500 Days of Summer soundtrack cover yesterday, I remembered that when I was little I thought the central design on this antique Oriental rug represented a sun. Maybe one day I'll dig up some old family photos that show glimpses of it beneath Christmas presents and we can see how it has aged over the past few decades, but I have no way of documenting what it looked like 120 years ago (assuming that's the correct age).
Like a lot of Westerners, I'm attracted to the evidence of wear -- the colors made more mellow by time and the almost nonexistent "pile." Technically, pile, to use the Textile Museum's definition, is a plush or shaggy surface formed by the cut ends of yarns known as rug knots. And pile rugs traditionally created east of the Mediterranean are classified as Oriental rugs. The rug above is so worn that it now feels like a kilim (no-pile textile) or flatweave. If you're interested, Marla Mallett has put together a seriously comprehensive tribal flatweave bibliography. Click here for a sampling of Mansour's stunning collection of antique Oriental and Persian rugs.
I say this nearly every time I post an Oriental rug: the dense patterns hide a multitude of sins making them extremely family-friendly.
kilim, in her shop Capella Kincheloe has wonderful handwoven Turkish kilim pillows handsewn with vintage wool yarn. I love how she opted to use striped kilim on the back of this one.