How many people here are This Old House geeks? I am! Not that I ever seem to be home when it's on, but we DVR it so we can watch at our leisure. We've been a little behind recently so I just saw the episode from the Auburndale house where they go to the Merida rug factory. They showed the weaving of one rug and the tufting of another wool rug and it was totally fascinating. I tried to find the video, but that was a no go, so we will have to make do with pics from the Merida blog.
This is the wool carpet being tufted. They showed how they did the loop pile vs. a thicker cut pile. The dots being the loop, the in between being a cushier pile. I have to say that the process made the cutest noise ever, which might sound insane but J agreed with me.
This is a loom that they have for woven rugs. I think the Merida man said it takes two days to set up. I thought it was so interesting that though these rugs are machine woven/tufted etc. there is a huge amount of hands on work by people who really seemed to know their craft.
Merida has a variety of rug options in a bunch of different fibers; wool (of course), leather and natural fibers like sisal and jute. What I was really surprised to see was the paper option. You can get 100% woven paper rugs, like a tatami mat or a wool/paper combo. You can see two samples of that below.
The coolest thing though is that they will do custom rugs. Ahhhhh. Since I am in a world of constantly looking for "The Perfect Rug" for my bedroom (which incidentally has to also be "The Greatest Bargain Ever" which is really holding me back) the thought of a custom rug gets my heart pounding.