Posted by Marla Mallett on April 15, 1999 at 19:27:22:
In Reply to: Re: Tribal Repairs posted by Michael Wendorf on April 15, 1999 at 15:24:48:
Michael, Steve and others,
To wash or not to wash...That's stretching the point a bit, since presumably the original owners did wash the things themselves now and then. Occasionally, though, we see saddlebags published along with a notation that leather parts have been removed (permanently) so that the weaving could be cleaned. This presents a dilemma, as removing integral, original parts seems like unjustified tampering.
I must admit that villagers have occasionally shown me brocaded sacks that were so slick and crusty with grime that I couldn't imagine they'd ever clean up. Completely black! I've passed those by, just as I've passed on objects that were too ragged to have much appeal left. They indeed reflected aspects of that lifestyle that I'd rather not be reminded of daily.
Here's another perspective on the "to repair or not to repair" question: One Armenian friend of mine in Turkey gets terribly agitated when the mere notion of rug "restoration" is mentioned. His ethnic background apparently has bestowed upon him a special capacity for empathizing with old textiles: He insists that we should remain fully aware of how each nice old piece has SUFFERED!
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