This weekend Josh's parents took us to their favorite carpet souk in the city. It was so cool! The carpets were incredibly unique and intricate and so beautiful. We looked at handmade carpets from Iran, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. Some were silk woven on silk strands, some were wool on wool strands, and others were combinations of the both...some were also silk or wool woven on cotton. We learned a little about the rugs, but there is SO much more we have to learn. For example, we were looking at a huge 3 meter by 4 meter silk on silk rug. The knots on the rug were so tiny that you could hardly differentiate each individual knot. The shop owner told us that a family would weave the rug over a time period of four and half years, and then they would work with a rug dealer in their area to sell the rug. I can't imagine selling something that took me four and a half years to create!!! I would think that it's very hard to part with such a time-intensive labor. The shop owner also gave us some information about the designs that are indicative of each area. Rugs from some areas have more floral designs, while others might have more geometric designs. I think people very knowledgeable about these carpets can tell the rug's origin by the designs used in the rug. People at our camp warned us that when we moved here, we would catch the rug bug and become "Rug Snobs." I can definitely see how. The rugs are definitely pieces of art and seeing them all makes you want to collect one from each region and one of every color and one from each type of thread.
We ended up buying a runner for our hallway. It's Iranian, hand woven wool on wool. We came back the next day so the owner could stitch strips of leather to the edges of the rug. I'm not sure why this is done, but I think it helps the rug lie flatter on different types of floor surfaces.
Even though we don't have any decorations and hardly any furniture in our house, I think the carpet looks awesome in our hallway :-)
The shop owners even gave Harper two mini carpets of her own! She's not sure where she's going to put them yet... :-)