A. Yes, you can—to match your china, or just about anything else. We learned how from Steve Goldman, store manager at Rexx Rug and Linoleum (3312 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-281-8800; rexxrug.com). Bring in a piece of your china, such as a salad plate, and the staff will make a color copy of it. A salesperson will then consult with you about how best to use the design elements of your china pattern in a rug.
“Do you want to use the design on the border of the dish as the border of the rug?” Goldman asks. “What material do you want to use—wool, wool/silk combination, yak hair, mohair, linen?”
Next, the color copy will be CAD rendered and then perhaps enhanced with hand coloring. Once you approve the design, the rendering will be sent to a factory in Nepal or India, where a “strike-off” sample (a 12- or 18-inch square hand-knotted corner of a rug) will be made for your approval. A custom-made, hand-knotted, 100 percent wool rug costs about $45 per square foot. The process, from design to delivery, takes about 18 weeks. “This is a legacy product,” says Goldman. “It’ll last 100 years.”
At Peerless Rug Company (3033 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-525-9034; peerlessrugs.com), the process is the same. Mark Pedian, a sales associate and interior designer at the store, points out that the higher the knot count, the cleaner, clearer, crisper, and richer the pattern will be. A custom rug from Peerless will take 12 to 16 weeks and cost approximately $60 to $90 per square foot, he says, depending on the intricacy of the pattern, the material, and the country in which the rug is made.
Feeling old-fashioned? Odegard (1828 Merchandise Mart, 312-644-9638; odegardinc.com), which is open to the public as well as to the trade, is another source for custom rugs, and its pros do things a little differently—without computers. Bring in your china or other source of inspiration and an artist will paint a rendering of your design for your approval. That usually takes two or three weeks. The rug takes six to eight months to make (by hand, in Kathmandu); prices range from $59 to $127 per square foot.
Oscar Isberian Rugs (122 W. Kinzie St., 312-467-1212; isberian.com) is another place that will take a pattern sample, whether from a dish, another rug, or even a piece of silver, and create a design to complement it. Most of the company’s hand-knotted custom rugs are made from wool and silk in Nepal, say owners Oscar and Sarkis Tatosian. Depending on size and material, these rugs run between $30 and $100 per square foot and can take up to six months to be delivered.