Posted by Michael Bischof on 05-23-2002 12:24 PM:

Closing remarks

Hallo all,

thanks a lot for a vivid discussion of a lot of facets ! We had been a bit nervous as we had to sell some messages that people normally do not like to hear. More often than not one starts to hate the messenger instead of fighting the underlying reasons. In addition for having had a discussion in good atmosphere there was some sheer luck: that exactly in the moment when the essay was published a perfect materialization of what he had described appeared physically at ACOR. Even our prophecy that there are some sisters and brothers was fulfilled.

The suggestion that faking is not cheating ( as long as we buy .... sport shoes, ..... designer jeans and ...... perfumes and hold up the superstitious belief into "trade marks" ) and that they have indeed modest prices seems to have been accepted.
Two topics may be discussed - and have been discussed - but the real test for our thesis would be analytical tests: to repair the oxidation damage and to fix the dye lakes before washing and the problem of running natural dyes. - I am curious to find out who will make the proposed easy tests. Until now the experience is that one can easily find 200 collectors
to debate a certain brown-red colour in certain Turcoman weaves at a congress over 2 days
but that it is nearly impossible to move one of them to do some easy practical experiments. The carpet collectors and the hobby knitters-weavers-dyers both admire natural dyes. But they live in two different worlds. Cross fertilization is rarely seen but would be really easy - and it would gain quite some results in better understanding of certain antique weaves !
Our e-mail adress is and I publish it here because I am open to communicate with interested people about this problem of running natural dyes. We were really surprised: about the fact that this seems to be a question for some people ! For us it is an established fact that natural dyes are very strong and safe, but within certain limits of pH, of course. The strongest one we did not discuss here: it is the famous "Turkish red" on specially prepared cotton. This I demonstrated 17 years ago at the carpet collectors association of Northrhine-Westfalia with an red cotton shirt that was washed in diluted hydrochloric acid at 70°C, turned orange - and when it was put into cold tap water it was as deep red again as it was before this test. But even this could run when washed chemically. - Whatever: after a proper appointment quite some effects and example we can demonstrate to any of you in Konya.

The A- , B- and C-scheme that we proposed was more difficult to clear in the discussion.
Compare the antique pieces business with buying and selling second hand cars: if makes a big differences whether one has papers, motor and chassis numbers or not, in many respects,
and especially when one wants to find out the identity of what one has, as well as its integrity. For people who do not want to invest into an own infrastructure in one of the countries where old pieces are found and processed this was, may be, a bitter message. Sorry for that but the reality is like this. And keep in mind, please: this ACOR weave stands for a fashion of the beginning nineties and todays fashion is different from this.

One thing came as a surprise as well: in the textile culture that we deal with flat-weaves are the primary medium, pile weaves come only second ( if we aim at genuine art). I cannot really witness it but according to my impression the majority of the contributors seemed to perceive it opposite. So, apart from collecting for some home decoration objects, there should be a much bigger interest in early kilims in the USA, I think. In this respect, sorry folks, Europe seems to be more advanced. May be because it is simply closer to the Orient ?
On the other hand I got some feed back from Europe asking: why the hell don't we have such a discussion here ?

Michael Bischof and Memduh Kürtül

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