Re: Dyes in the Aging Process

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Posted by Jerry Silverman on April 13, 1999 at 18:39:34:

In Reply to: Re: Dyes in the Aging Process posted by Marvin Amstey on April 13, 1999 at 18:21:03:

: : : Dear Irwin,

: : : I don't have direct experience with this, but here's the general principle. Dyes fade with exposure to light. The fading, as judged by eye, is not uniform with time, but looks like it is happening quite rapidly at first and then continues much more slowly.

: : : So, if you are repairing an old rug and you use new wool that matches it perfectly, in a relatively short time that wool will not longer match the original. If, on the other hand, you use old wool that matches it perfectly, it will likely continue to do so for quite awhile, maybe even forever.

: : : That leaves the question of where to get old wool. The answer is that old kilims can be a source of rather long lengths of antique wool, as the colored parts of them are the weft.

: : : It is my understanding that this works in practice as well as in theory.

: : : Steve Price

: : I have a late-19th c. Tekke mafrash. About 17 years ago an Afghan weaver decided he'd "improve" it by sewing on tassels at the bottom. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Being exceedingly conscientious, he unravelled a scrap of old Yomud kilim and made red and dark blue tassels that matched the colors in the mafrash. My observation is that with the passage of time there was no noticeable additional fading of either the mafrash or the tassels. (I un-improved the piece last year when I removed the tassels, so I can't post a jpeg of the piece for you to check for yourselves.)

: : -Jerry-

: Did the tassles confer some magical properties to the mafrash? Did the Afghani have a special amulet woven into the tassles that protected everything, or was it simply kept in the dark after the addition? Marvin

Nope. He just thought the tassels made it look more authentic. As for where it was kept: I had it hanging on the wall in the entryway to my home - not especially well-lighted, true, but not hidden away in a trunk either.


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