Shan Shrestha was born into the world of carpets and wool. Raised in Kathmandu, Nepal, the founder of Amala Carpets has been passionate about designs, fabrics and art from a young age. Shan represents the sixth generation of wool producers and handmade carpet manufacturers in her Nepali family. In 2011, she opened the very first Amala Carpets showroom in Toronto, and just recently the city has welcomed a new, much larger, rug gallery located at 990 Roselawn Ave.
“At our new location, people are able to appreciate our latest rug collections and learn more about how our rugs are made. Highlights include being able to see the raw cocoons our silk is extracted from, seeing the latest IIDEX Canada Innovation Award winning rugs, and learning from our carpet experts about colour coordination, weaving techniques and high-end raw materials,” said Amala Carpets’ Hernando Burgos Garcia.
With a focus on innovation and sustainability, Amala Carpets maintains an intimate connection with the artisans who create the custom-made pieces, providing self-sustaining employment to over 10,000 people.
“Weavers and their families have access to quality medical and dental healthcare, pure filtered drinking water and housing. Educational opportunities are available for children and young adults.”
In addition to only using eco-friendly dyes such as indigo, tea and saffron, the company avoids the use of toxic materials or any machinery in production of their handmade rugs.
“Highly efficient, emissions-free steam boilers are used in the process of washing our fine wools. Carpets are dried naturally in the Nepalese sunshine. Water is constantly circulated for reuse and leftover yarn is recaptured,” explains Hernando.
In the few years that the manufacturer has been operating, it has gained itself a great deal of recognition from the design and architecture communities both nationally and internationally for its innovative and one-of-a-kind designs.
“Amala Carpets has earned three Innovation Awards from IIDEX Canada for its Zee Silk creations ‘Nabi’, ‘Log Cabin 3D’, and ‘Aria’”. It also received the highest recognition from Azure Magazine, in which it was awarded the AZ Award of Design Excellence for best interior product of 2013 (for the “Aria” carpet once again), as well as the People’s Choice Award for favourite interior product of the year,” said Hernando.
Everyone from designers, decorators, residential and commercial clients appreciate and value the high quality and uniqueness found in the rugs, along with knowing they are supporting the livelihoods of talented artisans whose lives are both respected and improved by Amala’s manufacturing practices.
“Due to the high-quality raw materials we use, in particular Zee Silk, of which we are the only producers in the global market, most of our rugs are exclusive designs, and only a very small number of carpets of each design are made every year. This means that when people buy a high-end rug at Amala Carpets, they are likely not to see that rug again anywhere else,” explained Hernando.
Amala Carpets continues to create new innovative designs. Keep your eye out for their latest collection of exclusive tie-dyed Zee Silk flat-weaves along with the new two-sided rug featuring different textures on each side. For more information please visit amalacarpets.com