At I. M. International, we take great pride in producing fine Oriental rugs that have the quality and colors that are current for today, with a lasting beauty and durability for decades into the future.

We are pleased that the rug industry has recognized our efforts by awarding us four Americas Most Beautiful Rug awards.

It takes team work, trust, understanding and respect to create a beautifull Oriental rugIt takes many months of hard work and many hands of skilled Turkoman shepherds, dye masters, weavers and finishers who have passed the knowledge of rug making down through the generations. They are the ones who have the ability to take the designs we have created and turn them into the rugs you want to grace the floors of your home or office.

Refugee camp full of daily lifeThe Turkoman have traditionally been a Nomadic people who now reside in Central Asia. Our production is based in Afghanistan and Pakistan because we want the skills of the best weavers to interpret our designs, designs that have been inspired by the Oriental rugs produced in the 16th through 19th centuries.

Stacks of white wool for sorting into degrees of whitenessWe start by purchasing wool in bulk from the high-altitude regions of Kandahar and Ghazni in Afghanistan, where the sheep have been bred for generations especially for rug making. The cold climate produces sheep with long staple wool that has the length and strength ideal for hand spinning into a consistent texture and with the durability necessary for long wear and clear absorption of the dyes. We buy the wool in bulk in order to insure consistency throughout our product line. This enables the consumer to mix and match rugs from our collection with the assurance that they will look well together side by side or from room to room.

The colors of vegetal dyes in this picture speak for themselvesThe all-natural, vegetable dyes we use also come from Afghanistan: indigo for blue, madder root for red, pomegranate skins for gold, and onions and hay for ivory. The hand carded, washed and hand-spun wool, and the vegetable products are shipped to Pakistan where the dye masters fire the pots, mix batches of dye, and select the wool best suited for each color, with the whitest wool used for the ivory color.

The desired blue color is finally obtainedWhen a weaver has readied the loom for the design and size of the rug to be woven, a sufficient quantity of wool is provided in the various colors, to complete the project.

Master weaver pounding knots into uniform line. Note finished portion of the runner under and behind himAn average size rug may take anywhere from a couple of weeks to eight or nine months to be woven. Although the weavers work from a hand drawn copy of the design, they are artists, and there are slight differences in style. What we look for is an authentic rendition of the design by that artist, coupled with tight and consistent weaving. Our ultimate goal is a rug that meets our high standards of design and quality.

Rugs are wet down and then washed with soap and water to remove any dirt or excess dyesAfter completing the first inspection, the rug is passed to the finishers who wash the rug using a mild soap. This removes any fine debris and excess dye still in the wool while leaving the natural lanolin that gives the wool its softness and luster. During the washing process, the rug is sheared and then washed, then sheared again, and washed again until the optimal length of pile and desired sheen is achieved. The pile should be short enough to give a crispness to the design and long enough to ensure long wear and a comfortable feeling under foot. Once the desired effect is achieved, the rug is laid flat in the sun to dry.

It takes many hands to maintain the quality control of such large production of rugsThen there is another quality control inspection. Consistency and quality control at each stage of the process is the hallmark of our company. If the rug passes this test, it is blocked, and the knots are checked once again to be sure that the rug is as close to perfect as anything made by hand can be. Then, and only then, do we accept the rug as part of our collection.

We also take pride in the merchants who sell our rugs. You will find our rugs only in the stores where we feel the merchants are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about selling a superior product. For a list of rug sources near you, click here.

I. M. International, Inc. is a member of the Oriental Rug Importers Association, a trade organization that is absolutely opposed to the use of illegal child labor, and that has committed funds to set up a school in Pakistan.

NEW YORK SHOWROOM: 1178 BROADWAY 2FL NEW YORK, NY 10001 PHONE (212) 689-6141 FAX (212) 683-2028.