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 m├ętier 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.”