Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 05-23-2005 12:36 PM:


Dear All,

Vincent wrote in the current Salon. Maybe the reason that we do not like orange in our rugs is because this orange color is difficult to get with natural (not pure)
ingredients and easy to produce synthetically.

I donít know if heís right on the ďreasonĒÖ But I also donít like orange in my rugs.
Unfortunately, budget exigencies make me rather flexible on the matter.
Perhaps weíll come to that later.
For the moment letís consider the Central Anatolian Yastik that John offers to our comments in the Show and Tell section. Being a practical person, it seems to me an excellent way to discuss practically of an otherwise abstract subject. I copy here one of Johnís photos:

John seems to have doubts on his purchase, especially regarding its colors. I agree:
the drawing is OK, but the colors are rather weak. I dislike also the light orange.
John thinks that the dyes in his yastik are natural.
What do you think?
What is your basic standard for natural color?
And what do you think of the orange dyes in Johnís yastik?


Filiberto (alias Philibert dí Orange )

Posted by Steve Price on 05-23-2005 01:10 PM:

Hi Filiberto

Orange is a terrific example. Ruggies find it attractive in Qashqa'i textiles. The Qashqa'i used natural dyes to make orange, so it is in a traditional context and, therefore, acceptable.

The horror with which many ruggies view orange has to do with the early synthetic orange dye(s), which are vivid and stubbornly resist the "mellowing" that the surrounding colors take on with time.


Steve PRice

Posted by Vincent Keers on 05-23-2005 05:48 PM:


All natural "oranges":

The "orange" to the right in the last image is cochineal with madder overdye.
First image is all madder.

I think Johns rug orange can be natural because I see the reddish background color shining through in the field. A synthetic orange is pure orange. No yellow or reddish background color.

Best regards,

Posted by Vincent Keers on 05-23-2005 09:17 PM:

Hi again,

This is what I meant:
I resized 1 cm2 x 60. So a few k's became Ī 15mbites.

I played with 2 images from "orange colors".
One is from a madder and one is from a Russian Kazak (Hammer and sickle knotted in) rug from the 60'ties.
Obvious the orange/orange is synthetic and Russian production.
The reddish/orange is madder.
One problem: I think most browsers use 256 colors, so if you this at home the result shows better quality on your screen.

Best regards,

Posted by Chuck Wagner on 05-24-2005 10:22 AM:

A matter of balance

Hi all,

First, a quick comment about your upscaling technique, Vincent. It is an interesting approach, but you have to make sure the sensing and lighting technology is consistent. Camera or scanner, and illuminating light conditions, must be the same. Also, use the right tools: both Filiberto and I have noted, somewhat bitterly, that our Nikon digital cameras have excessive sensitivity in the red bands and as a result our reds always look too hot.

Now, on to ORANGE. Or, and more to the point, ORANGE. And to really make the point, ORANGE .

Note that the ORANGE in black is by far the easiest to read (i.e. detect) of the three ORANGEs, because the contrast between black and gray is much higher that between orange and gray. Only when the surface area of the orange ORANGE is increased do we see it more clearly.

Thus, when the surface area of the space covered by orange is relatively small and the reflectivity of the surrounding areas is roughly the same, the orange does not leap out at us. It is in balance with its surroundings.

Here are textile equivalents, showing that (essentially, the same) orange can take on a vastly different character depending on how it is used. First, a Saudi camel bag, with ivory, dark brown, red and orange. The red is very close to the orange, spectrally. This is a transparent, not opaque, dye. So Vincent should like it. Regardless, this is a real in-your-face orange bag:

Next, a panel used along the leading edge of a tent, also from Saudi Arabia. While containing the same bright orange, the presence of other colors and large areas of ivory wool put it in much better balance.

Here, in this Qala-i-Nau kilim, the orange is done in small areas and placed widely:

And in this little Baluchi chanteh, although there is actually quite a bit of orange, it is generally done in small areas that are surrounded by green or red, As a result, the whole thing is nicely balanced:

So Filiberto, even without the budget exigincies, there are plenty of reasons not to shy away from orange, which is clearly a "weapon of choice" in the nomadic world. It's really more a matter of balance.


Chuck Wagner

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 05-24-2005 03:00 PM:

Hi Chuck,

As I said, Iím rather flexible.
Detail of my Iraqi-Kurdish kilim:

The brick red of the field is almost orange. That didnít prevent the weaver from using orange on it, as we can see at the bottom of the photo.
The kilim is quite recent and so the dyes should be synthetic. The indigo, synthetic or not, looks quite OK.
Nice chanteh, by the way.



Posted by Vincent Keers on 05-24-2005 10:57 PM:


I love them all.
All happy and airy.

Yes Chuck, your right.
Everything needs to be done under perfect conditions. And I'm not at all convinced that it might work. I'm doing this during the very short nights, I had hopes I could seduce? someone into it.

Best regards,

Posted by Chuck Wagner on 06-04-2005 07:23 PM:

Hi Vincent wa Filiberto,

We don't seem to have a lot of compaions here in the orange thread, do we ? Strange...

So, here's a closeup of a Hazara kilim that is probably about 35 years old, with mostly synthetic dyes (I think the deeper red-brown is madder):

Why show it ? Because all the colors, even the brilliant transparent orange, have an abrash of sorts, partly due to the variable dye job and partly due to the use of mixed light brown and dark gray Karakul wool.

So I guess the small batch - rustic preparation rules for vegetable dyes apply to synthetics as well.


Chuck Wagner

Posted by James Blanchard on 06-05-2005 01:22 PM:

Hi all,

We (my wife and I) also tend to shy away from orange in rugs. But there are always exceptions.

Here is one of them. It is a not-old Yomut rug, which is clearly in the "decorative", not "collector" category (goes on the floor, not the wall). I would guess that most if not all the colours are synthetic, though I am not a good one to judge.

Still, we like the orange in this rug, perhaps because of the way it is blended and contrasted with the other colours. Also, the wool is lustrous (not flat), so even though the orange is quite warm, it doesn't look harsh. The orange in the minor border and the dyrnak guls is the same, though it looks different because of the surrounding colours.

The Yomuts seemed to like orange, and developed a knack for using it.



Posted by Lloyd Kannenberg on 06-06-2005 11:51 AM:

Hello Filiberto and all -

Here is one face of a Zakatala bag with a nice juicy orange (I think):

The other face is similar, the back shows the usual narrow colored stripes.

Hope I'm not the only one who thinks orange works in this case!

Lloyd Kannenberg

Posted by Valerie_Justin on 06-06-2005 08:21 PM:

nice bag. nice colors
Re: the orange in the Lloyd Kennenberg Zakatala bag - I think anyone picking on those orange details in the bottom figures is foolish. The color intensity, the design and the use of white is beautiful. I would call the reds - dark brick red, lighter brick red and call the lightest one orange or doesn't matter.

Valerie Justin

Posted by Chuck Wagner on 06-09-2005 12:14 PM:

Hi all,

As I mentioned before, the context in which a bright color is used has a great deal to do with whether we percieve it as ghastly or interesting. So far, we've been looking at the "macro" view: how the color fits with (or ruins) the whole piece. Partly because I'm so nearsighted that I have two microscopes for eyes, and partly because it's where the interesting stuff really is, I really enjoy looking at the small details of a weaving. Steve has often mentioned the term "micro-abrash"; up close is where you see it.
So, let's take a look at how some orange fibers look, up close.

First, a turn of the century Bahktiari runner (Filiberto used this image in another thread). Note the orange nodes along the vertical line (and, notice the difference between taking a flash picture and an ambient-light picture. The flash (and the Nikon Corporation) have really overstated the colors) :

Now, a direct scan of the back. I'm not convinced that this is the same bright orange seen in the other pieces, or that this is a synthetic color :

Next, we'll look at direct scans of the end of an old Baluchi camel trapping, a strap about three feet long and eight inches wide.

Definitely done with mix of dyes, mostly synthetic. And yet, to my less jaded eyes, the combination of fading, weathering, and abrasion have left a softened rustic look that is actually quite interesting.

Chuck Wagner

Chuck Wagner

Posted by R. John Howe on 06-09-2005 09:12 PM:

Dear folks -

Did someone ask for an "orange?'

Of course, it needs a good asssociated pink to bring out its true radiance.

This piece was shown at The Textile Museum one Saturday morning and the place did not burn down.


R. John Howe

Posted by Chuck Wagner on 06-09-2005 10:49 PM:


Hi John,

Well, that should certainly keep the demons out of the camp...

Now, where's that orange sample from your collection ?


Chuck Wagner

Posted by R. John Howe on 06-10-2005 11:07 AM:

Hi Chuck -

Well, as someone who collects predominantly Turkmen things, I'm pretty exposed to having objectionable oranges around.

But it seems likely that you have most specific reference to my nice Siirt horse cover in mixed technique.

You can actually take your choice between an orange and three shades of yellow-gold.

My wife hates this piece and I quite like it.

At the end of this session, I said to Wendel that my horse cover has "unusual colors." He said "Yes."


R. John Howe

Posted by Vincent Keers on 06-10-2005 02:47 PM:

Oi John,

It's for the horse!
Not the wife.

I like the orange, orange, orange, orange, orange, orange, orange, thing.

Best regards,

Posted by Steve Price on 06-10-2005 03:00 PM:

Hi John

How does it look if you remove the batteries?


Steve Price

Posted by R. John Howe on 06-10-2005 04:16 PM:

Vincent -

I'm not too quick, but I got that one. My wife doesn't like looking at it, and the thought of her wearing it has not been raised in polite company here.

Steve -

Batteries??? No one said anything about batteries.

You mean it could be brighter?

I need to look around.