Posted on 24 November 2015
Hello again everyone! Now, I know it’s not been a week since my last blog, but I wanted to tell you in plenty of time about our annual Barretts Rug Evening next Tuesday 1st December, 6:00am-9:00pm. This popular event is a must for anyone looking for a beautiful, hand-knotted oriental rug at a bargain price. These rugs can enhance any home, whether it’s to add the finishing touch to a traditional room setting, or add a splash of colour to accent a neutral modern look. Just for this one evening in the year we turn the whole shop into an eastern bazaar, with a huge range of rug styles, sizes and colours on show. We always try to ensure there’s a rug that’s just right for everyone. I really enjoy the night, and with wine and refreshments available there’s always an excited buzz about the place. If you needed any further motivation than a free glass of wine, you can also enter a prize draw to win a super £300 Persian rug.
We are very proud of our extensive rug collection, with lovely pieces from all over the far east and Indian Subcontinent - hand knotted and vegetable dyed. Rug styles include Bokhara, Kazak, Ziegler, Kundos, Hamadan and Quasqui, each with their own styles and colours, all extremely hard wearing as well as being works of art (the oldest known rug, the Persian “Pazyryk Carpet”, is an incredible 2400 years old!).
Whilst we always have excellent stock levels in the Rug Department, beautifully displayed with our new 8’ x 5’ rug rack, the Rug Evening requires a special ‘stock-up’ trip to our good friends Rama Carpets in North London (special thanks to Paul and Howard). My lovely Fiancé and Store Manager Michael went with Carpet Salesman Dan and our Finance Manager Glynis (who is a world expert on rugs I can tell you). Below are a few photos from their trip.
Don’t forget, we guarantee no child exploitation in the making of our rugs. We hope to see you on the night.
To whet your appetite, I thought I’d give you a quick run down of a few of the main rug varieties which you can expect to see at our Rug Evening.
In 1883, the Manchester based Anglo-Swiss company ‘Ziegler & Co.’ established workshops in the Persian towns of Tabriz and Sultanabad (now Arak). The objective was to produce produce Sultanabad rugs to meet western demands. The classical Persian designs, as influenced by the Moghul Emperors who for centuries held sway over the Indian Subcontinent, was modified with bolder all-over patterns and use softer palettes than the livelier traditional Persian carpets.
These rugs marked the first time large numbers of westerners were directly exposed to Persian designs, with Liberty & Co and Harvey Nichols being early retailers. "Zeigler carpets" became a term used to mean this style of carpet, and modern Zieglers are produced in many countries.
The beautiful colours evident in these Afghan rugs can only be obtained by the use of hand spun yarns and vegetable dye, coupled with the exclusive use of Afghan Gazni High Plateau wool, which provides a superb luster and sheen to the finished article; thus no two pieces can ever be exactly the same.
Kazakh rugs take their design and colour influence from Southern Russia, where this Caucasian style of design has been made for centuries. They feature indigo blues, reds and ivories in attractive geometric patterns, with the vibrance of the colour enhanced by the fine quality yarns used in the weaving. This, in conjunction with a tea wash that tones down the shades, gives the Kazak an antique effect which is ideal for using with today furnishings.
The name originates from a small in in north west Azerbaijan, though most are made in Pakistan by Afghans who fled the oppressive Taliban in North East Afghanistan throughout the nineties. In comparison to their former home, Pakistan offers more resources and materials used in rug making, plus much greater access to western markets.
Bokhara rug designs have originated from the Samarkand and Bokhara Region. Bokhara rugs in ancient times were hand-woven by peoples of Russian Turkistan (Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). These famous Bokhara designs come from eastern Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Bokhara rugs hold a high place in history and compete with the best in the world. Bokhara rug popularity has been on the increase in recent years and the quality are workmanship very consistent with ancient methods. Bokhara’s, famous 'red rugs' of Central Asia, were and are woven by nomadic tribes people who relied primarily upon the madder plant for the tremendous variety of red and red-brown hues that characterizes these rugs. By the late 19th century, they came in odd, small sizes and peculiar shapes, and began to find their way to the West.
A popular Bokhara design, the elephant foot and octagonal 'gul' motifs tend to look best in smaller sizes that make the most of the intricate pattern. They are made of finely spun, soft wool. Fine examples are often closely clipped (so that their intricate designs are crisp and clear), but some are left especially thick for their quality. Red and rust fields are most common colors, but can have ivory, navy, green, slate, teal, peach, rose or orange backgrounds.