TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Modern dyes
Author  :  Marvin Amstey mailto:%20mamstey1@rochester.rr.com
Date  :  12-09-2001 on 02:26 p.m.
Dear Michael,
Excellent essay; great analogy! Just a short note about a personal experience: as a collector, it is difficult to chose a rug for a high traffic area, so we chose a new "Aubusson" with dyes claimed by the seller to be artificial chrome dyes. One would have thought that they would be stable forever and not change - at least not like a collectable rug. Wrong! They faded like badly applied natural dyes, only in this case they - mostly the indigoid - faded to nearly nothing in less than 3 years. This is consistent with your hypothesis: poor quality will lead to no buyers, unless they are "winos" looking for the quick, cheap thrill.

Subject  :  Re:Modern dyes
Author  :  Patrick Weiler mailto:%20theweilers@attbi.com
Date  :  12-10-2001 on 09:44 a.m.

I am also trying your experiment.
I have several modern (post 1960) rugs as living room floor rugs. They get a lot of traffic and they hold up quite well. They are bright. One is beginning to fade from the sunlight. In an older rug this would be called "mellowing". None has faded to pastel yet, though. I suspect the brightest, busiest rug will fade to a mere shadow of its original colors. All but the orange, of course!

Michael presented many things about wine I was unaware of. The most startling is that I have probably never drunk a really good wine. It would cost way more than I would expect to pay. Similarly, I will probably not buy a REALLY good modern rug. Because my reason for buying a modern rug is to get a cheaper floor covering rather than a work of art for the wall. And if I am buying a work of art for the wall, I will try to buy an antique rug, because I know that it has already mellowed to become a beautiful rug - I do not have to wait for 75 years to enjoy it at its peak. Someone else did that for me.
So, even if all the things Michael suggests were to be done, the market probably would not support a great amount of superlative weaving. Perhaps the owner of the fine winery would buy a 20'x30' new rug for his entry way!
Patrick Weiler

Subject  :  Re:Modern dyes
Author  :  Steve Price mailto:%20sprice@hsc.vcu.edu
Date  :  12-10-2001 on 10:00 a.m.
Hi Patrick,

I'm not sure, but I suspect that Michael doesn't think there is a mass market for excellent new rugs that are very expensive, just as there isn't a mass market for excellent wines that are very expensive.

My interpretation of his thesis is that right now the mass market is uninformed about the difference between excellent new rugs and carpetoids (just as they were uninformed about the difference between excellent wines and lousy ones until the German government stepped in and began regulating label information). Now they can buy lousy wines with labels that don't confuse them, and Michael would like the same to be true for rugs.

I see considerable merit in the idea, although there's a lot of room within which the Law of Unintended Consequences can operate, especially in the USA.


Steve Price

Subject  :  Re:Modern dyes
Author  :  Michael mailto:%20koek@dv-kombinat.de
Date  :  12-10-2001 on 12:47 p.m.
Hi everybody,
thanks to Steve for correctly interpreting my intentions ! Patrick, from distant Europe I do not see how experienced You are as a collector. Any antique rugs' success depends on the right harmony obtained by saturated colours which are never mellowed when the weave is done. A rug that has merits from being mellowed is something questionable, I guess. I admit that the number of really early pieces which are not mellowed is small - but I insist that they build up the measures. At least as long as we talk of textile art.
For home textiles everybody might do what he wants. The damaged (mellowed) piece of art will always rank below the intact one. The early mellowed fragments of kilims we appreciate because we did not find better ones (yet ?). - Here, in Germany, a normal wine costs about 2,3 $ a bottle, whereas a real good wine can be found from 4,1 $ upwards. If You find no difference between them go with the price.

Marvin, I find Your contribution interesting. The coloristic impact of Indigo cannot be obtained with the different forms of chromium dyes. A collectable rug should not have dyes that fade within only 3 years !
Look at, e.g., dragon carpets. One type of yellow is faded to a dull ochre, but a second type yellow is not patinated at all, having lost some 10-30% of its original dye content but without changing its tone.
This is the measure for today. Why should we ask for less than for qualities that were possible 300 years ago ?
With Your Indigoid dyes the reason is different: for the people that I educated in Turkey to make a light blue that will not fade in 3 years is a pea nuts kind of thing. But in this trade the competition is running for the cheap price, not for a certain sustainable quality. The people that You mentioned would not find sleep any longer if they hear the price for a decent light blue. And do not forget: to apply qualified labour (and pay the necessary wages) is like using dirty words in this environment.

Michael Bischof

Subject  :  Re:Modern dyes
Author  :  Marvin Amstey mailto:%20mamstey1@rochester.rr.com
Date  :  12-10-2001 on 04:36 p.m.
Hi Michael,
I appreciate your comments and agree with them. Here is another modern dye and recent rug production story that contradicts your best quality:highest price relationship. I have seen three rugs recently with a local dealer that are modern Iranian weaves. Very fine weaves - picture motifs - with the most garish unnatural colors that I have ever seen. The price of these "masterpieces" is around US$750. per sq ft. I'm told that one is buying a design from a known "master" (at least known somewhere) who uses a lot of wool per sq inch (no silk in these).
Best regards,

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