Sunday, December 16, 2012
Now, I know that this sounds just a little boring, but it doesn't have to be. It's not just the carpet that is beautiful, especially the hand-made ones, but there is also the whole process of buying a carpet. I'm talking about buying a carpet in the Middle East, although your local trader might give you the same service. You don’t have to buy a carpet; you can simply enjoy the show.
There is something incredibly relaxing about sitting in the shop, having a cup of tea brought around to you, and then going through the styles of carpets on offer. The number of carpets seems to muffle the stress of life and take the sharp edges off the day. I have spent a long time in such places, learning the difference between those carpets from Tabriz, Kerman, Esfahan, Qom, Nain in Iran, Bukhara, and Samarkand, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, along with various tribal designs from the Middle East. And I have enjoyed every minute of it.
I should note at this point that I hate shopping, but shopping for carpets does not feel like shopping to me. There are the different materials, from the wool on wool carpets, cotton-based carpets, the silk inlaid wool carpets, the silk on silk carpets that are so fine that you’d be scared of walking on them for fear of causing damage. But this is the point about carpets; they are made to be walked on. The more you walk on a wool carpet, the more you smooth the coarse wool fibres and make it feel soft and almost silky.
I am a sucker for a good Persian carpet, but that is my preference, there are many other options for fine carpets. And carpets don’t lose their value either. The more you wear a carpet, the more character it gets, and, provided that it is a genuine hand-made carpet with good tight knots, the better it will become. A good carpet is a feature of your house, both as a work of art, and also as friend to your feet.