Posted by Patrick Weiler on 08-27-2004 01:54 AM:

New type of bag?

Here is a bagface I bought a couple of years ago. I believe it to be Kurdish.

And here is another bagface that looks almost identical:

They are nearly the same. One may assume that these are bagfaces from either a khorjin or mafrash.

One would be entirely mistaken, however.
Here is a photo of the complete second bag:

And here is the back:

This is a type of bag I have not seen in the literature. Is this, in fact, a "new" type of bag previously unknown?

I had acquired the second piece prior to finding the first piece.
Is it possible that this is a type of container that has not been documented yet? Since many of the bagfaces we encounter are lacking their backs, could there be more bags like this yet to be found?
Do you have any bagfaces like this? Two examples does not make a "type".


Patrick Weiler

Posted by Vincent Keers on 08-27-2004 11:15 AM:

Hi Patrick,

So it's woven athwart?
Reconstruction needed:

No, I've never seen anything like it.
All the weight is on the wefts, if it has been woven as reconstructed.
Woven by a cross-grained adolescent girl?

I like it.

Best regards,

Posted by Vincent Keers on 08-27-2004 11:24 AM:

Deleted by Vincent

Posted by Patrick Weiler on 08-29-2004 07:32 PM:



I am unable to view the photograph you placed in your message, I just get a white square with a red octagon and white X.

The "top" of this bag, when woven, is shown in the photo of the back, at the top. The warp goes from the top of the back and continues around the pile side. The weft, of course, goes from left to right as seen here:

You can see the row of stitches across the top of the bag, and it is sewn together at the left side to produce a "bottom" for the bag. The handles you see are sewn onto the bag. There are two at the top of the bag horizontal and three at the right side of the bag vertical. These three are complemented by three identical handles sewn onto the front side of the bag, for a series of six handles surrounding the opening.
Interestingly, there are also three handles sewn onto the INSIDE of the bag.
These would have been used if the bag were used inside-out. You can see some of the thread used to sew these inside handles on from the front of the bag, through the pile. It is white thread seen at either side of the medallion:

There may be a number of these bag faces, but none that I have seen with the back still intact. Without the back, one cannot tell if the face came from a standard mafrash or khorjin or perhaps a bag such as this.

There is a photo of a typical Kordi grain bag in another thread on this salon:

The orientation of the design and construction is the opposite of the first bag, though. In this case, the warp runs the long way and the weft the short way. And this bag has been sewn along each side to produce the bag, instead of along the "top" and left side on the other bag.
I do not think the pile bag is Kordi, but I have not been able to find a close enough comparison to tell any better. It is all symetrically knotted, with no offset knots.

Patrick Weiler

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 08-30-2004 03:23 AM:

Hi Pat,

I donít know why you are not able to see Vincentís image. May be because it is on Vincentís website?
In any case I put it on our server (where it will go anyway) editing its link accordingly.

Have another look at it. I copy it here too:



Posted by Lloyd Kannenberg on 08-30-2004 08:24 AM:

Hello Patrick and all,

I like this bag! Would you provide us with its dimensions? Thanks!


Posted by Patrick Weiler on 08-31-2004 01:20 AM:


The first bag face is 22.5" x 16" with a knot count of 6w x 8h. The second bag is 41" x 22" with an identical knot count of 6x8 for 54 per square inch. This is a very coarse weave, but certainly makes for a very sturdy bag.
The area of the second bag which corresponds to the same area as the first bag is 20.5" x 14". If the first bag had the added main and secondary borders that the second bag has, they would have been nearly the same size. I would infer that this means the first bag had the same function and construction as the second, but someone cut out the "good" part to make a small mat.
Somehow the second bag remained intact. I believe that the "handles" were added later to make the bag more useful, and it continued being used instead of being sold. The back shows considerable wear, but the front is still in quite good condition except for a tear .
The design appears to be derived from Ushak carpets. This same Ushak design was used in many a Bijar rug, too.
Here is a link to a version of an Ushak rug with this medallion in the center of the field:

Patrick Weiler

Posted by Patrick Weiler on 09-03-2004 11:25 PM:

My personal opinion

In response to the initial salon instructions:

"I simply ask that folks present pairs of related pieces from their own collections, one of which they consider to be much better than the other, along with their reasons for thinking so."

I prefer the second, complete bag over the first example.
The colors are brighter, the complete condition is more satisfying and the added borders give a better picture of the originally intended design.

There is another example of this type of single pile-face bag that is currently on the market. It has the same striped back and neck as the second bag. It is described as Bakhtiyari, however it has been confirmed as NW Persian by a world renowned expert.
(Please send ten dollars in a self-addressed stamped envelope and I may disclose the name of said expert)

I also have a picture of a nearly identical example culled from the internet a couple of years ago which I will post shortly.

Patrick Weiler

Posted by Patrick Weiler on 09-04-2004 01:07 PM:

similar piece

Here is a picture of a piece similar to the full bag, #2, shown in the first post:

It has the same field design, but a different border. It also has a checkered "elem" at the bottom, which I assume would go under and around to the back a couple of inches - just like the #2 bag from the first post. Just to the right of the pile section, at the base of the neck, you can see the brown weft "points" sticking into the beginnings of the white weft stripes. This is the same as bag #2, but bag #2 has more of these points. They almost look like creases.
You can also quite clearly see the handles at the neck of the bag. There are most likely more on the back side. And you can also see the four places in the central medallion where there are two handles sewn onto the inside of the bag, just like the #2 bag. There are two more of these handle-bases that can be seen in the far right border, just at the edge of the pile section. This means that there are three inside handles, just as in bag #2.

With this example showing up, it appears that this type of bag was used in a common fashion, whatever that may have been. With the checkered elem on this bag and the similar extra bottom border on bag #2, it appears that these bags had the same type of pile wrap-around at the bottom as many Bakhtiyari bags, to protect the "bottom" of the bag from excess wear. This may indicate that, when full, these bags were stored in this horizontal orientation. This would allow the full pile face of the bag to show, and at the same time would allow access to the contents from the opening which would be to the side. This orientation may indicate that whatever was in these bags would not likely fall or spill out the opening very easily when the bags were opened when in the stored position. This would probably rule out grain. These are fairly large bags and the large number of handles may indicate that two or three people were needed to lug them around when full.
The inside handles pose still a further mystery. There are photos of Bakhtiyari bags being carried "inside out" on camels or donkeys during migration. Perhaps it depended on what was being carried that determined how the bag was used.
Until a photograph is found showing these bags in actual use, their function will remain unknown.

Patrick Weiler

Posted by Vincent Keers on 09-04-2004 08:02 PM:

Hi Patrick,

Those brown wefts sticking out? Wefts from the face

This is something that looks like Bachtiary, only most bags are bigger and the square knotted part only needs a quarter of total front space.
And the design is rotated 90 degrees. That's all.

Do you think it's made as a single bag on the loom? Your first image seemed cut at the woven side.
Those handles and the way they are connected doesn't suggest heavy loads.
Many handels. So maybe for feeding horses?
Keeping the bag in place?

Best regards,

Posted by Patrick Weiler on 09-04-2004 10:47 PM:


Yes, wefts from the face. Quite unusual. If this bag were to be opened up and used as a rug, there would be a very large weft-face flat-weave border along one side. That is most likely the reason that there are not many intact bags like these. The pile sections were cut out and sold as mats.
The warps of all of these bags are up-and-down on each of the three examples, and the wefts are left-to-right. The first bagface has had pile removed at the top and bottom in order to show the warp as a fringe.

These bags would be quite large to be used as horse feed bags. Bag #2 is nearly 3 and a half feet deep and almost 2 feet wide. (over a meter deep)
This would have made for some very well-fed horses. If you are correct about these bags being horse feed bags, this could explain the fate of the makers. Their horses were so fat that they couldn't escape their enemies and they were all killed in battle!

Patrick Weiler

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 09-05-2004 02:42 AM:

Hi Patrick,

Those containers with inside handles are very strange indeed. Vincent is right in suggesting that the handles werenít used for a heavy load.
How they were used?
I donít knowÖ

In any case I propose to designate from now on this kind of bags as Weilerii Saccus (Latin for "Weilerís bag") in your honor, as you discovered it.
Best Regards,