Besides selling Oriental, area and Persian rugs, we do rug cleaning and repair. This has its own advantages and disadvantages. The down side is the hassles we encounter. Some of the customers who call us, only ask about the cost and these are the ones who want to shop around and get a deal. The second type of the customers are those who ask how we clean their Oriental carpets. For the second type, usually the quality of the work and its process is more important than the mere low pricing.
The best way of cleaning a rug by a professional (don't do it at home or you will be sorry!) is to wash and clean the rug with ample water and regular detergent without using chemicals which may damage the fiber of the rug as well as the environment. The best way of drying a carpet is to let it dry under sun without using a heated or dry room. This natural and traditional way of drying a rug will give it more shine with a much fresher look. If a rug is dried in a dry (heated) room, it may not have the shine and freshness it should. Sun is the best dryer.
Here, I am posting some exclusive photos from a traditional rug cleaning facility and process.
Hand knotted Persian Sarouk rugs (also spelled Sarough, or Sarouq) were popular in the U.S. in the early 20th century. Many Westerners and Americans went to the city of Arak, then called Sultan Abad and produced Sarouk rugs for the American market. The export of this type of rug with a kind of overall floral design and thick pile increased in volume between the two world wars. During the years 1920 to 1940, thousands of these rugs called the "American Sarouk" produced in Sarouk, a small town in the province of Arak were imported and poured to the U.S. Some manufacturers produced machine made American Sarouk rugs as well those days to respond to the huge demand especially for those customers who could not afford buying a hand made American Sarouk.
Once in a while, we receive one of these machine made old American Sarouks for cleaning and repair. Here, I am posting a few pictures from one of these area rugs which we cleaned and repaired.
In an older post dated September 21, 08, I had a review of a kind of Iranian gold wefted fabric made on silk foundation called Zari. I received few comments and also few e-mails asking some questions. Rather than replying to each comment individually, I address the questions here in this new post without repeating the questions. I should also thank my numerous readers who take time to read my posts. Yes, contrary to what the media says and depicts here in the west, the life goes on in Iran with its 75,000,000 population. The total area of the territory of Iran is equal to the areas of France, Spain, Japan and Germany combined.
The Cultural Heritage Organization (CHO) based in Tehran with its branches which are present in all 30 states of Iran is responsible to preserve and promote the ancient and old types of arts and crafts in Iran. This organization has been in existence for many decades. In one of its workshops in Tehran, CHO has a section on Zari fabrics to keep this art and craft alive by providing the looms and material for weaving Zari. They do not sell the production because first of all, the production is not that much as this is a very time consuming and delicate art and cannot be mass produced. Second, these zari fabrics which are in high demand because of their scarcity and fine weave are donated to the religious shrines and mosques in Tehran and other cit cities through out Iran.
Since the price is heavily dependent on the price of gold used in Zari, it is always sold by weight. Last time I asked about the price, I was quoted $15 per one gram. This will be around $6,750 for one pound roughly 454 grams and $15,000 for one kilogram. I do not know whether Zari can be found in the market for sale or not, but if there is an interest, I can ask. I have few new pieces in my collection which I can sell. Some of the photos of these pieces were already posted.
It is 5:45 am and I better get some slip before I go to work. Today is Saturday, and I will go to work between 12:00 and 5:00 pm. I will work with the same hours on Sundays too.
In an earlier post dated September 14, 2008, I wrote about an Oriental & Specialty Rug course I took for three days from Sept. 11 to 13, 2008 in San Diego, California. I enjoyed the class very much. The instructors, Aaron Groseclose and Ellen Amirkhan were very knowledgeable. The third day of this intensive course was held in a nice rug cleaning facility in San Diego where we saw the process of rug cleaning, repair and took a look at so many rugs.
Here in this picture, Ellen and I are carrying one of the Heriz rugs which was shown to the participants.
" ZARI " ( golden ), is an attributive adjective, which is referred to ZAR (gold). It means made of gold. Therefore, ZARI is a type of brocaded fabric with gold weft".
About 1000 B.C. Zari fabrics were woven in the from of two-weft textiles in East of Iran. In SASANID era (early 7th century), Iranians could weave the fabric with high durability and strength by the carefulness in the twisting the silken yarns.
This brocaded textile is the name of a traditional fabric that all its wefts are silver or gold and their warps are made of silk. Nowadays a large number of these fabrics belonging to the SASANID era ( last dynasty of native rulers to reign in Persia before the Arab conquest in 640 A. C.) exist in royal treasure in Tehran or in famous churches in the Europe and Japan's museums. It is obvious that the king of SASANID donated these precious pieces to the imperial western court. The designs of SASANID era are usually a combination of hunting ground and birds. In regard with the remaining fabric from this age, we can say that the combination of these fabrics reached the ultimate point of artistic creativity, harmony, design and color.
The texture of ZARI was welcomed into the age of Safavid Dynasty (late 15th century). Provinces such as Kashan, Yazd, and Isfahan became major centers for creation of this art. The culmination of this art is seenduring Safavi era in Iran. The motifs and designs of fabrics, like the design of rugs, were drawn before hand. The difference is that the motifs are repeated throughout the fabrics.
This art flourished in the contemporary era. In the year 1929, with the attempt of Master "Hosein Taherzadeh Behzad Tabrizi", the first workshop of ZARI with attendance of "Habiballah Tarighi" began to work in Tehran. This workshop has continued it's work, and a few remaining artists, produce the unique brocades in limited quantity but high quality.
Here, I am posting few pictures of the complex wooden Zari looms which are set up in a workshop in Tehran by the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization. I have also included few photos of Zari fabrics.
Regardless of what the politicians say, it is economically tough for everyone these days. What I as a rug dealer and rug enthusiast do here in Los Angeles to survive is:
1- I work harder & smarter. (We are open 7 days a week) 2- I try to give more and better services to my customers. (Custom made services) 3- I try to educate my customers and share my knowledge with them. I know a little bit more about rugs than what my customers know. (I give them free books and literature) 4- I do not give them discount. (They make sure my prices are real and not inflated)
We received a nice Ghardjeh (Gharajeh, Karaja, or Qarajeh) rug from a customer for cleaning and repair. Gharadjeh is a very small town in north west Iran close to the famous rug production center of Heriz. In Gharadjeh town, weavers only make small rugs by the popular size of 4 x 6 feet and mostly runners of up to 14 feet. The background color of most of the rugs is brownish red with small medallions compared with Heriz rugs which are mostly woven in big sizes with large medallions. Gharadjeh and Heriz rugs are made with symmetrical knots and in many cases have double-corded sides or selvages.
We did the repair on this damaged Gharadjeh rug and the customer who had driven all the way from San Diego, California around 120 miles south of Los Angeles was happy with our job.
One of our repeat customers brought in an antique rare Senneh rug with multi-colored silk foundation for cleaning and repair. They had this wonderful piece in the family for a long time. It was at least 100 years old. Some of the colored warps had bled.
We did the work we should and it turned out great. I just wanted to share the brief story and few pictures with my readers.
Few days ago, a couple came into our rug gallery and said they wanted to sell few Indian rugs which were in storage for 15 years. I told them that the rugs would be most likely damaged by moth, but they did not agree and mentioned that the rugs were in tight bales and bundles. They returned in a few days with a big tow truck with 6 big Indian rugs. One of the bales was opened and I looked at the rug and showed them the moths, eggs and the larvae.
I could not buy the rugs, nor could I let the rugs in our store even for cleaning or possible repair. How could anybody leave rugs in storage for 15 years without opening them, cleaning them and taking care of them??
I was like a kid in a toy store or a candy shop during the past three days of September 11, 12, and 13, 2008. Why? Because I participated in an Oriental and Specialty Rug Course which was held in Holiday Inn Hotel in Rancho Bernardo in San Diego by the Restoration Industry Association. The instructors were Aaron Groseclose and Ellen Amirkhan. Wonderful, knowledgeable, passionate and friendly teachers and scholars. We had eleven participants in the course, all enthusiasts and professional carpet cleaners. I was the only rug dealer in the class. In the third day of the class, we went to a beautiful rug cleaning facility in San Diego and Lisa the kind owner of the rug cleaning place and her wonderful mother and brother gave us a tour of their facility and showed us how they work and how they care for the rugs and kilims they receive.
I loved the course and learned a lot. Thank to those who made it possible for me to attend this interesting, informative a fun class. The participants were great and after three days, we became good friends and exchanges contact informations to be in touch and share ideas and concerns. We took three exams, one an exam by the Wools of New Zealand to become a Wool Care Specialist. I was up to 2:00 am to get ready for the test and read the materials that the instructor had given us. The two exams were given in the third day after the tour and the workshop finished in the rug cleaning facility. It had two parts of written and rug identification.
The students were from allover the place, from Canada to Colorado, California, Utah, and other places.
I did not know about the course until Steve Roberts (Dusty) called and e-mailed me and provided me with the information on this wonderful learning journey. Thank you Dusty.
Each photo opens in a new enlarged window if you click on it.
Rug Blog is a wonderful way to communicate with those who care about rugs of any kind. In this blog, I, Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay) write about my everyday experience with Persian, Oriental and area rugs, and the people that I meet and talk with. I live and work in Los Angeles, where I have a rug gallery. I love my job. It is full of excitement. I hope you enjoy your visit and share your ideas and comments with me.
Rug is my PASSION. I grew up with it since it was my family business and my father's job. I have a bachelor's degree in Industrial Management, a Master's degree in Business Administration, MBA and a second Master's degree in Educational Planning and a Ph.D. in Educational Planning from the University of Southern California, USC in Los Angeles. I am a Board member to the Iranian Carpet Exporters' Association based in Tehran. I am a member of the Textile Group of Los Angeles, TGLA. I am a Board member to the Textile Museum Associate of Southern California, TMA/SC. I am also an Industry Partner to the American Society of Interior Designers, ASID Los Angeles Chapter with more than 1,700 members. I am also the Editor in Chief of the "Iranian Hand Woven Rug" quarterly. I have a rug gallery in Los Angels. I am also the president of the Iranian American Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles. I have an active rug blog: http://rugmaster.blogspot.com/. In this blog, I, Dr. Khosrow Sobhe write about my everyday experience with Persian, Oriental and area rugs, and the people that I meet and talk with. They may be customers, friends, designers, or just ordinary people. I meet them in my rug gallery on 1655 South La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles (Tel. 310-770-9085) or else where.