Re: The Value of Incorrect Attribution

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Posted by Marla Mallett on May 13, 1999 at 19:17:39:

In Reply to: The Value of Incorrect Attribution posted by John Downie on May 13, 1999 at 16:52:54:

Dear John,

Are you perhaps confusing attributions (usually meaning the assigning of tribal or geographic origins) with analyses (structural notations)? I have been talking primarily about attributions, so you may have misunderstood some of my comments.

The term "weft-float brocading" is simply redundant, as all brocades have weft floats. But redundancy is NOT the major problem with this term, and I would NOT single out the use of this redundant term as an error. The problem is that people often don't use the term to describe "a certain kind of weaving," as you've said, but use it erroneously to describe a couple of very different structures.

For example, the intricate flat-woven borders on the ends of Baluch pile rugs are sometimes weft substitution, sometimes brocading, and sometimes both--but most often they are simply weft substitution. It should be useful for people who are interested in sorting out various groups of Baluch rugs to know which is actually present when they can't see these small details clearly in photos. But in a majority of publications, these details are mis-identified--they are called "weft-float brocading" when the weave is NOT that. Since weft substitution is merely a plain weave in which variously colored wefts have been substituted, the unused material floats on the back, thus the confusion. I'd rather see structural features ignored entirely than to read inaccurate descriptions which are misleading. I personally don't care which of alternate terms are used if both are reasonably accurate, but I am concerned with gross misidentifications. And that's what we find in too much rug literature. Boy...what a bore! I agree with you. I'd rather just look at great rugs.


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