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Magazine    July 2002

Armenian and Modern Carpets in L.A.

Barbara Barry's Cameo
Jasmine, from Tufenkian's Armenian collection

Cloudband, from the Esfahan collection

Los Angeles has suddenly become a target for contemporary rug manufacturers wanting to set up shop. One recent arrival is Tufenkian Carpets, which produces traditional rugs with a distinct Middle Eastern look as well as modern designs.

“L.A. has historically been a market oriented toward traditional oriental rugs. As such, it has been impossible for Tufenkian to develop a network of rug showrooms that could successfully promote the fashion orientation of our carpets and adopt the modern way in which they are marketed,” says Tufenkian’s director of marketing, Mark DaSilva. “So L.A. became the natural location for Tufenkian to put its own store.” The company has a showroom in New York, making the store in West Hollywood the company’s second location.

“Our high-tech Tufenkian Racking System allows customers to view all the rugs from our full line, Designers' Reserve and Armenian collections,” notes DaSilva. “A customer can leaf through the rugs with the same ease as turning the pages in a book.” Designers and retail customers may borrow 3' x 5' samples of any rug in the Tufenkian collections.

The Tufenkian Racking System puts all of the rugs on view

Tufenkian offers five distinctly different rug collections: Arts and Crafts, Traditional (which includes the Armenian rugs), Modern (which includes the rugs by leading designers), Primitive Chic (inspired by the motifs found in African, South American and Asian cultures) and Classic Tibetan.

The rugs are handwoven with handspun and vegetable-dyed wools in Tibet with the exception of the Traditional collection, which is produced, again by hand, in Armenia. Company founder James Tufenkian has almost singlehandedly revived the art of carpeting making in Armenia, where carpet weaving is said to have originated five centuries before the birth of Christ. In both Tibet and Armenia, where Tufenkian resides part of the year and is involved in building quaint hotels to help boost the country's sagging post-Soviet economy, the company employs progressive work standards, providing food and housing for its thousands of workers in addition to schooling for their children.

Coinciding with the opening of the Los Angeles showroom, James Tufenkian has added a series of rugs called Esfahan to the company's existing Armenian collection that incorporates traditional Middle Eastern motifs and design elements in color combinations that are in harmony with a modern palette. Among Tufenkian's new designs are Jasmine (top right) and Cloudband (middle left). A new line of modern Designers’ Reserve rugs by Barbara Barry also is on view, including Cameo (top left).

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Tufenkian Carpets
8466 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90069
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