TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  A Surprising Range of Color
Author  :  R. John Howe mailto:%20rjhowe@erols.com
Date  :  11-25-2001 on 04:33 p.m.
Dear folks -

As I experienced Jim Blackmon's presentation at the TM Rug Convention, I was struck by the extent to which my expectations about color range in non-Turkmen Central Asian weavings were repeatedly being violated.

Lots of Kyrghyz, Uzbek and Khazak weavings have a quite narrow color palette and often do not move much beyond red, blue, brown, black and ivory.

But there are a number of rugs among those Jim presented that exhibit a surprising range of color.

This is likely the "creme de la creme" of non-Turkmen Central Asian weaving, but it was remarkable to me how colorful many of these pieces are.

I wonder whether others have had also to adjust their own predispositions somewhat in this regard.


R. John Howe

Subject  :  Re:A Surprising Range of Color
Author  :  Csilla Klausner
Date  :  11-25-2001 on 11:01 p.m.
Hello All,

The title "color" made me think about these textiles. Almost all were cited as vegetal dyed.

Before seeing this intro to other Central Asian weavings, if someone asked me to summarize what I thought to describe these weavings (forgive me for a second that I am talking not only about rugs) best, I would have said the following. Not too old usually mid 20th C. sometimes early 20th C. Lakai squares, suzanis, mirror covers and greasy hats, made almost entirely by using synthetic dyes, including harsh orange and purple. More embroidery than anything else, not very much pile stuff, and even these few pile textiles include synthetics. Thus, I did not even bother buying a book on the subject.

I thought that there was something of a 'disconnect' with regard to dyes and age. Those people, who heavily protest against the smallest amount of chemical dye in rugs and pay huge amounts for the age of a textile, now flock to buy these “other” textiles which are obviously synthetic and not older than 80 years at most.

My guess is that the main reason we're seeing a lot of weavings from these two places is that many dealers are actively touting these things right now. They're the current 'hot thing'. And of course the dealers are touting them because these weavings are (for a while) available to the dealers in renewable quantities as supply from more traditional areas like Turkey, the Caucasus, & Turkoman Central Asia is drying up.

This presentation hit me with great surprise. I am currently adjusting my overall perception -- and not just for colors. I still do feel this is “crème de la crème” material.

Why cannot one see these at dealers? Who buys the orange/purple Lakai squares?

Beast Regards,
Csilla Klausner

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