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Thread: Flat weave bags
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Old June 15th, 2017, 02:36 AM   #75
Rich Larkin
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 146

Hi Joel,

It dawns on me there used to be (in the late 1970s) a rug shop just outside Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, operated by a young Afghani man. I have mentioned this place in the past on these pages. His family collected his sales inventory in the old country and shipped to him. I passed the place frequently on business and would often stop in.

I remember clearly that his stock was mostly Baluchi material that looked "right," but crisply new. It was his stuff that convinced me Baluch rug weavers, some of them, anyway, maintained traditional standards well into the 20th century. Most of it was dark, but the colors looked natural and pleasing, and the end and side finishes were of the old type. For example, he had ToL prayer rugs on wool foundations with the appropriate ends and corded goat hair wrapping on the selvages. All they needed was patina. At the time, I was quite familiar with other Baluch goods in the market that were sad reflections of their predecessors, including cotton foundations and leaky, harsh colors. Another item he had in well represented in his stock was the large pile rug in two sections, stitched together down the center.

My point here is that I am sure he had nothing from the Uzbek Tatari in the store. I would certainly have taken note of it. The lack of such goods doesn't mean they weren't being produced, but it may say something about how the market was operating in Afghanistan around that period. I would imagine my Harvard Square friend was getting goods from the region down towards Herat and elsewhere, whereas the Tatari weavings were emanating from much farther north. A view of the map at Figure 1 in the interesting article Egbert posted suggests the geography of the situation.

As you can perhaps discern, I am non-plussed over not having been aware of this line of weavings.

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