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Virtual Show and Tell Just what the title says it is.

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Old June 10th, 2018, 06:15 PM   #1
Danielle Duperreault
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Default information on bagfaces

I'd love to post images, but the site won't let me upload (?).

Hi everyone, I was a completely normal person until a few months ago, when out of the blue I decided to buy a small carpet for my living room. Now I am obsessed. I've been lurking and reading all your posts for weeks and I am knocked-out by the knowledge / expertise floating around in these discussion boards. I've picked-up a few random objects over the last 2 months (whatever seems interesting and is zero financial risk) and am now trying to figure out exactly what these things are, where they are from, who made them, and to what approximate period they date. I am very ignorant when it comes to textiles. If Turkotek lets me post images, any input or guidance any of you can provide would be much appreciated!
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Old June 10th, 2018, 06:50 PM   #2
Steve Price
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Hi Danielle

We keep the file uploading utility disabled - much too risky for my taste. If you send the image files to me (sprice@vcu.edu) as email attachments, I'll do whatever editing they need, put them into our server to give them internet addresses, and send you instructions for displaying them in posts.

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Old June 10th, 2018, 09:40 PM   #3
Danielle Duperreault
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Default saddlebags

I bought these saddlebags on eBay (I wanted to see one for myself in person). It is one piece, with kilim backs attached to the bottomends of the bagfaces. At one point the backs were attached to the bagfaces but the white cotton thread holding them together has either deteriorated or been cut. The bagfaces are joined together at the top and in the center by those multicoloured square joins. The bagfaces are soumak, and I think they are either shahsavan or shahsavan-inspired later copies. The oranges are very orange, but the object is otherwise nice to look at. Any information anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated. I am also open to reading suggestions. Also, what does one do with these?





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Old June 10th, 2018, 10:44 PM   #4
Steve Price
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Hi Danielle

Saddlebag pairs were generally woven in one piece. The warps were stretched on the loom, and the weaver began with one of the faces. She continued the weaving with both backs, finally with the second face. When the piece was removed from the loom, the edges of the two faces were sewn to the back, so the whole thing became a pair of saddlebags.

the squares that you see at one end of one face are closure tabs. A rope was sewn onto the back right behind them, and left as loose loops at the slits between the squares. The bag could be closed by running a rope or even a stick through the loops. The second bagface had similar closures that apparently have been removed.

The aggressive orange suggests that it was woven in the first half of the 20th century. Bagfaces can be hung on a wall, turned into pillows, or used to upholster the seats of chairs.

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Old June 10th, 2018, 11:36 PM   #5
Danielle Duperreault
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Thank-you Steve, for your response and for sorting out my images prior to posting them. Cushions seem a good idea, once we get the moths out ...

D.
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Old June 11th, 2018, 01:02 AM   #6
Steve Price
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There's a product called Sla that many dealers spray on textiles before they mingle them with the rest of their goods. It's apparently very effective in eliminating moths. Another method that works well with small pieces like yours is to put them through a few freeze-thaw cycles with a 0 degrees F freezer.

Steve Price
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Old June 11th, 2018, 02:36 AM   #7
Lloyd Kannenberg
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Sla contains pyrethrin as one of its active ingredients. There are other products with pyrethrin as well. I have had good luck with Ultracide, but these products only kill the larvae, not the (male) flying moths. For them, moth traps are the way to go, I think.

Cheers! Lloyd Kannenberg
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Old June 12th, 2018, 05:28 PM   #8
Patrick Weiler
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Default Mad about Moths

I have used SLA and have been pleased to not have had any moth infestations, though anecdotal evidence such as mine is not the same as a full, double-blind, board-certified, expert controlled, what was I getting at again?

Oh, Pyrethrins!
"Pyrethrins are pesticides found naturally in some chrysanthemum flowers. They are a mixture of six chemicals that are toxic to insects. Pyrethrins are commonly used to control mosquitoes, fleas, flies, moths, ants, and many other pests. And...Since it is directly extracted from a plant, and since it is considered nontoxic to humans, pyrethrum is approved in the U.S. for use on certified organic farms."
So I am not as concerned about using SLA as I would be about moth balls. (How do they remove them from the male moth is what I really want to know.)
So, as a prophylactic measure I change out the depleted sticky-traps, which use pheromones, about every six months or so. I always find one or two moths in them, though one school of thought, or is it fear, says that these traps only serve to attract moths who otherwise would remain inattentive to your priceless rug collection except for the lure of sex. Which is why I got into rug collecting in the first place, of course.

Last edited by Patrick Weiler; June 12th, 2018 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Safe for humans
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Old June 12th, 2018, 05:46 PM   #9
Filiberto Boncompagni
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Patrick,

… still got high fewer?
It feels like that, you know...

Take care,

Filiberto
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Old June 12th, 2018, 07:49 PM   #10
Rich Larkin
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Hi Danielle,

Quote:
At one point the backs were attached to the bagfaces but the white cotton thread holding them together has either deteriorated or been cut.
I am not sure what you are getting at there. If you reread Steve's post about the manner of the weaving of bags like this, you will note that the whole pair is woven on the same spread of warps on the loom. She starts with one of the pile faces (including the span of multi-colored squares for the closure tabs), then switches to to a double-run of plainweave striped kilim (plus a little more to allow for the center area and the closures), then the second pile face with its closure tabs. Thus, there one big long piece with a piled face at each end. At that point, there is no break in weaving. The woman then folds each pile face towards its opposite number, sews up the sides, and voila! She's got a set of bags.

In your post, you mentioned the possibility of the thread holding the bags to the bagfaces having deteriorated or otherwise been cut. But ordinarily, it was not a matter of backs attached to faces by thread. Rather, they were all part of the same weaving on the same warps. If there is evidence of attachment by thread, it probably means the original backs were lost somewhere along the way, and someone attempted to approximate the look by attaching replacement backs. I notice the backs in your image seem narrower than the faces, further supporting the above notion.

Excuse me if you knew all this, and I don't mean to disparage your purchase. I gather you are new to this business, and one cannot be too vigilant!

Rich
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Old June 12th, 2018, 09:28 PM   #11
Steve Price
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One fairly simple way to tell whether the backs are original to these bagfaces is to simply count the warp density. The number of warps per inch has to be identical if they were once all one piece.

Regards

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Old June 12th, 2018, 09:34 PM   #12
Rich Larkin
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Yes; and in some cases, a simple comparison of the warp material in the piled faces with the same in the back(s) will reflect a significant difference.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 01:17 AM   #13
Steve Wallace
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In relation to the most recent posts by Rich/Steve/Rich, I think Danielle is talking about the sides of the bags being separated due to cut threads. As she states:
'It is one piece, with kilim backs attached to the bottomends of the bagfaces.'

That tallies with the photos, as far as I can tell.

Steve
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Old June 13th, 2018, 08:46 PM   #14
Danielle Duperreault
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Wow, thank-you for all these helpful responses. I've been swamped with work-related things the past few days but now I have a few minutes to respond.

Ty Steve and Lloyd. I've ordered a bottle of Sla and some moth-traps. This growing mountain of strange woolen things in the middle of the living room is giving me moth-related anxiety. The bagface-kilim is getting professionally cleaned. Everything else is going to get sprayed. Regularly. And thank-you for the technical breakdown, Patrick

Hi Rich, this is all one piece, but in reverse order. The closure tabs are in the middle, attached to the 2 bagfaces. The kilims are on each of the outside ends. I didn't check carefully to see if they were part of the piece, or added separately. I had a photo of the entire thing, but it was blurry and I was sadly too lazy to re-take it. Also, don't worry about disparaging my purchase. You should see some of the other stuff I found in the last two months! I have zero knowledge about anything woven, although I did knit something once .... I joined Turkotek because this place is full of people who know things. I am indeed very new to all of this and basically know nothing. So thank-you for your input. I am here to learn and also to admire everyone's photos of their fabulous pieces.

Steve and Rich: when the bags return from being professionally cleaned, I will count the warps (once I figure out what warps are and where exactly I can find them).

Also, I have a few more puzzling objects I'd like to post on here. Can I post a kilim and a small rug/mat? I have no idea what either of them is, or where they are from.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 09:53 PM   #15
Rich Larkin
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Hi Danielle,

Hah!

Quote:
"...[D]on't worry about disparaging my purchase. You should see some of the other stuff I found in the last two months!
You remind me of an old acquaintance, an antiques dealer of many years ago. I used to prowl general antiques shops then hoping to get lucky, and I came upon this fellow. He was a man of action, and a wild and crazy guy. He explained that he once bought out the contents of a house, and it included a small rug that he knew nothing about. It was lying around the shop when a swarthy gentleman with a distinct accent entered the place. "How much for the rug?" the man inquired. My friend said he didn't know whether to say ten or fifteen dollars, but the gentleman beat him to it. "I give you three hundred dollars," he said. My man was thunderstruck. He immediately rushed out and bought every rug he could find, and they were right there on that sofa, he told me. It was six hand made rugs and three machine made numbers.

I mention it because I don't want you suffer the same fate!! As Steve mentioned recently, it is a jungle out there!

On your bags, I don't quite get that set up, thus:
Quote:
The closure tabs are in the middle, attached to the 2 bagfaces. The kilims are on each of the outside ends.
Maybe if you post more images, it will be clear to me.

Rich
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Old June 13th, 2018, 09:55 PM   #16
Steve Price
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Hi Danielle

Of course you can post the other things. Just send me the image files as email attachments to get that started.

Steve Price
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Old June 13th, 2018, 10:16 PM   #17
Rich Larkin
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BTW, Danielle, I think Steve Wallace got it right. Maybe the thread "holding them together" (now corroded) to which you referred was along the sides. I am still interested in how the kilim part is connected to the pile part.

Rich
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Old June 16th, 2018, 01:30 PM   #18
Danielle Duperreault
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I found a photo of the bagface rug in its entirety and I will try to post it within the next few days.

Well, Rich, At least your antique-dealer friend can justify his carpet purchases as it is literally his job to hunt down and sell old things. I've never sold anything in my life. I haven't brought home any machine made carpets, but I did try for a heriz-copy tetex on ebay awhile back. In terms of the strange things in my living room, the strangest by far is a Balkan kilim. In the photos, it looked like a lightly patterned sort-of sheet in pastel shades. It was "buy it now" on eBay for $9.99 US, so I just went ahead and "bought now," because why not? (can I mention on here that the kilim was $10? I know we aren't supposed to discuss commercial things, so please let me know). The object that showed up here is an enormous rustic MONSTER that I am convinced would survive a nuclear blast. It's colour-patterns don't seem to be part of the electromagnetic spectrum------I was able to produce only one accurate photographic representation, and based on his eBay photos, the seller had exactly the same problem. It is way too big for my tiny apartment------I neglected to check its measurements--------and I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but it is beautifully made and it grows on me more and more every day. In the process of researching it, I have learned a ton of things about kilims generally and 19th and early 20th century Balkan history, of which I knew very little. So it's all good. For now.

Two new objects.
The first is a small square kilim. It is bagface-sized: 17 X 19.5. The weave seems very fine to me, neither thick nor coarse. The red is a very deep cool red (no orange!) with a sort of blueish tint. And it is very very pretty. It was purchased in the West Bank, but I do not remember seeing anything like it when I was there. Any information would be greatly appreciated.





The second object was once some sort of small rug that measures 36 inches x 19 inches. It was brown with dirt when I bought it and absolutely covered in cat hair. I consulted old Turkotek threads and carefully cleaned and washed it (thank-you, everyone). All I know is that at some point in its life, this object was well loved. I counted 4 small repairs. You can see one of them as it is bright orange. Was this a yastik? A simple tiny rug? A rare species of tribal cat bed? If anyone can point me in the right direction, that would be great.





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Old June 16th, 2018, 05:15 PM   #19
Joel Greifinger
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Hi Danielle,

You seem to have a taste for Balkan flat weaves since that is what I believe your first new object is, as well. The design looks Bessarabian, from Romania or Bulgaria to me. It's not a size I've seen before, but I think that pillows have also been woven using the kilim designs more recently.

As for the second one, I think that it is a yastik, as you thought. Yastiks with central Anatolian designs continued to be woven in large numbers through the 20th century. Many were made with rather fugitive synthetic dyes and some were washed in chemicals to "mellow" the colors. I think your piece may be a product of both.

Here is an earlier central Anatolian yastik with a stacked hooked diamond design:



Quote:
In the process of researching it, I have learned a ton of things about kilims generally and 19th and early 20th century Balkan history, of which I knew very little. So it's all good. For now.
Welcome to the obsession. It's always exciting to see the recruitment of fellow sufferers.

Joel Greifinger

Last edited by Joel Greifinger; June 16th, 2018 at 06:41 PM.
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Old June 16th, 2018, 06:44 PM   #20
Danielle Duperreault
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Thank-you Joel, this is very helpful. I will do some more digging on yastiks since I am not at all clear on what they were for.

Balkan kilims have turned out to be fascinating, but it's really a question of budget / availability more than taste. With a few definite exceptions, right now I like or am interested in almost everything. Meanwhile I continue to wait for that $10 19th century Bakhshayesh rug to show-up on eBay ...

You are right, I am completely obsessed. How did this happen? So, so bizarre.
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