TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Summary
Author  :  Steve Price mailto:%20sprice@hsc.vcu.edu
Date  :  11-18-2000 on 11:27 a.m.
I opened this topic by publicly wondering about the source of "stray reds" (irregular red coloration within areas we might expect to be white or ivory) that are obvious in some old Turkmen rugs. Some early responses included the suggestion that it is simply an artifact in photos of old rugs, and one specific example of this was a slide presented by Elena Tzareva during a recent talk at the Textile Museum.

But as things progressed, the discussion showed that there are examples of stray reds in what appear to be Turkmen rugs made before the invention of synthetic dyes. We generated a number of explanations for this, with specific examples illustrating some of them. These are:
1. The one everybody knew about before we started, color runs from using a synthetic red dye in the piece, common in 20th century production.
2. Natural variation in the color of nominally ivory or white wool, exemplified in a Yomud piece in Amos Bateman Thacher's book.
3. Red wefts peeking through white or ivory pile, as in a torba (trapping?) in my collection and, perhaps in the Tekke germetch in The Rickmers Collection.
4. Staining from dyes originally on young rugs that, one way or another, had colors that ran onto older ones, as exemplified by some of the rugs in the Dudin collection in St. Petersburg.
5. Photographic artifacts, which Wendel Swan notes in a (non-Turkmen) bag in his collection and which occurs in at least one Salor bag from St.Petersburg's museum.
6. Runs from cochineal reds, which apparently happen now and then.
7. Runs from madder that was inadequately rinsed from the wool after dying.
8. Runs from washing old (natural dyed) rugs in boiling water.
9. Runs from repeatedly washing old rugs.
10. Discoloration originating from stains being set during attempts at their removal.

I am especially grateful to some of the experts who participated in this discussion either directly or by allowing private e-mail correspondence with others to be cited.

Thanks to all of you, i know much more about the subject than I did two weeks ago.

Steve Price

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