Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Edward Fields Rugs and Carpets
The creation of Edward Field’s rugs began in 1935. Edward fields created a carpet that was like none other; he also single handedly created and coined the term “area rug”. These rugs are known for their high quality and the fact that they are like hand tufted. Edward Fields created a tufting gun that was used for his floor coverings. This gun allowed for varying thicknesses and different designs throughout the Edward Fields carpet.
Edward Fields rugs are made with wool combinations and a type of cotton backing in some of the qualities. These rugs are very high quality and are featured in very sophisticated places like the White House’s Oval Office. In 1979 Fields died and left the company to his son. After two decades the company began to see a decline in business and was starting to suffer.
In 2005 Tai Ping floor coverings bought out Edward Fields carpets in an attempt to save the company and improve their own. Tai Ping brought Edward Fields back to life by researching what made the company thrive and reapplying what had worked before. Tai Ping combined the high qualities of both companies and made phenomenal carpets. Since they are based in China, they were able to introduce new materials, like silk and jute, and mesh the different designs from both companies to create fresh new looks while still perfecting old designs.
A floor covering that is very similar in style to Edward Fields rugs are V’Soske carpets. They began in 1924 with owner Stanislav V’Soske. He created the first hand tufted wool rug, by poking the wool through a cotton base with a strong needle. This allowed for the tufts to have different heights, colors and designs. His designs are still in high demand and are known for its high quality.
Scott Group rugs started as Scott Carpet Mills, in 1969 by owner Steve Sellinger. Their floor coverings were hand woven and machine made wool carpets with custom designs. In 1982 the company merged with another carpet maker and Scott Group was created. The corporation takes pride in the fact that they run the whole company from one building and because of that they can oversee the whole process of creating the floor covering from start to finish, while making sure everything goes flawlessly. Scott group uses all natural and recyclable wool that they get from New Zealand. They also use silk and cashmere for their carpets. They are now known as Scott Group Custom Carpets.
Hokanson rugs was founded in 1987 by Larry Hokanson. These carpets are known for their intricate designs that reflect traditional designs and more modern-contemporary looks. The floor coverings also are known for their diverse use of different fabrics throughout the carpet. The company has 500 standard patterns, but they are easily manipulated to reflect a custom design. You can change the colors and the different materials used to make it your own. The company uses many different materials for their fabrics including wool, silk, linen, viscose, and sisal. The many variations they can create makes for a unique floor covering.
All of the rug companies featured, Edward Fields, V’Soske, Scott Group, Hokanson and Tai-Ping, all make very high quality luxury carpets. It is very important to get these floor covering professionally cleaned as any careless carpet cleaning will surely cause permanent damage to the carpet. At Los Angeles Rug Cleaning we offer a plethora of services from cleaning, restoration and repairs to appraisals. If you have any questions about your hand tufted floor covering feel free to call Dr. Kay at (310) 770-9085. Dr. Kay is a certified rug specialist and can answer any questions you have!
Los Angeles Rug cleaning 1655 South La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035
Tel. 310-770-9085 Fax 310-860-0462
Visit us on the web: www.LosAngelesRugCleaning.com
Monday, March 22, 2010
Haft Sīn or the seven 'S's is an important tradition of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year. The haft sin table includes seven specific items starting with the letter 'S' or Sīn (س) in the Persian alphabet. The items symbolically correspond to seven creations and holy immortals called Amesha Sepanta protecting them. The seven elements of Life, namely Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Plants, Animals, and Human, are represented. They also have Astrological correlations to five planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Sun and Moon. With the advent of Islam the word Amesha Sepanta shortened to and eventually was remembered by just the letter S and the number 7. The Haft Sin has evolved over time, but has kept its symbolism. Traditionally, families attempt to set as beautiful a Haft Sīn table as they can, as it is not only of traditional and spiritual value, but also noticed by visitors during Nowruzi visitations and is a reflection of their good taste. Source: wikipedia.com
The NowRuz celebration, held on March 14th 2010 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, was a night that will not be soon forgotten. NowRuz is a celebration of the Iranian New Year and the beginning of spring. This extravaganza was presented by the Iranian American Parents Association, a group of community leaders dedicated to bringing the community together despite their cultural backgrounds. The IAPA is a nonprofit organization that has been in service since 1994. All proceeds of the IAPA are donated to various corporations like, The Beverly Hills Unified School District, The Maple Counseling Center and the LA County Foster Home Program.
At the celebration there were beautiful displays, delicious food, joyous music and wonderful people. All of these factors made for a great party and successfully provided an amazing atmosphere for the celebration of NowRuz. Sheriff Leroy Baca was honored with the 2010 IAPA Humanitarian Award for his accomplishments with the youth of Los Angeles. Stanley Black, KIRN 670AM, Gail & Lee Silver and Thomas Blumenthal were awarded with the 2010 IAPA Community Spirit Award. Nasser Ovissi was awarded with the 2010 IAPA Lifetime Achievement Award. Many thanks go out to this group of honorees and all that they have done for our community.
Many extravagant displays were set up throughout the ballroom and bazaar. The clothing, jewelry, colored eggs, flowers and so much more, were all gorgeous items that represented our dedication to hard work in the community. Our booth, for Los Angeles Rug Cleaning, had an array of colorful wool and a plethora of books related to Persian carpet cleaning and the like. At our booth we had a weaver teaching people the art of rug weaving, we even got to show Sheriff Baca how to do it!
At our booth, we explained to all the guests and honorees the services that we provide, such as: pet stain removal, rug repair, rug water damage restoration, carpet cleaning, rug repair and appraisals. Guests had a wonderful time learning a little bit about the history of Oriental rugs and enjoyed their chance to try out weaving themselves.
The NowRuz celebration was a huge success and wonderful time. Guests had an outstanding time dancing to the music, listening to the performers, watching the dancers, and enjoying traditional Persian cuisine, along with delicious tea from the Tea Room. The party was phenomenal and we look forward to the upcoming celebrations!
Monday, March 15, 2010
We had a wonderful Nowruz party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel last night. It was to celebrate Nowruz, the beginning of Spring and the Persian new year. The interior and the decoration of the International Ballroom looked great. Thank to Shideh and her staff. We also had the red carpet outside and the Beverly Hills Courier and our IAPA's photographers took pictures of the dignitaries and honorees. The IAPA (Iranian American Parents Association) board members and its president had worked tirelessly on this event for almost eight months. I have had the pleasure of being on the board of IAPA. Dr. Nanaz Pirnia a renown psychologist who is the president of this non-profit organization established in 1994, has been our family friend since we were classmates in the great University of Southern California, USC in the late 1970's and early 1980's. She has done so much for the Persian-American community.
We had a carpet weaving booth right at the entrance. Our master weaver showed the guests how they could tie the knots and make a rug. Sheriff Leroy Baca, the head of Los Angeles County Sheriff Department, the largest and biggest sheriff department in the country, sat down with our weaver behind an actual rug loom and tied some knots. I told him I would send him the rug after it is finished!
We also had a silent auction with many great gifts and prizes. Several of our wonderful volunteers managed the auction. The prizes were too many to name here.
There was plenty of Persian food, Persian music and dances. Everybody had fun. We had great singers and vocalists. I will write more on this in a separate post. Here, I am posting some pictures of this great event.
I had several very dear American friends and guests who sat with us at our table. This is what one of them wrote to me few minutes ago in an e-mail:
"Dear Khosrow and Shirin,
Thank you so much for including me in your wonderful Nowruz celebrations last evening. Wow, what a fabulous party! Lots of music, beautiful flowers, great food, and your fellow Persians all dressed up, sparkling in their diamonds, and having fun! It was so much fun to see Ashkan and Kash, too, and I loved meeting Shirin’s sister, who seemed extremely nice, too. Unfortunately, I haven’t done dancing for a long time, so I am very out of condition. But it was still a lot of fun, and a great cultural exchange. Congratulations, too, on the organizational skills of your Parents Association, and all of the sponsorships that you were able to get.
Thanks again for such a lovely evening—and I look forward to seeing you at our next program, if not before."
Dr. Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay)
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Rug weaving can be fun! We had a live rug weaving presentation last Sunday.
We had a great Nowruz party (Persian New Year Festival) last Sunday March 7th at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. Nowruz, meaning "new day", is the first day of Spring and Iranians celebrate this since at least 250 years ago. This year, the first day of Spring will be on March 20th, 2010. Since there will be many Iranian celebrations of new year and the beginning of Spring, the Persian Art Council of the Bowers Museum decided to have a wonderful free Nowruz celebration on March 7th 2010.
There were plenty of fun events. Probably around 2000 guests visited this wonderful festivity. We had great artists who had booths, great dancers and musicians who played. People enjoyed this one of a kind event. It started at 11:00 am and ended at 3:00 pm.
We had a live rug weaving presentation and booth at a prime location next to the stage where everybody could see us. Many people, young or old, Iranians as well as non-Iranians sat down behind our real rug loom and wove. Our master weaver taught them and showed them how to tie the knots around the warps. It was fun and educational. Many people asked if we would have a rug weaving class in the future. Here, I have posted few pictures of the event. In the past, we have had Persian rug workshops.
Thanks to Maryam Molawi of the Persian Art Council and her assistants at the Bowers Museum who made this great and enjoyable event possible. Maryam and her crew worked tirelessly and selflessly for moths to make this event a great Persian Nowruz Party.
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)
Friday, March 12, 2010
I saw a picture of President Barak Obama woven on a rug. This carpet was on display in an International Women's Day exhibition held in Kabul, Afghanistan on Mrach 8, 2010.
The picture is the courtesy of www.carpetour.net
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)
Monday, March 8, 2010
Textile Museum Associates of Southern California had a program on June 13, 2009. The topic was “Endangered Ethnic and Tribal Textile Craft Skills in India”.
Bina Rao is a textile designer and weaver who works in Hyderabad in the central Indian state of Andrah Pradesh. She presented the dilemma of traditional Indian textiles as one of conservation versus diversification. Briefly stated the problem is that slow traditional production of hand-dyed and hand woven textiles has been competing unsuccessfully with industrial production since the 19th century. Conservation of these techniques and skills can only be preserved by a supporting sector that designs for and markets to modern tastes and needs in clothing and home furnishings.
The history of Indian textile trade is long and complex. Export of Indian textiles to the West began in the late 1700’s, but long before, evidence shows that they were being distributed across South Asia via the Silk Route as early as the 15th century. External trade was only part of the distribution of silks and other fabrics. Internal consumption, especially by royal families and temples, supported local production.
The nineteenth century brought industrial production and increased export to Europe. Interestingly the biggest stimulus to factory production of textiles came from the Indian government itself. After independence in 1947 development was the overriding goal of the new state. The techniques, knowledge and skills of traditional textile production began eroding, forgotten as people found other occupations. Creative Bee is a design studio begun by Bina Rao in an effort to revive, preserve and re-teach traditional techniques of textile production. Her organization has grown to include several workshops employing over 700 artisans in villages near Hyderabad. The textiles are 100% organic, from fiber to dying and finishing. Rather than contracting for exclusive rights to her weavers’ production, she leaves them as free agents to market their crafts to any interested buyer. Her major role, in addition to starting up workshops and re-teaching techniques, is to design fashions with traditional fabrics, colors, and motifs which will appeal to modern women as clothing and home decorations.
The creativebee in its website has photos of many of these items as recently exhibited and marketed at international shows. Although Ms. Rao studies many types of traditional Indian textiles the program for TMA focused on two types due to time limitations. Kalamkari cloth is probably the most recognized Indian textile in the West—it was called “chintz” when introduced to Europe.
The name Kalamkari comes from “kalum’ or “pen”. A photo of the pen showed a sort of pointed spoon, the bowl wrapped in a cord that presumably absorbs and hold ink for the artist to draw designs directly onto the cotton cloth. Kalamkari production usually involves several members of a family and often some neighboring crafts persons as well. The cloth is prepared to accept and retain the natural vegetable dyes by a process of milk bleaching. This is an expensive, repetitive and time consuming process that results in a buff-colored cotton. This color remains visible as the background over which the reds, blues, greens and yellows of the design will be painted.
Many dye recipes have been lost according to Ms. Rao, and the present palette includes less than a dozen from a former selection of twenty or more colors. The most skilled worker is the artist who draws the design onto the bleached fabric. Young people are now being trained in this skill to eventually replace the senior family members, male and female, now employed. As Kalamkari fabrics were very frequently used for temple hangings in the past traditional designs concentrated on epic illustration of the lives and adventures of deities such as Krishna and his companions. Modern designs are more floral, especially variations of the “tree of life” pattern.
Bina Rao herself has designed more modern looking ones which include monkeys, turtles and birds. The colors of the design are filled in by hand painters who work as a family group, taking about two months to complete and three to four yard piece. Kalamkari is now also produced by hand-blocking the outline design which is then colored in the traditional way. This obviously speeds up production and results in a repetitive design.
The second group of textiles discussed are Tal dyed fabrics. Some villages have apparently specialized in this textile for centuries. The villages are located in the tribal area of Andrah Pradesh, an area of restricted access where the Indian government conserves both the ecosystem and life-ways of the indigenous people. The textiles use three colors only, a deep red, a rust brown and white. The red color comes from the Marinda cirtifolia tree, specifically the bark off the roots. (More information on this tree can be obtained if you Google it and see the U.S. Forest Service tropical shrub list. Two references are given:Little and Wadsworth 1964 and Nelson 1996). The tree appeared to be about 20 feet high, with oval leaves about 10 x 6 inches, rather like a large ficus leaf. Interestingly one tribe cultivates the tree in the forest, carefully extracting roots on the periphery of the tree, seven to eight feet from the base of the truck. The bark of these roots is them delivered to a second village where the actual dying and weaving take place. Again the dying is a long repetitive process, this time using cow dung and sunshine to prepare the cotton and set the dye. In order to change the color from the intense bluish red the bark produces to a rust-brown shade, iron is added to the dye bath. Apparently the form of the iron is not critical-- old scraps such as nails can be used.
The threads are then woven into pieces that appeared to be about two to three yards long and perhaps a yard wide. Traditional motifs include stripes, birds and “temple domes” using a ikat weaving technique. Ms. Rao has incorporated these designs as well as adding fish and figures of children to her modern versions. Another modern use of this fabric is in the home decoration division of the workshop. Table linens, bedspreads and cushion covers are all coordinated in traditional and contemporary textiles.
Ms. Rao’s design work is now also part of government sponsored workshops that promote other Indian drafts, such as woodworking, basketry and metalwork. Her own special area of creativity now focuses on “wild” silk. Cocoons for this type of silk are gathered from the forest in contrast to a farming operation. Wild silk has different properties than cultivated silk fibers, and Ms. Rao has invented a weaving process the produces a semi-transparent cloth with a dramatic drape effect. The fabric was used in several of the fashion photos that concluded the program. These photos and much more are available on the creativebee's website. Many of the workshops’ finished pieces were available to see and examine after the lecture.
Thanks to Marjorie Franken the secretary to the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California TMASC for providing the text.
Dr. Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay)
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)
"LEBAB: Weavings of the Turkmen of the Middle Amu Darya Yurt" by Peter Poullada
Independent Scholar, San Francisco
Textile Museum Associates of Southern California, TMASC had a wonderful program on Turkmen weaving of Middle Amu Darya on Saturday March 6, 2010. It was well attended and Peter Poullada delivered a very nice presentation.
There is a large body of Turkman weavings that appear to have come from a number of tribes who lived in a region that was known from the 16th to the 19th century as the Lebab Yurt. The territory of the Lebab, a local term derived from the Persian lab-e-ab, means “waterside” or “riverside,” and refers to the inhabitants of a 200-kilometer strip of land extending on both sides of the Amu Darya (Oxus River) that today marks the boundaries of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. For several years Peter Poullada and his research and collecting colleague, Erik Risman of Indianapolis, have been studying and analyzing a large sample of weaving from this region. This talk will present the current status of a multi-year project to catalogue, categorize, analyze and explain the confusing multitude of weaving currently labeled either "Ersari Turkmen" or "Beshir". Peter will summarize some of their preliminary conclusions and outline several conjectures that explore and challenge the common assumptions and labels that have been given to these weaving. His talk provided two related types of visual evidence: examples of "design archetypes" of Lebab weaving, and a series of photographic images of life in the Lebab region from the late 19th century, in some cases illustrating the usage of these weaving.
Peter Poullada is an independent rug scholar specializing in the tribal ethno-history of Central Asia with particular interest in the Turkmen and to the use of weaving to illuminate the cultural and historical traditions of the peoples of Central Asia. Peter has been collecting Central Asian weaving since the 1960's, taking advantage of three separate extended periods of living in Afghanistan and Iran in the 1960's and 1970's, and in Istanbul for six years in the 1980's. He has a BA in Near Eastern Languages and History from Princeton where he studied Arabic and Persian, and did graduate study at the University of California, Berkeley in Turkish and Central Asian history. After a twenty-year career as an international investment banker, Peter has been returning to Central Asia on a regular basis and has led a number of private tours of Central Asia and Chinese Turkestan.
This wonderful program was followed by a show & tell section.
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)
The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.
-- Aldo Gucci
I liked this phrase since we are not a company which does cheap jobs. We are knowledgeable and do our job properly. Good jobs should be reasonable but cannot be cheap.
Dr. Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay)
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Moths are quite pesky little insects. They do all sorts of damage to everything from our beloved rugs, to our clothes and investment. Moths can do a large amount of harm to Oriental carpets but it is preventable. By taking a number of different measures, it is easy to prevent insect damage to your carpet. Fortunately, any Oriental or Persian rug that has been destructed due to insects can easily be repaired by our on-site specialists.
Moths do the most deterioration while in their larvae stage; they eat right through the wool of the rug. A carpet that is made of a wool foundation may also suffer insect damage because they will eat through the foundation as well. A tell tale sign that moths are eating your floor covering is when a web-like design appears on the rug. Moths prefer to be left undisturbed so their activity will be mostly in floor coverings that are left alone and unused.
Luckily, it is easy to prevent moth contamination. These insects prefer to inhabit rugs that are left in humid, dark places and carpets that seldom receive much traffic. Rugs that are the biggest target of moth infestation are those that are left in storage and unused by its owner. Good ways to prevent losing part of your floor covering to insect damage is to vacuum it regularly and make sure it receives some foot traffic.
For rugs that are partially covered by a piece of furniture, it should be removed from under the piece of furniture and vacuumed and exposed to sunlight for part of the day. When checking for moth damage it is important to look at the back of the rug, along with the perimeter for the webbing and larvae. At this time it is good to do the vacuuming and sweeping to prevent moth activity for another few months.
When an Oriental carpet is used as a wall covering it is commonly infested with insects. It is important to disturb the floor covering every few months and to vacuum it as a preventative measure. When putting a rug in storage there are a few different options to take when attempting to prevent moth damage. When rolling the rug you can put on moth crystals or spray it with preventative sprays. Unfortunately moth crystals are very smelly and are notorious to lose their potency quickly.
If you want to avoid using the crystals and sprays it is important to wrap the rugs in very thick heavy duty acid free paper or double wrap them. The point is to avoid any way moths can access its wool. The floor coverings may also be covered in this type of paper wrap that can also prevent any contact between insects and carpet.
Another lesser known measure taken to prevent moth damage is to store your Oriental, or Persian carpets in cedar trunks or dressers. Cedar wood has natural moth repellants, but it should be known that after many years the natural repellants lose their strength. The most important thing in preventing insect damage is to vacuum the carpet regularly and every few months expose it to a small amount of sunlight and disturbances, like walking on the rug.
In the case that an area rug is damaged by moths it is easy to take it to our rug store and having it repaired. At Los Angeles Rug Cleaning, we offer many solutions for damaged carpets and also many cleaning services. We are experts in rug cleaning and offer many services for your Oriental carpets. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to give Dr. Kay our certified Rug Specialist a call at
1655 South La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035 Tel. 310-770-9085 Fax 310-860-0462