Colors: Orange Color

A new collaborative project between the World Bank, LabelSTEP, and Turquoise Mountain seeks to empower women while simultaneously moving the Afghan carpet industry into the twenty-first century.

Turquoise Mountain is a non-profit organization founded in 2006, at the behest of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. Now working in Afghanistan, Myanmar, and the Middle East, Turquoise Mountain’s objective is to preserve and regenerate historic areas and communities with a rich cultural heritage and to revive traditional crafts in order to create employment, improve trade skills, and foster a renewed sense of regional and cultural pride. Its work is broad, encompassing myriad crafts and trades, from woodworking to ceramics to of course handmade carpet weaving. 

Inviting visitors to walk on the rugs and carpets of an architecturally significant home may seem at odds with preservation, but as Rug Insider discovers in conversation with Scott W. Perkins, Director of Preservation and Collections, Fallingwater at Western Pennsylvania Conservancy,  sometimes the goal is more experiential.

What is it about a carpet that inspires an exuberant ‘Wow!’? Is it the color? The design? The material? The construction? Maybe it is as former rug and carpet dealer Nedret Gürler once stated: ‘Color is like the appearance of an attractive person; it draws you in. Design is like their personality; it keeps your attention.’ Or perhaps it is as Michael Mandapati of Warp and Weft suggested in the RUG INSIDER Winter 2018 article ‘The Chairman’, when asked what makes a great carpet: ‘It’s everything.’

When researching ‘The Rugs and Carpets of Fallingwater,’ for our Summer 2018 issue, it immediately became apparent that given the current popularity of Moroccan carpets, an article about mimicking the look of Fallingwater would have to be written. A survey of the pages of ‘Fallingwater’ by Lynda Waggoner reveals photographs of room after room of either white, fluffy, and inviting Beni Ourain rugs or more lively and red colored embroidered flatweaves; both of these readily available in today’s marketplace. But is it right, (or Wright) simply to duplicate the aesthetic?

As textural and familiar as a coarse and nubby couture tweed, as richly hued as a radiant sunset reflecting sea and shore, the perpendicular striae of this rug hint at the woven nature of textile. The placement of color conveys the appearance of age, patina, and wear as well as a hint of the unknown, hidden by static.

Mid-Century Modern is a style that spans several decades and whose iconic aesthetic remains relevant even in this time. True period carpets differ greatly from those of today which take retrospective influence from the form, yet all remain undeniably modern in context. This is the enduring power, the glory, of “Modern Love.”

The oriental rug trade has changed tremendously over the past two decades, to the point where the description is no longer even politically correct. It has been replaced by the more generic ‘area rug’ or ‘decorative rug trade.’  The way we do business here at Persian Gallery New York has also evolved enormously over the two past decades. We went from being a traditional wholesale trade business that was very insular and protected, in which a client had to go through a retailer or interior designer to gain access, to a modern, high tech, global operation, where the emphasis is on being digital. In addition to a highly functional website, including high resolution digital images, there is email, social media, live chat and being accessible and available on all of them 24-7. All those platforms require having your product available wherever the user's smart-phone is likely to take them, and with the minimal number of taps and swipes.

Though Alicia Keshishian comes from an Armenian rug family well steeped in the trade of quintessentially ‘oriental’ carpets, her aesthetic is decidedly modern. RUG INSIDER talks with the rug designer and color expert to gauge what defines—or often redefines—an aesthetic.

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