Friday, February 12, 2010
Oriental Rugs Today
Oriental Rugs Today
When someone thinks of an Oriental rugs, many people automatically think of an aged carpet that is considered an antique and very expensive. What may surprise people is that many area rugs that are being woven in present times are quite possibly higher quality than their predecessors. There is very little text about Persian Rugs of today, but in the book Oriental Rugs Today by Emmett Eiland, readers can learn about Persian hand knotted rugs that are being woven today, and their new found techniques that make them a higher quality carpet.
Oriental Rugs Today is a great read and is also very easy to follow along with. The writing style is very pleasant; it is as if you are having a conversation with the author. This piece of literature includes many stories of the author’s voyages. These stories make the book more enjoyable and easier to understand. Eiland also includes many pictures of area rugs and the weavers. With the pictures he includes small, but very informative captions. All of these components add up to a wonderful and informative book.
In the text readers learn about, what Eiland calls it, a “Renaissance” of Oriental rug weaving. Eiland teaches us how many weavers are re-mastering the art of hand spinning the wools and using natural dyes for the wool. When wool is hand spun, Eiland explains how the color is not fully absorbed, leaving some areas lighter or darker than the rest of the wool of that same color. With machine spun wool, color is absorbed evenly and the colors are consistent throughout the rug. Some area rugs made with synthetic dyes are being made in a fashion where it appears the colors are inconsistent, giving it the look of hand spun wool. As Eiland puts it, “this illusion is good, but it lacks depth and liveliness.”
Eiland states that many people believe that Persian rugs woven today are no longer handmade and all use synthetic dyes. With the belief that Oriental carpets woven today are all machine made and made with synthetic dyes, it can lead to people losing interest in them and downplaying their quality. Some people make the mistake of believe that area rugs being created in present times are not as genuine or authentic as the carpets that were woven in the past.
Eiland proves this belief wrong in his book, while he discusses his journeys across the world and his findings of people reverting back to the old ways of making oriental area rugs. Many weavers are once again using the hand spun wool and naturally dying it, with more advanced techniques than the way it was done in the past. These current weavers are also using the advanced techniques to weave the carpets at a higher quality.
It was hard to lose interest while reading this book about Oriental rugs; Eiland keeps the reader intrigued with his stories and plethora of pictures. The author also uses different forms of text, like question and answer sessions that keep the reader interested and gives the information a new spin by challenging certain misconceptions that may arise while reading on this subject. The book overall is a great find and is full of useful information that can give readers more understanding and respect for the high quality Persian rugs that are being created today.
Dr. Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay)
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)