TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Offset workshop carpets?
Author  :  Christoph Huber mailto:%20huber-ch@pilatusnet.ch
Date  :  09-30-2001 on 11:34 a.m.
Dear all

Marla and Daniel have made clear on their web-pages that offset knotting is applied by tribal and village weavers to copy flatweave structures, to adjust unbalanced knot count and to adopt workshop designs which may require diagonals of different inclinations. In this context offset knotting seems to me a kind of pushing the limitations of the structure (pile knotting) a bit further than it is normally done.
I wonder whether this is the whole story.
On Spanish carpets it’s an integral characteristic that the single warp knots are placed offset just as it is done on some possible precursors like the following fragment:

“Egypt? 9th century” (Tissus d’Egypte, Collection Bouvier, Geneva and Paris, 1993, No. 60)

Apropos Egypt, look at the wholly offset knotted Fostat fragments on the second web-page!
Doesn’t look the calligraphic border of the faces rug a bit “Spanish”?
Since the ornamentation of Spanish carpets have many aspects which look as derived from flatweaves this wouldn’t necessarily contradict Marla’s notion. Actually, my question is whether we deal on the faces rug with a local reaction to a flatweave ornament or with the adoption of a foreign (Spanisch, Egypt, Mediterranean?) style chosen to enhance the effect of the border.
Best regards,

Subject  :  Re:Offset workshop carpets?
Author  :  Marla Mallett mailto:%20marlam@mindspring.net
Date  :  10-03-2001 on 08:40 a.m.
Dear Christoph and all,

I had completely forgotten about the Spanish carpets, which are offset throughout! Most of us don’t have many opportunities to see such pieces, let alone handle one.

Here’s a very strange piece that is the only other sort of totally offset carpet that I’ve come across--and the only Caucasian rug that I am aware of with offset knotting. It’s said to be Georgian, and reportedly has all-over offset knotting. Erich Menzel and Christel Menzel-Kop published it in HALI 25, on page 30, along with a commentary. I can't even begin to imagine the reason for offsets here, unless the knot count was terribly unbalanced.

I’ve been puzzled by the attribution of the Fostat fragments that are on my web pages. Carl Lamm says they are from “eastern Anatolia or the southern Caucasus.” Does anyone have a clue as to why they might be thought Caucasian? Here are a couple of them:

The Kircheim "Faces" rug has been attributed variously to Anatolia and Azerbaijan. Why? Does anyone know of ANY examples of offset knotting in the Caucasus--other than the Menzel rug above?

Maybe someone else can address your question, Christoph, regarding possible "foreign influence" in the Kircheim "Faces" border motifs. They look like adaptations of kilim elements to me.


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