Collections and Steps in Creating Custom Rugs

Custom Rug Manhattan
Remembering a rich, textural custom rug created by Rug & Kilim for James Yarosh’s project in Manhattan — a colorway and tactile allure reminiscent of rose petals to complement his outstanding work.

The decision to create a custom rug comes at the end of a handful of journeys. Some luxury rug connoisseurs find themselves exhausted in limitations when browsing stock, whereas some interior designers find the perfect pattern unlike anything else on the market with the hope of seeing it realized in flooring. Just the same as the decision to create a bespoke rug can anywhere between the end of your rope and the beginning of an exciting, challenging project, the possibilities invoked when making something perfectly expressive — when you’ve found the right team — are every bit as vast.

If one thing is shared by the new and adept alike in the handmade custom rug process, it’s that there’s a fair amount to learn before settling on the right firm or atelier like ourselves. Many of the guidelines aren’t so universal as believed, including but not limited to pricing as a barrier, limited access to samples for those in need, non-communicative large firms neither illuminating nor offering the step-by-step process teams like ours does — and more often than not the rush of the opportunity fades to the feeling of a cumbersome, unrewarding process.

As a team with more than 40 years in the industry, however, Rug & Kilim’s own exclusive custom rug collection enjoys a culmination of all our team has learned in that time, woven into a refined approach to scale, graph, color, and texture never seen in such an encompassing array of classic and modern bespoke rug patterns. For that same sad reason of our team having seen so many potential custom rug owners lose themselves due to poor guidance, it falls to family-owned ateliers like ourselves to provide the most ideal process possible; one that can be illuminated here for those seeking to understand all that custom clients of our team have at their disposal and exactly what is needed to get the most of a handmade custom rug.

Clients selecting a custom piece from this and our other custom-capable collections have access to our full sample archive for any additional inspiration, selecting any size and colorway variation working closely in constant communication with our Art Department from start to finish in realizing your vision with the utmost precision. Our designers provide an in-depth rendering, to be approved with your confidence and handmade with any of our unique blends of exotic yarns and premier materials — the sheer variety of which has become a trademark of several collections including our celebrated Scandinavian, Mid-Century Modern, Texture of Color, Burano, and Homage collections to name a few.

The History of Bespoke Rugs & Our Handmade Custom Process 

Custom Textural Featured NY Times photo credit Mekko Harjo 1
Our textural high-low piece for Tori Golub Interiors, featured in the New York Times piece on sectional sofas in decor. Photography by Mekko Harjo.

Though custom rugs are synonymous with modern rugs and modern rug making, the process of handmade custom rugs is a tradition traced back to the origins of luxury pieces, namely in many antique rug families that have inspired our process and that of our colleagues. The shahs and maharajahs of ancestral India come to mind, whom used to have original rugs commissioned for palaces, summer homes and a variety of spaces — sometimes requiring 10-15 years and teams of weavers to produce handmade rugs in their desired colors and sizes ever since their inception in the 16th Century. 

Custom clients of Rug & Kilim enjoy constant communication and insight from our design department in the full process of creating hand-knotted rugs from our most reputed international looms; ethically woven and quality conscious from start to finish. The custom process begins with an in-depth colorway and yarn selection, followed by a detailed rendering from our Design Department for the client’s approval before any design is placed on loom. Once approved, the yarn is spun and naturally dyed with meticulous attention as we set up the loom for your chosen scale. After the extensive hand knotting is complete, our team oversees the wash, stretching, finishing, and final vetting before shipping your custom rug — with clients able to include or forgo our custom padding designed to offer lift, protect against dust, and ensure the longevity of any given piece at an exceptional price per square foot.

The custom process is a labor of love and craftsmanship refined over decades, and through that dedication the achievements in large-scale graph, color, and texture speak for themselves in the value of your piece. 

The First Steps in Creating a Custom Rug 

Above is an abbreviation of our own process sparing too many trade secrets, but the inception of a custom rug design can stem from many paths including but not limited to patterns on custom samples for reference, existing patterns, art and paintings, classic rugs to recreate as modern rugs and more. Over a long time our team has built a series of private collections with samples to represent them for just the sake of this being the most common means of custom rug making in the realm of interior design. Still, the private decorator more often than not finds inspiration in a painting, a piece of abstract art and even a simple solid-color reference seeking the best quality material for the simplest vision — and the simple fact is that both the complex conversational pieces and the obsequious, easygoing neutral rugs in custom rug making require the same level of attention. 

Custom Weaving, Knotting, Texture

Before the process even begins, being aware of the difference between a custom pile rug and a custom flat weave is the simplest, most essential step. The choice between pile and flat weaving can impact receptiveness to certain dyes, durability underfoot in high-traffic areas, and obviously texture given your level of consideration for tactile appeal in a custom rug. 

Those seeking custom pile rugs — including but not limited to those seeking to recreate Moroccan style or textural high-low carpet like our own collection offers — have the option with our team of deciding the near-precise height of pile down to the square inch depending on material. Conversely those seeking custom flat weave rugs might consider the greater ease for rolling furniture, the multiple types of weaves that can be employed, and the typical reputation of flat weave and Kilim rugs to buckle and shift underfoot — whereas our own custom process in Rug & Kilim’s Scandinavian flat weave rugs employs a proprietary body to lend an uncommon durability and resistance to movement unlike any other custom Kilim on the high-end market today. 

Custom clients of Rug & Kilim not only have access to our full variety of handmade styles, but full follow-up communications with our specialists in efforts to determine best care and cleaning for select textures and weaves alike. While clients also have access to our full restoration and cleaning facility, the advantage of our principal Josh Nazmiyal’s many years in the field is that our team has a wide network of domestic and international contacts we can recommend when it’s not possible to call on our services for custom rug care nearby.

Custom Color

City Lights Custom
A favored custom rug from our “City Lights” design — playing grisailles colorway with a subtle, textural silk recognized at the NYCxDESIGN Awards. Currently in stock as a 10×14.

Whether working off a sample, an existing work or a base concept, our Art Department uses ARS color references for in-house and on-site comparison to ensure the most accurate colorway preview possible. Before creating and approving the rendering to be sent to the most appropriate loom (among our international partner looms best suited to varying styles and collections in our process), providing the most curated colorway selection lowers the risk of multiple renderings, prevents miscommunications with the loom, and ultimately offers the most optimistic beginning to a project.

In the same way that antique and vintage vegetable dyes can never be precisely recreated, the sample, artwork or furniture referenced in choosing colors for a custom rug are an evolving process of seeking perfection, though little can be promised even from experts like ourselves. For this reason, many of our clients seek beyond samples and ask for cuttings or yarn samples, which often helps designers and home decorators like ensure the realization of their project in the months leading up to a finished piece

Custom Size 

Taking measurements for the dimensions of a prospective custom rug can be simple enough depending on the area rug placement, but just as often those new to the custom rug process no not to account for factors such as margin (the fixed or desired distance between the rug and the wall when creating custom flooring) and many other factors. For this purpose, Rug & Kilim’s logistics team offers on-site measurements for the experienced and uninitiated custom rug clients alike.

In more than 40 years we’ve done nearly every imaginable size and type of bespoke custom area rug, stairway runner, hallway runner, entryway runner and more in gift size, 5×7, 6×8, 6×9, 6×10, 6×12, 8×10, 8×12, 8×14, 10×12, 10×14, 10×15, 12×14, 12×15, and even less-common palace sized pieces in 13×20 and above. Knowing the minimal expectation of marginal size difference that is inevitable in handmade custom rugs is important when designers, decorators and those working with our logistics members conduct measurements and decide how they want the pattern to sit in the desired scale. 

Final Proofing 

Just as Josh hand selects every piece joining our vast archive of rugs and Kilim rugs, every custom piece is approved personally by the team, designer and/or client before it leaves the manufacturer for shipping. Though our standard return and on-approval process sees exception in the time-consuming, expensive process of a handmade custom rug production, clients are only expected a 50 % deposit of the net total with no further deposits until completion (including approved, reasonable modifications in the few times these would be needed). 

Custom Padding 

While the uninitiated further associated the need for rug padding with particularly delicate antique and vintage rugs, our team recommends it for almost every complete project for the sole fact that we work with the best padding material on the market at this value rate. Rug & Kilim’s custom cut padding is available for any order, offering longevity and value to a variety of pieces by offering a key lift to the body,mitigating dust accumulation, and protecting special orders in transit for various projects.

Modern pieces, especially Kilim and flat weave rugs, are still vulnerable to wear and repairs overtime, and while certain aspects of long-term mending and maintenance are unavoidable, custom cut padding can significantly reduce the frequency of cleanings and readjustments to the position of a custom rug.

Our Custom Rug Collections 

The following includes descriptions of some of the most well-received from our private custom-capable collections by Rug & Kilim:

Texture of Color 

Pushing the boundaries of minimalist design and flexibility, Texture of Color has proven itself to the luxury custom rug market as a new answer to contemporary and modern designers seeking the most comfortable but intricate new standard for open-field, solid color rugs. Welcoming twin attitudes in the premier of our Natural and Reach rug lines — employing distinct approaches to silk, wool, and proprietary yarn with color variations and textures unique to each brand — the promising range and custom capabilities of the collection have grown to join the most sought-after rugs among our private collections in only three years on the market.

What Josh has seen more than any factor among the many-faceted appeal of the collection is that these piece lend the ideal balance between a comfortable, minimalist complement and a thoughtful, meticulous detail in the colorway. Nearly countless colors transition more seamlessly and subtly together in the Natural line than any open-field rug, whereas Reach offers equally subtle variations of texture emphasizing the most appealing sense of movement in its own way; twin techniques born of Josh’s relationships with the most skillful, reputed looms in the market.

The smart, inviting nature of Texture of Color — along with a growing stock and constantly improving custom capabilities in all colors and sizes — have all been made the collection a staple for our designers and colleagues. From modern Manhattan lofts to country homes, Palm Beach apartments, primary, secondary, and tertiary residences, the mood and feeling in Texture of Color can sit anywhere with a soothing complement that cannot be understated.

Custom Scandinavian Rugs and Flat Weaves 

A custom Scandinavian Kilim rug from one of our most well-received designs graces the floor of a Los Angeles luxury home. Currently in stock as a 10×14.

While each texture and weave in the Scandinavian Collection enjoys a culmination of honorific and innovative elements, it’s fair to argue that the Scandinavian Flat Weave line has become the most exempletive of honoring the weaving traditions and preserving the spirit while still innovating the process for a modern audience. 

Quickly becoming a new hallmark of the line, each flat weave in our Scandinavian Collection sports a variety of undyed, natural yarns visible to both the connoisseur and the neophyte. The more prevailing natural color — interwoven like a series of visually unexpected accents in the body of our Scandinavian Kilim — plays a major role in creating that gentle distinction of an abrashed look departing from other solid-color geometric patterns with clear borders and proportions. This unique technique of ours was meant to be the negotiation between the transitional rug appeal of the mid-century modern style and an homage to the traditional Scandinavian rug and flat weave technique, in which excess and leftover yarn would be interwoven in an otherwise ‘complete’ piece (connoting some of the bold colorways seen in the vintage rugs on auction today).

Alongside honoring the pioneers of the style, this weaving technique ultimately lends a sense of character and distinguished movement to the mid-century geometry in our Scandinavian flat weaves. While none who share our respect for the style would consider mid-century Scandinavian flat weaves monotonous by any perspective, the incorporation of natural yarns ensures a soulful look unique to each flat weave in considering the modern designer and decorator alike — where the student of the style might have a greater appreciation for the technique’s cultural significance, those new to Scandinavian flooring can still appreciate the thoughtful look of chic without barrier or pretense.

An already-proven hallmark of the Scandinavian flat weaves we create, conversely, is undoubtedly the durability and weight of the body that’s been achieved in the weaving process. Having known every major style of Kilim and flat weave for more than 40 years of collecting and studying the cultures of renown, Rug & Kilim has developed a noteworthy, proprietary construction that has proven itself on the modern market in the current luxury designer’s foremost considerations. 

While no small faction of our clientele and colleagues know and seek the style they associate with Scandinavian rugs, an equal audience has come to rely on this aspect of the line for functionality and ease underfoot (form follows function). Nonetheless, the marriage of practicality and iconic mid-century aesthetic has proven itself to the market, as well as to the international carpet and design community, in bringing Scandinavian flat weave rugs to the current designer — complemented by a refined approach to an impressive time on loom considering the audience for custom rugs that makes up an equally impressive number of our Scandinavian loyalists. The introduction of outdoor and all-natural hemp and aloe pieces that have been introduced since — particularly in our emerging archive of samples — consider exterior design, conservation, and material purity as unignorable precedents of thoughtful modern design that we’re equally proud to present to the luxury rug industry. 

Scandinavian Pile 

A newer pillar among the lines, the Scandinavian pile rugs that have become an equal mainstay of the collection capture the sensibility of rya and rika rugs with a greater abundance of large-size area rugs, custom capabilities, and colorway consistency than the ancestral beauties of inspiration. This is why roughly 80 percent of what you find on the market from this era is smaller, and most of what was produced were flat weaves. Though large-size Scandinavian pile and flat weaves alike could be find in and following this renaissance era, it’s nowhere near the scale to which we’re able to create them today, which in and of itself we consider a contribution to the style where we can appeal to and keep up with the passions of so many without sacrificing quality in a hand-made Scandinavian rug. 

Custom Scandinavian Rug Samples

Representing the full archive of designs in our kilim flat weave, pile, outdoor, and all-natural hemp and aloe additions, existing and custom rug samples from our Scandinavian Collection have become a considerable resource for our interior design colleagues around the country. The reliability in colorway representation, texture matching, and our full-service shipping capabilities has more often than not been the difference in assisting designers who work with us in presenting the most suitable Scandinavian rug options to complement discerning interior projects. 

Custom Mid-Century Modern Rugs 

The Mid-Century Modern collection by Rug & Kilim represents founder Josh Nazmiyal’s hope to honor the iconic aesthetic pioneered by designers of the 1950s in the limelight of modern design as it’s never been presented in the luxury rug industry before. These newly released additions represent the first major production of mid-century style fabric patterns as custom, high-quality luxury rugs in our collaboration with both established and up-and-coming artists sharing our passion for the style.

The collection is the product of several years researching and refining our approach to large-scale drawing, texture, and color in a constantly refined method of capturing the pattern. These new additions marry post-war and atomic age design sensibilities with new design elements as our team collaborates with foundations representing the pioneers of the design as well as contemporary artists sharing Josh’s passion for the historic style.

Including quality wool, a blend of exotic yarns from our collection and brilliant, luminous silk highlighting key colorways in varied pieces, the library in our Mid Century Modern Collection promises to become one of the most uniquely joyful and reliable resource for decorators sharing our passion for both offering homage and embracing something new in the world of luxury interiors.

Custom Project Ideas for a Mid-Century Modern Rug

Liken to the ongoing process of learning how to represent this new take on mid-century modern rugs in the collection, Josh’s effort to represent the new mid-century modern rug has inspired intriguing responses among our designers and colleagues sharing our passion for the growing archive of rugs. The work so far — welcoming full service in custom size, custom color, and custom material blend available for each pattern — inspires thoughts of maximalist interior design with as much validity as the ideally retro interiors we foresee representing the work as it enters the market; possibilities abound. Among the current stock in gift size rugs, gallery rugs, area rugs, and runners — including but not limited to stock in 3×5, 4×6, 6×8, 6×9, 4×10, 8×10, 4×12 runners, 9×12, 5×14, and 6×12 rugs — is a lively range of colors matched only by the diversity of pattern capturing retro, chic, and vintage sensibility with an unmatched refinement no matter the style. 

Custom Moroccan Rugs 

From the antique and vintage riches of the Berber weavers to the wider capabilities of newer loom productions, our Moroccan rug and flat weave collection enjoys a diversity of wool and fabric pieces equal to our variations of colors and pile heights — both in classic tribal pieces capturing the foundations of the style and the contemporary adaptations of Moroccan sensibility in more spacious sizes.

In a long career with ample time to experience the versatility of Moroccan style, it’s been rewarding to see that the vibrant, ever-distinguished and intricate colorway options of the classic tribal pieces remain popular and well-received among a variety of projects and spaces. Though the misconception remains that the original Moroccan rug and flat weave style is relegated to a niche in home design due to their size and colorway preferences, more often we’ve seen the range of our collection lending the most surprising complement to our colleagues; from chic, near-minimalist stripe and open-field designs to the more eclectic, culturally fascinating options with rich symbolism and history.

But those seeking a range in contemporary and modern appeal, the larger-loom Moroccan area rugs that have emerged in and beyond our own custom-capable Moroccan line enjoy thoughtful variations of mixed pile height options complementing the very lush, inviting wool pile and the elegant contrast of cream white and black. The classically inspired field designs play beautifully off the reserved, sensible chic of these pieces and we’re excited to see the life they bring to projects. 

Contemporary Moroccan Rug and Flat Weave Trends Today

If we’ve seen any aspects of the Moroccan rug style persist more than any of the multitude of significant elements, it would be the lush pile and distinctive geometric patterns that arguably stand out more than anything among Moroccan rug lovers. In addition to the exciting large-scale productions seen from Moroccan today, there’s an interesting dichotomy of both contemporary rug minimalism and classic rug homage in the market today, both in the more wide-reaching pile productions and the ever-desired Moroccan Kilim rugs produced for stock and custom rug orders like that from our own partner loom.

Our Contemporary, Custom Moroccan Rug Pile Line 

While the most approachable or wide-spanning appeal of our own contemporary Moroccan line is the simple area-size dimensions — given the history of Moroccan looms as smaller and unequipped to produce many spacious pieces — the approach to high-low pile refinement married with a lush, quality wool pile cannot go understated in the modern appeal of this subcollection. There’s a chic juxtaposition of the black on cream, off-white colorway that brings out the varied pile height in a different approach through each piece, with this 9×12 rug employing an intricate braid transitioning from the striped borders and gracefully fading into the prevailing, brighter knotting. The flow between a more arresting sense of movement in the sides and the gentler, soothing movement in the field in this particular Moroccan marries visual and tactile appeal in its own way like that of the varied siblings. The common denominator of the sum subcollection would be the inviting texture they all share, “inviting you to walk over barefoot” as our own teammates have put it (and put their feet to it, but I’m guilty of that indulgence just the same). Designers and home decorators seeking the negotiation between forgiving transitional rugs and almost indulgent, gorgeous shag rugs need look no further.

Custom Moroccan Rugs and Moroccan Private Label 

Though the aforementioned Moroccan pile rug line from our Moroccan rug collection has proven itself to the market in a short time, it’s far from the limit of our custom Moroccan rug capabilities. Some of our most exciting projects and collaborations in the fields of custom interior design and private label have seen all the difference in exploring both the base traits of Moroccan rug beauty and the more progressive custom rug possibilities their inspiration might lend a project with the right imagination. 

Custom Classic and Modern: The Homage Collection

The Homage collection has become one of Rug & Kilim’s most encompassing, diverse archives of periods and styles never seen for such an approachable price and soothing, refined look. Nearing more than 100 designs and numerous full-sized stock pieces and samples available with this exceptional colorway selection, Josh sees the representations of traditional, transitional, modern impressionism, abstract, and even as far as American hook rugs in the collection as some of the best of each category in his experience.

Likewise seeing the line as an encyclopedia of designs and a handbook for everyday use at very reasonable prices, our team is particularly proud of the custom service, fast delivery, and consistent production this new archive offers. Even seen as a natural complement to the aesthetic of our respected Scandinavian collection, pieces in the Homage collection have been washed to achieve a comfortable look of distressed, chic aesthetic and texture-though clients are certainly welcome to ask for pile in custom projects. The Homage collection is an especially ideal choice for second homes, studios, beach houses, country homes, farm houses, and young families; easy to maintain, adaptable, and lending a reserved, dignified tone to many projects.

Modern Classics: The Burano Collection 

The Burano Collection celebrates Josh’s deep admiration for classic European sensibility and Oriental grace as they’ve transitioned into rare, unique fusions over time. Reflecting a symbiotic history of high fashion with an ostentatious, unsung traditional appeal in the cultural diffusion of these aesthetics upon each other, these very time-honored, sophisticated, beautiful melting colorway pieces marry the look of age with fabulous attention to texture, graphically and historically hoping to exhibit some of the most important patterns in the history of rug making.

What’s so groundbreaking is this collection’s ability to draw on any period — some creations including 17th-Century Kangxi to 18th-Century Aubusson pieces to 19th-Century neoclassical pieces and more in the growing collection all the time — like no one has ever offered in our trade before. With the common denominator of notoriously soft Ghazni wool and our own special blend of additional yarns, each hand-knotted piece can be crafted in the same weft and pile height with a new comfortable, rich aesthetic that is becoming recognized as a revolution in luxury rugs; a new, encompassing design language more than a collection.


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The Scandinavian Collection presents geometric designs delineated with varying pile heights for tactile emphasis, with numerous fresh, refined patterns woven in a unique variety of yarns and classic colorways. Often referred to by Josh Nazmiyal as “a new language in design” the modernist collection celebrates our unprecedented textural diversity, a formidable Kilim line never seen in these spacious sizes, and an exciting departure from traditional geometry that simultaneously embodies the original design.

Some of the most well-received patterns have drawn inspiration from mid-century pioneers of the aesthetic, reimagined with Josh’s deep reverence of the style and his drive to present the vintage style with the utmost quality and possibility. To that end essential functional concerns were innovated, especially in the flat weaves where the original pieces were fewer, smaller and more vulnerable to folding underfoot and we’ve achieved a durable body resistant to buckling or shifting like traditional flat weaves. A number of our Scandinavian Kilim pieces likewise enjoy a subtle, intriguing colorway variation created through the aforementioned blend of undyed, natural yarns, lending to a unique, tasteful sense of movement complementing the classic geometry.

Our goal was to ensure that the soul of Scandinavian design aesthetic in both functionality and minimalism was observed, while durability, beauty and restraint were addressed in kind.



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