Magic carpets
von Prillwitz Bastian | Jan 13, 2011

In recent years, carpeting has not had an easy time of it. Wooden and stone flooring, floors covered in linoleum as an architectural feature, or simple screed floors have often been preferred to textile floor coverings. Since, contrary to their current reputation, carpets offer many advantages in terms of ambient climate, it is worthwhile taking a closer look at them.

Industrial carpeting by the meter is a relatively recent phenomenon. At the end of the 19th century, industry first came up with processes enabling such flat fabric to be manufactured in bulk. The competition from oriental carpets and tapestries knotted by hand continued to make it hard for woven carpets to find their way into the parlors of the day, despite being affordable in price. It was not until the post-1945 era that textile floor coverings started to become more widespread in offices and apartments alike. Today, in times when spacious living and working areas have become the norm, floor areas are correspondingly large. Rooms tend to be comparatively empty, making the floors clearly visible and one of the focuses of room design. With the return of a notion of the decorative in art, architecture and design, elements that were long frowned upon such as wallpaper and carpets are also making a comeback. And yet it is impossible to describe the Renaissance of this soft, warm floor covering as an aesthetic regression. Carpeting has been improved and manufacturers such as Vorwerk are working on making woven floor coverings acceptable once again in the living rooms of today. Under the name of "Transflooring", the long-standing Hamelin-based company seeks to make the floor a veritable stage for design and cultured living. Small wonder, then, that its current collection, "Selected Rugs", includes designs by Zaha Hadid and Hadi Teherani.

Vorwerk takes its inspiration from unusual materials and textures using thick-pile fleeces and cool mixtures of wool and linen. The result: surprising detailed textures and fascinating floor expanses. The different qualities come with names such as "Steel", "Karacta", "Field" and "Twin". At Vorwerk these are not only seen as independent floor coverings; the company also believes they can be used as part of combinations with other floorings. "Steel", with its shimmering metal fibers and paper textures has a linear, technical feel to it and yet still radiates warmth. What is special about "Karacta" is the way that with its broad, hand-woven cord structures and its shimmering synthetic fibers it alternates between highs and lows, between gloss and satin. And the effects of "Field" are triggered by their soft movements and the shimmering colors of their thick pile.

The floor coverings in the "Selected Rugs" range stand out for other important qualities in addition to their visual appearance. They absorb sound and warmth to a high degree and bind floating and dust particles. Last but not least, carpets may soon become a fixed item in contemporary interiors as their manufacture spares resources and they certainly to impair anyone's health.

Steel by Vorwerk