Monday, December 5, 2016

Langhorne Carpet Company Reveals Restored Mill Sign

The 109 year-old red brick exterior of our Wilton Jacquard mill stands tall with a new hand-painted sign. Thanks to our friends at the Vital Signs project of Temple Contemporary, Langhorne Carpets proudly reveals a thoroughly restored company mural along Route 1 in historic Penndel, Bucks County.

The sign now proudly reads:

Langhorne Carpet Company

Manufacturers of the Unusual

The Foundation of Fine Interiors®
Wilton Carpet

Penndel Proud

Since 1930

Langhorne Carpet Company The Morrow family would like to thank Robert Blackson and Sarah Biemiller of Temple Contemporary,  Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs and Assistant Director of Exhibitions, respectively, for including our family-run company among the multi-generational Philadelphia-area businesses who have benefited from Vital Signs. We’d also like to thank painter William Sanders and his team of Lauren West, Justin Phillips, Dan Sanders, and Denise Botcheos, for their exquisite work to re-create a sign Langhorne’s founders would be proud of. Thanks, too, to Mural Arts Philadelphia, co-founder of Vital Signs with Temple Contemporary in 2013, for loaning the scaffolding that allowed the group of talented local artists to complete the 20’-by-40’ mural.

Please join our team and representatives of the Borough of Penndel for an official reveal of the restored sign at 1 p.m. on Thursday, December 1, 2016.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Langhorne Carpet Company Exterior Sign Makeover!

If you’ve passed by Langhorne Carpets on Route 1 (West Lincoln Highway) in Penndel lately, you might have noticed some extra activity. Scaffolding has gone up, down, and up again along the red brick wall that faces the busy Bucks County thoroughfare.

Langhorne Carpet - Wilton Jacquard Woven Wool Mill The brick exterior of our Wilton Jacquard mill has seen more than a century of changes. When it was built in 1907, the structure was an  architectural pioneer because of its free-standing roof—no supporting beams. For generations, our mill has withstood time’s tests. Alas, over the decades, the hand-painted mural outside hasn’t had such luck. Through the years, environmental and man-made conditions have taken their toll. Every few decades, we’ve had to repaint it.

This time, we’ve gone a step further. We joined up with Vital Signs, a project founded in 2013 by our friends at Temple Contemporary (part of the University’s Tyler School of Art) and Mural Arts Philadelphia. Vital Signs pairs active, multi-generation Philadelphia-area businesses with local artists to restore hand-painted exterior signs to their original glory.

For the past few months, we’ve worked with artists and re-pointers to get our wall back into shape. We’re excited to invite the public to an official reveal of the restored sign at 1 p.m. on Thursday, December 1, 2016!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sculptor Finds Creative Use for Langhorne Carpets Jacquards!


Langhorne Carpet Mill Jacquards
Activity at our mill seems to increase in autumn. This season is no exception: Langhorne Carpets family has been busy making our new Pixels, awaiting the installation of a new historic reproduction in a grand government building, and ramping up our collaborations with cutting-edge designers.

Still, we wanted to stop to recognize the creativity of longtime Morrow family friend Edward Murphy, a Buckingham, Pennsylvania-based artist who re-purposed a box of our hand-punched cardboard Jacquards in his studio.

Murphy is a sculptor known for his exploration and manipulation of geometric shapes, and his use of found natural objects such as bark and old wood. He shares studio space with his wife, a painter. The couple works side by side in a late-19th century blacksmith’s barn on their countryside property. Years ago, Ed brought home a box of unused Jacquards—the traditional, rectangular hole-perforated cards that run through our looms, dictating the pattern of each of our carpets—from the mill, envisioning using them for a future project. For eight years, those Jacquards sat idle. Then he decided to renovate the barn, turn the second floor into an office, and use the cards as a window treatment.

A large window looks southwesterly onto the artists’ property, offering a stunning view of nearby farms. But this summer was a hot one. The Murphys needed relief from the sun streaming into their office. That’s when Ed remembered his already-strung cards. “I just flashed on it. The cards were exactly the right size,” he recalled. He screwed them in place, and, behold: “A beautiful pattern of dots that are just random enough let in just enough light, and disperses the pattern into the room.”

Langhorne Carpets applauds our friend Ed Murphy’s creative reuse—and always welcomes creative thinkers and makers to our Penndel, Bucks County mill for tours and inspiration.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Langhorne Carpet Restoration Graces the 1786 Physick House in Philadelphia

Langhorne Carpet Company Historic Restoration Langhorne Carpet Company is proud to have a place of honor inside one of the most prominent historic homes in the Society Hill section of Philadelphia. The circa 1786 Physick House belonged Dr. Phillip Syng Physick (1768-1837), the Father of American surgery, physician to James and Dolley Madison, Chief Justice John Marshall, Andrew Jackson and Benjamin Rush.

In the 18th century, the Physick House was the largest residence in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Today, the attraction is open to the public and serves as an elegant example of both Empire and Federal styles—and of Dr. Physick’s less-than-elegant 19th-century surgical instruments. When lauded Society Hill-based interior designer and historic restoration expert Gail Caskey Winkler, PhD, FASID, asked Langhorne Carpets to create a carpet for the parlor in the Physick House, the Morrow family gladly accepted the opportunity to be part of the restoration.

Along with partner Roger W. Moss, PhD, Winkler quite literally wrote the book on the restoration of late 18th through 19th century American buildings. In order to recreate the Physick House’s interior authentically, she chose a carpet pattern that had graced the floor of the reception room in the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia, a National Historical Landmark that housed the Virginia General Assembly, the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere. For the Virginia State Capitol, Winkler recreated a grand woven carpet featuring large medallions in shades of gold and tan that repeat on a terracotta background. For the Physick House, she set those same medallions against an intense green background to match the home’s wallpaper and décor. The pattern is now part of Langhorne Carpets’ Capitol collection.

We encourage you to view both Langhorne Carpets’ contribution to—and all of—the Physick House at 321 South Fourth Street in Philadelphia. For information about visiting this and other Philadelphia landmarks, go to philalandmarks.org

Friday, September 23, 2016

Newest Line Announced by Langhorne Carpet Company: Pixels!

Woven Wool Carpet from Langhorne Carpet Company Circa 1930 Langhorne Carpets proudly announces the launch of our newest running line: Pixels. Woven in pure wool on our Wilton looms, Pixels is so named because it includes an impressive 35 different yarn colors in a vividly geometric pattern that reminds us of the tiny squares that comprise modern photographs. The story of how Pixels came to be is a very happy accident for Langhorne and the Morrow family.


Looms at Langhorne - Contemporary Carpet Design
For years, our Bucks County-based heritage Wilton Jacquard mill has been the maker of choice for top-end international design houses. Schumacher, Stark and other textile specialists have long visited to Langhorne to commission, order and observe the fascinating creation of their signature floor coverings. During one such visit, buyers glimpsed the end run of a carpet—the outcome of running yarns through a loom in order to change from one pattern to another. Although unintentional, the resulting striated design struck our guests as wholly unique and distinctly current, both traditional and contemporary, artisanal and sophisticated. Our visitors encouraged owners Bill and Winnifred Morrow and head designer Andi Perlman to turn the overrun into a full-fledged running line.

Making Pixels intentionally was quite an endeavor for our expert group of creelers, weavers and machinists. Feeding and maintaining nearly three dozen distinct colors as warp (up and down) on looms like ours is no easy task. But, as always, the mill was up to the challenge. The results, we are all proud to say, are even more spectacular than we expected. We hope you love Pixels as much as we do

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Langhorne Carpet Company - A Close-Knit Family!

Langhorne Carpet Company Here at Langhorne Carpets, we say “every carpet tells a story.” There’s the story of the wool itself, raised in the U.K. and New Zealand, dyed here in our century-old Bucks County mill. There’s the story of the design, created by in-house by our very own Andi Perlman/ Lydia Whitford (intern), or in collaboration New York interior designer Alex Papachristidis or Philadelphia talent Alex Stadler, among others. There’s the story of the family—three generations that started out with an idea and Wilton Jacquard looms that once belonged to Henry Ford.

But there’s much more to the story—and that’s what takes place behind the scenes in our vital, vibrant working mill itself, one of very few left in the United States or in the world. Langhorne’s floor, filled with machines, some that have served us for decades, some that we’ve recently invested in. They are our machines, and they are machines we often fix ourselves.

Jerry Bell and Mark Wolf are two such fixers. Through the years, the machinists have spent decades learning the ins and outs of each loom, each part, each replacement part. Workers like Jerry and Mark have more than skills. They have an encyclopedic knowledge of how Langhorne runs that makes them absolutely essential to our operation.

Jacquard woven wool carpet“You might say I’ve grown up here,” said Jerry. “I started 35 years ago, tying bobbins, creeling, weaving. Then a mechanic [Bill and Winnifred’s uncle] took me under his wing and taught me how to fix the machines. How to make a part that’s no longer available to buy. How to assemble every nut and bolt in a loom. How to solve a mystery and repair a problem.”

Added Mark, “We are big, yet small. We create these incredible pieces that go all over the world. We’ve made carpets for the Pope and for ambassadors. And still, we’re a close-knit family. People matter here, and it shows in everything we do.”

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Labor of Love - Langhorne Honors Behind-the-Scenes Makers of Carpet

Wilton Jacquard Carpet When Langhorne Carpets set out to create an unprecedented direct marketing campaign to highlight all the heritage mill has to offer, subjects were easy to choose. Naturally, the Morrow family focused on the traditional, historic and modern Wilton Jacquard carpets they’ve made for going on a century. The Morrows also showcased their pure wool, produced in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. They selected stunning design projects, from penthouse to beach house to state house for lush photographs.

But most important among the choices were Bill and Winnifred Morrow’s insistence on honoring the behind-the-scenes makers who make the Bucks County business the vital, vibrant and absolutely unique place it is. Each mailer—there are four in all—proudly features portraits and stories of Langhorne’s devoted community of contributors.

custom design hand-sewn
Andy Ruiz stands in front of a Langhorne loom, alongside his son June and brother Bennie. Together, they are two generations of weavers. “I taught [Bennie and June] to watch the looms run… to listen to them, ” said Andy, “To take pride in what they do.” To the Ruizes, the complex job of transforming skeins of wool into precise designs is both a challenge and a source of great satisfaction. “After all this time, I am still excited to come to work each day. There’s always something new here.”

In another portrait, longtime burler Danielle Archambault lays a hand on a custom design she’s inspected and hand-sewn. “There are about 80,000 loops in a single square yard of carpet,” she said, “My job is to inspect every last one.” Danielle compares her profession to another métier she knows well. “I have five kids and four grandchildren. Being a good burler is a lot like being a good mother. It’s a lot of work, and you have to keep your eye on everything at all times. But at the end of the day, you see the results—and it feels really rewarding.”