Sunday, December 28, 2008

How to learn about Oriental Rugs!

As a person that has made the enjoyment of Persian rugs and Oriental rugs a part of my life, I am often asked the question, "How can you tell if the rug is any good?"

That is a big question but the answer is very simple. Look, feel and touch as many rugs as you can. A "good" rug will attract your attention over and over and no matter how many times you look it, it will hold your interest and give you the gift of the weavers art. Pretty colors entwined in detailed or simple designs created from the heart!

I had a very sweet gal at my gallery yesterday and I noticed that most of the rugs that were catching her eye were Turkoman pieces. If you're not familiar with these, many of them have a design element that closely resembles an octagon, set in rows upon a red field. See the above photo. I decided to give her a little more instruction so we proceeded to look at all the Turkoman rugs at my shop. After about 20 minutes, she got it and now can identify a Turkoman rug!

I have observed that there are a certain number of collectors, dealers or students of the art of hand woven textiles that like and actually try to keep the subject so esoteric and incomprehensible that my guess is 99% of the weavers would not even listen to them. Statements like, "Is the wool a Z or S spin?" In simple terms that means the spin of the wool is either to the left or the right. Is this really important? I think not!

How about, "Is the rug pretty?" Do you feel a spark of intense interest or happiness when you see it? How does the wool feel? Is is soft and silky or rough and dry? Do the colors work harmoniously together? Is there something special going on with this piece that commands your attention?

Sometimes the most wonderful rug will be interesting in a subtle way and slowly talk to you. Almost like a song you hear for the first time and but don't quite get. After a few more times of hearing it, you begin to get a feel for it and enjoy it, and finally, you can't wait to hear again and each note exquisitely bring you joy.

The three rugs you see here are: a Turkoman rug, a fantastic Persian Tribal rug, sold long ago and a blue Turkish rug that appears to be getting lots attention on my site! The Persian rug was my favorite for the simple reason that the more I looked at it, the more beautiful it became! A very good rug!