On the flip side

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Posted by Wendel Swan on December 09, 1998 at 08:08:44:

In Reply to: Re: Image to brighten your day - flikkli too. posted by Michael Wendorf on December 08, 1998 at 16:03:36:

Over the years I have been told that many of these long pile rugs were "reversible," depending on the season and circumstance of use. Given some of our recent conversations about the necessity of versatility in textiles, this should be expected. Michael's observation about ornamentation on the flat sided being indicative of at least occasional use with the pile down is apt.

Consider two corollaries in totally dissimilar rugs:

1) Certain Moroccan flatweaves have extensive floats on the "back" which would provide insulation and/or cushioning but clearly would not be used with the floats up. The decoration is all on the flat side.

2) In the Textile Museum's collection is an interesting Kirman "vase" carpet fragment with what could simply be described as a hairy orange back. The back of the rug is covered with trailing orange threads, about every five or six rows, supplemental to the wefts. The literature does not abound with information about this structural oddity, but one possibility is that the lofty extra threads provided cushioning or warmth. In essence, a built-in pad.


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