Turkish rugs get a modern twist


Trend alert …

For several years now, the Turkish rug merchants have been taking their old worn out and often thread-bare rugs and completely transforming them. In fact, their up-cycled carpets are so incredible that they started a major trend here in the Unites States.

Are you curious what they did to transform those formerly trod-upon carpets? They dipped them in vats of vibrant dye. That’s right — they steeped their vintage rugs, like a big awkward teabag, in barrels of magentas, aquas and apple-green dye to create something that is, well, simply put … breathtaking.

Aside from the mythically gorgeous color, some of the magic is credited to when the original pattern peaks through, making it appear like you inherited a cool carpet from a hip grandmother.

About 5 years ago, the legendary trend leader and retailer ABC Carpet of NY was the first to introduce these jaw-dropping styles. They were seriously stunning and cost about as much as a compact car.

Now, there are many versions of this popular rug design. Every savvy rug manufacturer has attempted to mass-produce the aged style. However, if you are a purist, then the Turkish, one-of-a-kind rugs, are still considered the go-to source for over-dyed rugs.

If you love the look but are color-phobic, they have begun dying them in subtler Starbucks colors too, which are spectacularly earthy while still offering the same fascination.

I have been crushing on these dipped rugs for years.

Now that I live somewhere hot enough to slow-roast a chicken in my driveway, this is the ideal time to toss one of these beauties over my bare floor. The rugs are often sheared to look more weathered and have a thinner pile, which is awesome in the sizzling heat or in a sun-deprived space, since it makes a room feel cozy but not too heavy.

One night, as the “Late, Late Night Show” was airing, I landed on a website that made my pulse quicken. I was staring at a swoon-worthy collection of these deliciously dipped rugs. I knew they were the true-Turkish deal. Since they’re one of kind, you have to find the one that speaks to you, and these babies were whispering right into my ear. I was so inspired that I shot the owner, Cem Marek, an email and asked if we could chat.

While he has never dipped a rug himself, he is a major importer and his prices are surprisingly reasonable (insert happy, joyous sounds here).

I have to confess to flip-flopping over whether to buy the green one or the gray one, so I got both. It was a worthy splurge.

Cem’s business is booming with the help of FedEx and his wife.

For a peek at his ever-changing collection, visit his Etsy shop “Cem Market” at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CemMarket.

Amy Archer

Amy Archer is owner of Sarasota-based Creating Inspired Design and writes the Barefooted Designer blog. She can be reached by email.
Last modified: January 13, 2016
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