Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Hello! So, I found quite a few different yarns that are all potential candidates for my restoration project. It's dark right now so I'll wait until it's daylight to take pictures to show you what I have to choose from - it's never a perfect match, but with any luck, I'll be able to closely match the kilim colors. The best restoration is one that you have to struggle to find once it's done. And to achieve that, the right yarn is key. Stay tuned for more soon.

I was the bearer of some bad news for a client today. I thought I'd write about it to you because it's a problem that so many of my clients have had and a problem that's very easy to avoid. My client inherited some rugs from her grandmother a few years ago. They were truly beautiful rugs - over a century old - and very unique. My client couldn't use the rugs right away so she put them in plastic bags and stored them in the back of a closet. A few days ago, my client took the rugs out and found entire motifs carved out - eaten by moths! The carpets are entirely ruined. It would be possible to restore them, but the damage is so extensive that restoration would be much more expensive than the underlying value of the rugs. Of course, the sentimental value is still there - which is why I was so sad to have to tell her that this problem could have been avoided had she properly moth proofed the rugs before putting them away for so long. Never ever store any wool products in a plastic bag - it just provides the right hot and humid environment for moth larvae to damage your items. And a closet is a terrible place to store rugs - rugs are textiles that need to breathe. So, here's a tip for the day - although there is no 100% protection against moths - try to minimize potential damage and store rugs (after they have been cleaned) in a place where there is cross ventilation and never use plastic bags for storage. -

Monday, March 15, 2010

A New Time and A New Project

The day is rainy, dreary, and we all lost an hour of sleep last night thanks to daylight savings time. Still, I hope you're all doing well out there. I want to share with you news about my latest project. I am repairing a nice Gocmen kilim that has a significant number of tears, holes, and wear. I like big projects like this and I want to share details of my progress. So here it goes - here are some "before shots" of the first major hole I'm going to repair.

Quite a job, but should be a lot of fun. Tomorrow, I'm heading to my storage place where I have my secret stash of what I think are the most beautiful yarns of almost every color and every age. -

Monday, February 22, 2010

welcome to my new blog.

Hello everyone,

Welcome to my new blog. I am excited about creating a new forum to meet people, exchange ideas, and just generally share information about some of my passions in life - carpets, kilims, cecims, orchids, and antique watches. Nerdy, I know. But it’s what I grew up with and what I love.

So let me start today by talking about my first passion – the kilim. The word kilim, or “kelam,” literally means a letter or composition in the Arabic language. And the kilim itself is a letter, a woven letter, of various motifs filled with meaning, history, and hallmarks of an ancient tradition. One of the most popular motifs still in use today, and what is believed to have been the first known motif is known as “hands on hips,” an example which can be seen here.It represents female power and it’s believed to have been developed to symbolize the female role in reproduction (early Anatolians didn’t know that males have a function in reproduction, when that was discovered, the second known Anatolian motif was developed, appropriately called “the ram horn” motif). Usually the hands on hips and ram horn motifs are used together – they symbolize a union of man and woman, a joining of two great powers. I’ll take the next few entries to share more about kilim weaving, motifs, and dyes, but I’ll leave all that for the upcoming days.

If at any point anyone out there would like to share pictures of their kilims, please do so. I love to see what’s out there, what people have preserved, and what has made its way to different corners of the world. Thanks for joining me here – and I look forward to sharing much more with you all. -