Iolani Palace has taken on an appearance even more sophisticated than before; the recent refurbishment is reminiscent of the Kingdom of Hawaii and brings out a sense of regalness not found in the grand staircase nor in the Hawaiian throne but instead, in the carpets and the curtains.
The floral-print carpets and Victorian-esque drapery represent Hawaiian King David Kalakaua’s worldly travels and influence by the British monarch during the 19th century. It may not be a big deal for visitors, but to textile specialists, it was a project that took seven years of researching and finding the right patterns, colors and textures.
From there, they sewed the inpidual panels of carpet and drapes by hand. The new carpet covers the once bare floors of the palace’s Grand Hall, as well as the koa wood staircase you see upon entering. The elaborate curtains adorn the bedrooms of King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani.
As with most things in museums, visitors are encouraged to “look but not touch.” It will be almost impossible, however, not to touch the carpets. Therefore, visitors must still wear soft-cotton coverings over their footwear, which are passed out before the tour.
It amazes me how much time and effort may be invested into even the smallest details of a museum or gallery. When visiting as a kid, I would have never thought twice about the carpet beneath my feet. Now, I will be much more appreciative all the hard work that goes into each and every aspect.
Source: Hawaii News Now
IOLANI PALACE • 364 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96813 • Opens Mon-Sat 9am-4pm • 808-522-0822 • www.iolanipalace.org