home furnishings what justifies a higher cost? Interior designers are working daily in a business where finite budgets run up against infinite wants and needs.  If all products were created equally there would be no issues.  Of course, the least expensive item could still be the best choice.  At SR Hughes, education is an ongoing process designed to help the client make an informed decision.

Purchasing a quality area rug for your home or business can be a substantial investment.  The finely crafted rugs from the Odegard Collection are known for their unique designs, quality construction and depth of color.  They are works of art, handcrafted in Nepal by master weavers specializing in a technique dating back to 2000 B.C.  Let’s look at what truly sets these rugs apart from their lower priced imitations.

The process begins with a unique, lanolin rich, long staple wool which is highly compact and elastic.  Wool from much drier regions tends to be shorter and made up of fibers with very little oil, making it brittle and susceptible to pilling and felting.  After being sheared by highland nomads, the virgin Tibetan wool is carried to Nepal where it is hand carded and hand spun into yarn.  These yarns are far superior to the recycled wool which is the basis for many less costly rugs.  This type of lower quality fiber has irregularities in color and texture and does not hold knots well.  Pile falls out more rapidly and the rugs do not hold shape for long.  Many are also chemically washed which strips the lanolin from the wool and weakens the fibers.

The next step is an age-old dyeing process which uses minerals and botanicals that are indigenous to Nepal and India.  Like cooking or wine making, recipes for these dyes are passed from person to person.  It is the continuation of a cultural tradition connecting work life with nature.  The cost is higher but in direct contrast to chemical dyes, vegetal dye is harmless to humans and protects the environment.  The dyes permeate deeply into the long fibers providing exceptional luster and depth of field.  The yarn is also resistant to fading, staining and abrading.

The rugs are then woven on vertical looms creating an interlocking foundation with up to 120 knots per square inch.  Thousands of hours are spent weaving, combing and carving the rugs by hand.  Lesser quality carpets are often woven by machine and without this strong interlocking knot method.  Natural fibers and the artisan’s hand elevate these rugs into contemporary pieces which now grace the exceptional interiors of museums, restaurants and homes around the world.

And in the end, the production of wool uses a fraction of the energy used to make synthetic fibers.  No synthetic carpet fiber will ever have the natural or inherent qualities and attributes of these natural fiber rugs used daily by commercial and residential clients alike.  The “Good Weave” label also insures that the carpets are made free of child labor and allow a living wage to be paid to adult craftsman and workers.

“Sustainable”, “renewable”, “non-toxic”, “biodegradable” and “socially conscious” — these are all important buzz words that apply to Odegard carpets and furnishings.  So, before you consider buying an inferior “throw away” product, consider all of the positive aspects of owning one of these exceptionally beautiful and long-lasting textiles from a company which has been successful in raising the standard of living for thousands of people.

Do you see the difference between apples and oranges??

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