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Myakka Blog

Indian furniture, Dining Table, Nest of Tables, Cushions and Accessories

What makes a kilim a kilim?

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Over the years we have been growing our Kilim range which includes everything from rugs to cushions and footstools and trunks. But what makes a Kilim a Kilim and not just a standard rugs. We have recently introduced a few Kilims which don’t have a traditional design which have so far proven to be really popular. But what makes a Kilim and Kilim?

Kilims are flat woven rugs made with a combination of wool and cotton or occasionally jute.  The origins of kilim rugs are unknown but there are different examples of these rugs across most of Asia and the Balkans with the earliest date back to the fourth or fifth century.  Being flat woven, kilims differ in appearance to the traditional pile that we are used to seeing in carpets and wool rugs.  For this reason they can feel quite thin, but due to the closeness of the weave and quality of materials, make for very durable floor coverings. The majority of the Kilims we have here at Myakka are 80% wool and 20% cotton which makes the slightly softer underfoot than jute versions. 

As well as rugs we have a variety of products that use the Kilim weave, for example footstools, cushions, stools and seat pads. The hardwearing weave makes the perfect fabric for items such as benches and footstools as it can withstand the daily wear and tear. Its ability to take colour and be woven into detailed patterns means that cushions and chair pads will look great. 

Many kilim rugs today are made in India, often within small cottage industries.  The wool usually comes from the Bikaneer region of India which borders Pakistan. It is carefully hand spun, washed and hand dyed with traditional natural dyes before being woven into the geometric patterns which are so inherent of kilims.  More traditionally, the different symbols had specific meanings and reflected long life, fertility and family; however modern versions focus less on symbolic meaning and are more aesthetic appeal.  Depending on the size of the kilim, the craftsmen work either alone on the loom or in pairs and the work is often fitted within farming commitments, which can often make the supply a little unpredictable!  Once completed, the rugs are transported by any means possible (foot, bike, cart, etc) to the main warehouse, where they are given a final QC check and packed for shipping to the UK. 

This spring we introduced three new Kilim ranges including Zanzibar, Marroc and Kashgar. All three of these designs are a little different to our normal designs as they use two colours to create quite geometric patterns. This creates a slightly more modern appearance that may be more associated with northern African designs from countries such as Morocco. 

Whichever design and colour you choose, all of the Myakka Kilims are sourced in a fair trade manner. 

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Supporting Local Community

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

As part of the Myakka Grass Root Fund with the Somerset Community Foundation, we have chosen to help Hamdon Youth Group who are local to our HQ here in Wincanton Somerset. This is a perfect example of a local group making a real difference to their community and exactly the kind of group that we love to be able to help.

Simon, one of our founding Directors, was on hand to present the grant of £1,500 to the Hamdon Youth Group from Somerset Community Foundation’s Myakka Grass Roots Fund. On a sunny evening in April, Simon along with SCF Deputy Chief Executive Mary Hancock presented the cheque to the youth worker Lou Chant and a group of young people who will benefit.  The group provides fun and safe weekly meetings for young people aged 11-18 in both Stoke-sub-Hamdon and Norton-sub-Hamdon and the grant will go towards the cost of renting premises for the meetings in both villages.  The funding was made possible by the Myakka Grass Roots Fund, set up and managed for the Wincanton-based fair trade furniture company by Somerset Community Foundation.

Simon said “It’s great to see first-hand the direct impact such important projects like the Hamdon Youth group have on our young people here in Somerset. Myakka are proud to be able to support such organisations annually with grants made from our Myakka Grass Roots Fund”

Youth Worker Lou said “The Hamdon Youth Group is funded solely through grant applications, and we are delighted to receive funding from Somerset Community Foundation.  There are no evening transport services to and from the Hamdon villages, so the Youth Group provides a vital way of engaging local young people, and has already been credited with a drop in anti-social behaviour in the villages.”

SCF Deputy Chief Executive Mary Hancock said “We are proud to manage funds for popular Somerset businesses such as Myakka, and to help them support local groups who are making such a huge difference to young people in Somerset”.

It is such a pleasure to be able to see the benefits of the Myakka Grass Root Fund and it is lovely to see the positive things that can be achieved to the local community around Myakka HQ. Myakka is based in a rural community so facilities like local youth groups can make big difference to lots of people. If you would like more information on the Somerset Community Foundation please take a look at their website here. Or if you would like to know more about the work that community foundations please take a look here.

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Hallway Solutions

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Having a tidy and organised hallway will help your create the perfect first impression for all of your guests. It is easier than you think to organise your family’s shoes, boots and general paraphernalia with our clever storage solutions.

Our furniture is designed to fit into customers’ homes, we know that modern homes are often a little more bijou than we would always want, so Myakka furniture is designed to fit and give you lots of storage options. A storage seat is a great solution for hallways, they provide the perfect perch to take your shoes off and store them neatly below and depending on the design of the storage seat, doors can be closed to hide away the clutter to leave you with a tidy and neat hallway. We have a great selection of storage seats in a number of our ranges to suit the space in your home and your décor.

The original and best selling is the Mallani Storage Seat which is perfect for holding everything from shoes to blankets and scarves. The Gypsy Petite Storage Seat is great for a smaller home and has a removable mid-height shelf so everything from wellies and sandals can be stored with ease. The Hathi Storage Seat arrives with eight hand carved elephants on the doors of the storage seat will effortlessly store your families gear.

Console Tables are the perfect solution for a cluttered hallway. All of our consoles have been designed to be narrow enough so as not to take up too much room in your hallway but offer the most amount of storage capability. Our Thakat Hall Valet is perfect for small hallways and includes a useful shelf for shoes and three drawers for all the essentials like keys and pens. If you need something a little larger than the Coast Magic Console Table maybe just what you are looking for, with a depth of only 30cm, with six drawers for all the little bits & pieces and a large slatted shelf that is perfect for shoes, or why not add some pretty baskets so you can store all kids outdoor paraphernalia.

We specifically designed the Mallani Hallway Cupboard to be used in the busiest walkway in your home. With three drawers perfectly sized to take daily essentials such as hats and gloves as well as a roomy cupboard with removable mid height shelf making it adaptable to your needs. Similar in design is the Mallani Open & Shut, again with three drawers but with open shelves instead of a cupboard, perfect for shoes or add some wicker baskets to neatly store toys or clothing.

Mirrors are the perfect accessory for the hallway. They create the feeling of more space and light which can be essential for small, dark and narrow hallways. We have a great selection of mirrors that coordinate with our other furniture such as console tables and storage seats. Our Mallani Hallway Mirror can be hung either vertically or horizontally and makes a roomy addition to your hallway.

Don’t forget the accessories, we have a great range of rugs and runners that will add colour and personality to your home. Our favourites include the Ooty Stripe Wool Kilim Runner and tour new Marroc Kilim Runner, both perfect for the hallway.

We have a designed our furniture to fit into any size home. We also have a great selection of accessories to make sure your hallway gives a great first impression.

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Take a Walk!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

May is National Walking Month and here at Myakka we love to get out and about on our own two feet. From Monday 11th May to Friday 15th May is Walk to Work Week where we are all encouraged to walk to work.

This is the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs and give walking to work a try. It may take a little longer but you will feel fitter, more refreshed and it will help improve your bank balance! Why not register your work place and log your walk. You can even set up teams to see who clocks up the most steps, as well as measuring your own progress in terms of calories burnt, distance walked and the amount of CO2 you have saved by walking and not taking the car. It only takes a few minutes and a little bit of competition is good for us all!

But don’t just walk to work, why not take a walk down to your local shop instead of taking the car, or how about walking to see relatives and friends? Walking has so many benefits – it makes you fitter, is great for your heart and helps burns calories, it saves you money in fuel or bus fare and it is a great way to clear your mind ready for work in the morning and after work on the way home. You may also discover that  it is the best way to discover new things about your area.

Living Streets campaigns to make our streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists which in turn makes our environment a safer, cleaner and more social place. They are running a number of campaigns including ‘Show your love for 20mph’ encouraging councils to make residential and shopping areas a 20mph limit; a campaign to stop pavement parking which causes pedestrians to walk on the road and a campaign to remove ice from pavements as well as roads, to make it safer for pedestrians during the winter months. Their website is full of hints and ideas on steps we can take to improve our streets, as well and tips on how to campaign for safer streets in your area.

Take a look at Living Streets website to log your walk, register your work place for Walk to Work Week or to find out more about Living Streets and how to help their campaigns.

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