This past market season, Karastan revealed a chance meeting in their newest collection by uniting two of their most coveted fibers, luxurious Smartstrand Silk™ and legendary New Zealand Wool. Aptly named the Kismet Collection, we jumped at the opportunity to sit down with Karastan’s Vice President of Design, Tracy Pruitt, to learn more about this fateful collection.
Karastan: Recently you were quoted describing Kismet as, “something significant happening that comes about by fate”. Can you elaborate on how this serendipitous definition corresponds with Karastan’s latest collection, the Kismet Collection?
Tracy: “Yes. Karastan was built on a foundation of beautiful wool rugs. That is what we have been known for since the 1920’s. A few years ago, we introduced Smartstrand Silk™, a proprietary synthetic performance fiber that really revolutionized the carpet and rug industry. It was fate that the two should come together in one beautiful rug collection, so I called it Kismet.”
Karastan: When you were first dreaming this new collection to life, what was the starting point? How was the idea born?
Tracy: “I’m always looking at ways to innovate, not only within color and pattern, but also in construction. How can we make a more interesting product? What are we doing right? How can we make a more compelling product? These are the questions that I ask myself. Once the idea is conceived, like combining these two great fibers, it’s just a matter of experimenting to see what makes the nicest quality of rug.”
Karastan: Where do you look for inspiration and more specifically, what inspired this collection?
Tracy: “I’d like to say that it was all divine intervention, but it was quite strategic. First, I looked at our collections that are either all wool or all Smartstrand™ and analyzed what I know is working best in those collections. I drew first from and created sort of a ‘best of the best’ scenario. Then I built on that.”
Karastan: I understand the Kismet Collection’s unique blend of premium wool and Smartstrand Silk™ yarn is quite surprising. Can you elaborate on the chemistry behind this unlikely pairing and what makes it so special?
Tracy: “As I mentioned, it’s a pairing of our two most popular yarns. But what is so intriguing is that the pairing gives the rugs a beautiful texture. The wool has an elegant matte finish and the Smartstrand Silk™ has a really nice sheen, creating a subtle contrast of surface interest.”
Karastan: Let’s talk color. What was the thought process behind this collection’s cool neutral color palette? How does this color palette transcend to today’s home interiors?
Tracy: “Most of the colors are creams, grays and neutrals. We all know that these are the colors that the majority of America and even abroad are currently employing for a decorating foundation. However, I always try to incorporate something new and exciting as accent colors. In this collection, there are a few stand-outs. One is a beautiful steel blue that speaks to the current trend in nocturne décor; colors that are dark and moody. Probably the most edgy color is a blush. If you’ve shopped for apparel lately, you can’t have missed the fact that there is an abundance of choices for both women and men in various shades of pink. This is spilling over into home décor and people are really embracing it as sort of a ‘new neutral’.”
Karastan: You’ve mentioned the patterns of this collection were derived from both new and old. Can you elaborate on that and explain how you selected which archival patterns to reawaken?
Tracy: “There is currently a renewed trend toward traditional patterns. We went through a phase where nobody was interested in traditional patterns; everything was modern and transitional. But recently even millennials are appreciating rugs that have a traditional foundation. While the rugs are anchored in traditional patterns, like serapis and agras, they are totally reimagined with the updated colors we talked about and new techniques like distressing and washes of color floating through the patterns.”
Karastan: Tell us a little more about your future vision for the Kismet Collection. Can we expect to see more of this style in the seasons to come?
Tracy: “I really would have liked to have done more traditional patterns. The mix of the collection is currently traditional, transitional and modern. But I really enjoy playing with the traditional patterns, reinventing them, and rethinking how they might be interpreted.”
What do you think about our upcoming Kismet collection? Let us know in the comments!