Founded in 2001 by husband and wife Andrew and Natalie, Loomah are at the forefront of the design and supply of traditional and contemporary luxury bespoke carpets and rugs. We sat ‘On the Sofa' with Loomah’s team to find out more about how their products are designed and made.
How did the brand come about?
With over 30 years of experience working with the best artisans and factories in the industry Andrew and Natalie decided to set up Loomah from their London home with the vision of creating a brand focused on delivering a unique personal design service.
Andrew cut his teeth in the industry when, aged 19, he joined a company specialising in hand tufted carpets. One of his first projects was managing the contract for designing and supplying the carpets for the public areas of the then just opened Lanesborough Hotel. He had initially taken the job temporarily with the intention of going on to university. However, he quickly developed a passion for luxury handmade carpets and when, aged 30, he realised he was not going to university, he decided to set up Loomah with his wife Natalie.
Natalie obtained a degree in carpets and floor coverings from Kidderminster University and at the time was working in the industry as a carpet designer specialising in traditional designs.
What projects have you worked on?
We design and supply luxury bespoke carpets and rugs for prestigious clients in the UK and across the world. Our client base is as diverse as our design scope, with a portfolio that includes Madonna’s London Residence, a Villa for the Emir of Qatar in Cannes, and The Connaught and Berkeley hotels in London.
Whether for a large commercial project, yacht or residential interior, we can supply fitted carpets or loose laid rugs in any size, any shape and any colour.
How and where are the products made?
Everything is designed by our in-house design team in our London showroom and expertly handmade in the Far East. We have been working with the same factory for over 30 years so they understand the level of quality and service our customers have grown to expect. Each carpet and rug is tufted to the most exacting standards by highly skilled craftsmen.
The primary cotton canvas backing of the carpet is stretched taught onto a frame. The design is blown up on the computer and then hand drawn at full size onto the backing. Colours denoted by number are then filled in using a tufting gun that the craftsman utilises in the same way an artist would a paintbrush.
How has the process of designing the rugs evolved?
In Loomah’s infancy everything was hand drawn and hand painted. It is only in the last 10 years that all our artwork has moved across to computer design programs.
“There is something really beautiful about hand painted artwork that does not translate fully to computer generated ones,” says Natalie, Designer and co-founder of Loomah. “But in this generation of fast deadlines, computer aided design is a necessity and allows for speedy design amendments and colour changes.”
Many aspects of the design process are still done by hand and our designers often draw or paints elements of the design on paper before scanning them into the computer for further development.
However, there are things that only a computer can achieve and computer aided design programmes allow Loomah to manipulate designs, exploring more possibilities with colour and scale, accelerating the design process. “My creative process has become a synthesis of the hand and the computer,” Antonina says.
Loomah’s carpets are handmade to order, but production, like the design process, is facilitated by technology. The finished carpet design is blown up on the computer and then hand drawn at full size onto the carpets primary backing. Craftsmen then fill in colours denoted by number, utilising a tufting gun in the same way artists use a paintbrush.
What is your inspiration for the brand going forward?
At Loomah we continue to be inspired by our customers and creating something carefully designed and beautifully crafted that is unique to them. Our design service allows our customers to create something truly unique to their space. “When a customer approaches us to commission a bespoke carpet or rug they are making an investment”. says Andrew. “Loomah’s strength has always been our design integrity and originality with our focus on creating bespoke designs tailored to our client’s individual specifications.”
Loomah are excited to be working in partnership with George Smith to expand our reach in the US.
Whilst we operate on an international level up until now our full design service has only been available on this side of the Atlantic. George Smith are providing Loomah with a platform to showcase our bespoke design service to their already established US clientele through their New York and LA showrooms. Growing an international reputation as not only being at the forefront of design but as a reliable company to work with has been the key to Loomah’s success. We believe that British companies have an international reputation for providing high quality products, built on strong traditional values and this is something that the George Smith brand embodies.