I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Saturday, April 25, 2015

How to buy a Persian carpet

There's a ritual involved that's almost as detailed as the carpets.

First you're invited to sit on these stools and offered coffee or tea. While you sip, you make small talk about your travels, what you've seen, where you're going. (Which, sadly for us, is home the day after tomorrow.)

Then you watch a video about how the carpets are made, how the wool and silk is dyed with indigo and pomegranate and madder and a dye made from insects similar to cochineal, how the patterns are planned and then the actual knotting done, and how each region has its own distinct styles of carpet-making.

Finally, some of the actual merchandise is displayed, carpets brought out one or two at a time, and gently unrolled on the floor.

After a few dozen carpets of different sizes and styles have been displayed and discussed, someone will ask about the prices. Which, when you now consider how many months of work it takes to produce one of these beauties, suddenly seem perfectly reasonable.

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