<< Back to Home & Style, May 2014

Second Look: Magic Carpets

  • Sheila Gibson Stoodley

Giving guests aboard Stella Maris the illusion of walking on water did not demand a miracle from the carpet-crafting artisans at Tai Ping, but it was difficult nonetheless. “We had been asked to produce a loose rug [almost 57 feet long] to perfectly match the layout of the corridor [outside the VIP guest cabins],” says Xavier Bonnamy, of Tai Ping’s yacht division, speaking of the long blue-and-white rug (shown above) that graces the 236.5-foot yacht (see “Out and About”). “It’s a custom made-by-hand textile product. It has to fit or otherwise it’s wrong,” he says, explaining that even one misjudgment of proportion or length would have ruined the carpet and forced the artisans to start over from stitch one.

Fortunately they rose to the challenge, just as they have done since the Hong Kong–based company’s founding in 1956. Notable bespoke projects from years past include a living room rug depicting the view of Central Park visible from the client’s windows, and another rug showing Rudolf Nureyev performing Le Corsaire, the client’s favorite dancer in one of his favorite ballets.

Tai Ping’s newest carpet collection, Chroma, due out in May, brings painterly brushstrokes, drips, and splashes of brightly colored dyes to canvases of wool, silk, and flax. “We wanted to do something completely accidental, completely freehand, completely spontaneous,” says Yasmina Benazzou, global design director for Tai Ping and its Edward Fields artisan brand. “We wanted to feel the hand behind the design.” Tai Ping, 212.979.2233, www.taipingcarpets.com

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