Spotlight On: Oriental Carpet Shoes

The newest addition to our cult-favorite shoe line - hand-knotted Oriental carpet shoes!  This is a textile that Artemis has been hoping to use since the conception of the brand 6 years ago, and we are so thrilled to introduce it to you now.

Oriental carpet shoes in a pile
The carpets that we use for this style originate in the city of Kayseri in Central Anatolia - the Easternmost region of Turkey. This area is renowned for incredible woven goods.  The patterns, symbols, and colors vary from town to town (and even home to home), and it takes a trained eye to detect exactly where a piece originated. These Kayseri carpets are rich with intricate designs and vibrant colors, which translate beautifully on a pair of shoes.

The structure of an Oriental carpet is quite different from the Kilim carpets that we typically use, in that Kilims are flat woven, and these carpets have “pile”.  Carpet “pile” is the fuzzy hair that creates its soft, velvety feel. When people speak of “Oriental carpets”, it’s usually this style they are referring to. That luxurious texture is also what prevented us from using Oriental carpets in our designs before now, as they were simply too thick for shoes.

Our skilled cobblers have innovated their process and developed a way to clip the pile down to a manageable length (much like mowing a lawn!), so that the material can be used for a pair of shoes. The result is a completely new and fresh approach to our best-selling, one-of-a-kind loafers.  

McNeill and I traveled to Turkey in February to hand pick these incredible pieces for our first collection, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Scroll to see images of the raw materials (the carpets!), favorite moments from the trip, and the incredible final product.


Oriental carpet stackWe went through hundreds of beautiful carpets to hand pick the best ones for this collection.   

Oriental carpet
Our favorite- We fell in love with the William Morris inspired pattern of this incredible carpet.

Oriental carpet, and oriental carpet shoes
Oriental carpet shoes on oriental carpet
Oriental carpet shoes on rug
A perfect match!

Oriental carpet shoes on Turkish rug.
Istanbul street scene
Istanbul street scene - a chestnut roaster. 

McNeill and Milicent in Istanbul
We visited some incredible mosques while in Istanbul.

Istanbul food
Dessert and tea after almost every meal!  

Oriental carpet shoes
A very handsome line-up of our Men's Carpet Loafers on an Oriental pile carpet from the same region. 

Men in Artemis Kilim Shoes
This photo was taken on Christmas Eve.  My husband, Brian (right) had been "testing" the new Oriental Carpet Loafer for a couple of months at that point. Peter, right, is wearing our Men's Kilim Loafers made from Sumak....his favorite pair!