Resources for Collectors of Area Rugs
Article discusses the history and progress made in the Tibetan rug industry, although it states that the public still is mixed in feeling towards the industry. 'Tibetan Rugs - A Tribal Tradition' was met with derision and incredulity by the traditional Tibetophile crowd at the time of its publication. The market and collector focus had revolved around pictorial designs, and those with Buddhist elements. Geometrics and simple patterns were scorned in spite of Philip Denwood's 1974 publication that casually mentioned that these were in fact the oldest rugs extant from the plateau region. Where is the market today? Most runners to Tibet go to Beijing to look for rugs and to other locales in China. Tibet itself has been mined and the availability of good, old Tibetan rugs is very, very limited. The adventure, the excitement of going to Lhasa to look for rugs is over. The time is past when Tibetan rugs will come onto the market, fresh from the plateau region itself.
This website of Thomas Cole, maker of antique rugs and textiles, provides information about recent acquisitions, Central Asia photos and more. Articles discuss opportunities to learn about and collect tribal weaving that existed in Persia and especially its capital, Tehran in the late 1960s and early 1970s were as exhilarating as they were unparalleled. Cole is a family-oriented private dealer who specializes in tribal weavings and textiles of art historical and ethnographic significance from Central Asia. He has been active in the antique tribal rug and textile art trade for the past twenty years. Having lived a good part of his life in, and traveled extensively through, Asia, he is familiar with diverse textile and woven art traditions from the Near East and Persia, through Central Asia, and the Silk Road to China. More recently he has become a frequent visitor to both Turkey and the Central Asian Republic of Turkmenistan.
This is an excellent information site that will especially be appreciated by people just stepping into the world of handmade carpets. It's been awarded with the Britannica Internet Guide Selection due to its correct content. The site has a section on the history of carpet making, which was probably developed on the plains of Central Asia. You can learn about the categories of Oriental carpets (nomadic carpets, village carpets and workshop carpets) depending on where they are made. There is information on styles and origin of carpets, which include Persian, Afghani, Pakistani, Baluchi, Turkmenistan, Caucasian, Indo, Tibetan, Turkish, Chinese, East Turkestan, European and North African. There is a section on the manufacturing process of a handmade carpet as well as a glossary. The site also provides information on making a carpet purchasing and carpet maintenance.
Site includes information about Oriental rugs, and is based in Almaty (Kazakhstan), though many cities in Central Asia help find the best carpets. Rugs include Turkmen, Caucasian, Chinese, Persian, Kazakh, as well as an array of decorative items and antique rugs. A gallery of carpets includes photos, while a section on carpet making discusses how people use carpet purchasing for the status of their homes, and how to make the distinction between quality and shifty rugs. Evolution section includes the history of carpeting. Some basics for those entering rug collecting include a glossary defining terms such as Sumak, Kilim, Suzani, and Tekemet.