Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Real Nomadic Rug

...Nomads, by definition, cannot own a beautiful house with a garden, a swimming pool, a conservatory and other wonderful immovable things, or they will stop being nomads. No beach cottages (do not go there right now, for you will not be back soon),  no supermarkets, dry clean, fast food, and even no shower. They have their livestock and yurts - and, of course, they have the whole desert and the sky above it... And obviously because they own so few material things, they have to make them as beautiful as possible. Their saddle bags, rugs, clothing, wooden doors of the yurt, runners - everything is lavishly decorated in bright colors, with patterns and symbols with deep ritual meaning. In many cases the meaning of symbols is lost, but the symbols are still used...

If you ever happen to visit Uzbekistan, make sure you have time to go to Nukus (the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan) to see the Karakalpak Museum of Arts founded by Savitsky. Besides unique collection of Russian and Uzbek avant garde art, the museum owns amazing pieces of Karakalpakstan folk art, including a yurt and its accessories. I was very impressed when I saw it for the first time, about 12 years ago.

I remembered nomads today because I took out the pieces of the most beautiful ethnic rug I bought recently to look at and photograph. Our rug pillows introduced recently were a success; at least I hope so (I have already received good feedback and hope that the other buyers will love their pillows, too). They were sold in a moment, and I only have one left of the second series. Now I am offering new rug cushion covers, made of a beautifully worn rug in autumn colors - I only listed them today. All these were made of soft and silky vintage rugs, made of silk and cotton or rayon; they are beautiful and lovely to the touch, and certainly more 'civilized' than a kilim made of coarse and itchy wool.

However, what I found recently is the most stunning, wildly beautiful, unusual and insane rug I have ever seen - not civilized at all. Behold!

The tribal pattern is intricate, and the colors are very autumn-like, festive and vivid. The color scheme is not very usual; the combination of pumpkin orange, dark blue, brick red, navy and sage makes me sigh in admiration every time I look at it.

As you can see, the pile is very thick, and it creates a striking contrast between well-preserved areas and worn out ones.The rug has holes and patches... it has certainly seen a lot during its long life. 

These two pieces are just enough for two medium sized pillow cases. They will not be easy to make, but I am sure they will be breathtaking. I know it is a very banal thing to say, but it never ceases to amaze me how things can travel around the globe; who know where these pieces of old nomadic rug will end up? and will  they be bought together or will be parted? We will see... I hope to offer them in my Etsy shop next week.

By the way, even though this is a very real nomadic rug, it is not coarse and itchy at all. It might have been owned by a family with distinguished taste.


  1. Thank you for you amazing stories, you are opening the whole new world of vintage textile for me! I enjoyed this rug tale very much.

  2. Very interesting article. Informative, thank you!

  3. Such a beauty! I'm sure the new pillows will look amazing!

  4. Indeed a "stunning, wildly beautiful, unusual and insane" piece of folk art!!! The pillows will be amazing! I'm dreaming again...


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