PDA

View Full Version : Russia's History with the Tapestry


Charon Lefleur
May 25th, 2016, 06:19 PM
I accompanied a friend of mine to visit his grandmother over the weekend who lives in a fairly simple little home in East Los Angeles. My friend is of Russian descent and his grandmother is much more rooted in her mother country, having only moved here within the last 2 decades. Immediately upon arriving, I noticed she had a lavish luxury rug very carefully mounted on the wall. The rest of her home didn't give much competition to the stateliness of the mounted carpet. Now, I feel like I've seen wall-mounted carpets before, possibly when I was visiting London, but this was the first time I've specifically noticed a modern use of a luxury tapestry in such a manner. I've seen similar examples on this forum but my few friends who have luxury carpets exclusively present them on the ground. So, my question is whether there is anything rooted in Russian history that would lead to the wall presentation of an impressive Oriental rug. Was it rooted in providing insulation in freezing apartment blocks?

Steve Price
May 26th, 2016, 11:16 AM
Hi Charon

I don't know the history, but a large carpet or tapestry hanging behind a sofa from sewn-on loops seems to be standard decor in Russia. When the USSR collapsed and the ruble became almost worthless overnight, many of these were sold and brought to the USA and western Europe. They were easily identified by the row of loops sewn onto one long edge.

Steve Price

Charon Lefleur
May 26th, 2016, 05:09 PM
Thanks, Steve! I distinctly recall her carpet featured the loops at the one end. I should have taken a photo but I guess that could have been invasive.

Steve Price
May 26th, 2016, 07:44 PM
Hi Charon

I doubt that they were for warmth - the custom in Russia was that buildings were kept very warm. It might have served to deaden sound, but most likely was purely decorative.

Steve Price

Charon Lefleur
May 27th, 2016, 04:53 PM
Thanks again for your response, Steve! I know for sure that his grandmother wasn't using the rug for warmth in East Los Angeles and, as someone who grew up in the U.S., it's difficult for me to imagine a situation where someone would actually need to rely on wall-mounted rugs for heat. That being said, I did a search and found (among lots of very bizarre photos of Russian people posing in front of wall-mounted rugs) an article that claims the trend of wall-mounted rugs originated (http://mehraban.com/newsletter/the-enigmatic-russian-trend-of-hanging-rugs-from-walls/) to provide heat in low income apartments. It still seems strange to me and I'm not fully convinced but at the same time I don't really have anything else to go on...other than asking my friend and risking offending him.