Posted by Vincent Keers on 04-26-2002 08:20 AM:


Dear Michael,

Thanks for sharing this with us.
I do not think the kelim is more beautiful in the end, and if it's ±1800 I think it shouldn't get restored. If the owner had asked me to restore this kelim my first question would have been: Why? What is gained and what is lost.

What is gained? We can see the design more easy.
But you will never have the original because the 1/2 is missing. And some beautiful software is available nowadays for recreating the original.

What is lost? The technical solutions the original weaver made. For instance: The white wool warps used in combination with brown wool wefts.
Think in those days every house had it's goat for a couple of reasons like milk, fire and goathair.
If kelims are made for private use as a result of a very long tradition, then this weaver should have known that in this case goathair warps would have made her work more easy and more strong.
Maybe the weaver threw in a couple of nails while dying the wool because she thaught this would strengthen the wool. (Normal, rural practice)
Then this kelim could have been made in the 1960'ties as well.

I think it's a Western Anatolian kelim and so does Yanni Petsopoulos for he shows 2 kelim look alikes plates 107/108 and they both have the white woolen warps. If the kelim under discussion is South East I would expect dark goathair.

But in the end, maybe the weaver was as stubborn as I am most of the time and acted accordingly.

Looking forward in the result of your work
best regards,

Posted by Michael Bischof on 04-26-2002 02:45 PM:

Dear Vincent,
well, let us wait till next week. Of coure the 1/2 is still missing. But here wo do not see the picture because so much, too much, of the black ground is mising. In this case we thought - admittedly we interpreted it like that - the primary intention was to create and to use a picture.
May be there is a misunderstanding: the ground colour was not natural brown from sheep ! It was a black like madder dye ( a kind of extreme deep saturated aubergine !) so the visual effect was completely different. These natural browns and blacks more often than not appear matt and quite dull in a weave whereas a "thick" dye lake comes like a black beetles colour, much deeper. Therefore the resulting picture differs a lot. Of course these black yarns were restored only where they were missing, quite some of them remained in the piece at their original place.
To heat the wool while dyeing with nails: tricky. It strengthens at the beginning, though it starts to make them brittle. But soon they decay. There are two possible results: if the dye bath is sufficiently acidic then it works like an additional mordant which deepens the shade and enhances the light fastness. If one
does not take care and uses hard, slightly alkaline water the acid vapours away and slowly slowly Fe-III compounds develop. These act as strong oxidation catalyzators. When the heat goes on out of a sudden
white wool would change to a greenish black shade, it begins to smell, the wool feels like rubber and is killed then. "Tas kara boya" (Black dye from rocks) it is called in Turkish. A cheap method for a cheap black. Once I did this experiment while learning to know a new girl friend. It had no happy end: the wool was killed and the outcome with the girl should not be published here.
Vincent, this kilim is definitely from the Eastern part of Central Anatolia. The picker is known. What we do not know is from which of the numerous villages that he "serves" the piece came from. We have an idea but this is not a proven fact - yet. In this area Turcoman groups that have indeed contacts to West Anatolia occur.



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