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Index / Archived Salon Discussions / Salon 31: A Rare West Anatolian Rug and its Ala çuval Background. by Daniel Deschuyteneer
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Odd Selvage (read 12 times)
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Patrick Weiler
1. Odd Selvage
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Daniel, You have constructed a masterful salon. It is filled with curiosities and leads to numerous questions. One question I have is: Why are there so many selvage wefts interlaced with the ground wefts? Often, as has been noted by Marla Mallett in Woven Structures, page 46, weavers with warp tension problems add "extra" wefts to correct a rug that is starting to become uneven. These wefts, however, are in addition to the ground wefts. It appears that in your rug the selvage wefts only replace the ground wefts which otherwise would extend all the way to the selvage. Some rugs, and so far I have noted this in Anatolian rugs, use wefts the same color as, or a similar color to, the field pile in certain areas. This has been found in prayer rugs where the mihrab will have a different weft color than the rest of the field. I suppose that the weaver knew that, in time, the pile would become low and the weft color would show through. This does not seem to be the case here, as the border has a more brown appearance rather than the blue of the selvage wefts. These wefts are also often inserted to strengthen the selvage attachment, as in Talish rugs, but here, too, the insertion of the selvage wefts seems to have been deliberate and without structural motives. As you have noted, another rug of similar design (LeFevre) also uses this odd and time consuming curiosity. Another interesting feature is the offset knotting, which is found in as widely separated areas as Western Anatolia and as far east as China. If both unusual techniques used in this rug, the offset knotting and the selvage wefts, could be found elsewhere, a convincing explanation may be possible for the reasons this rug was made this way. As you have pointed out, many of the design characteristics of this rug derive from the flatwoven origins of these designs. Perhaps the case could be made that these rugs were made by women who traditionally wove flatweaves for personal use and wove pile carpets for commercial sale. Patrick Weiler
Date: 11-21-1999 on 11:58 a.m.
Odd Selvage
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