Perfect Imperfection

There is no doubt that a carpet serves a number of practical purposes in the home. Not only does a carpet help keep our floors warm and comfortable to walk on, but it can also cover imperfections and protect our floors from dents and damage. Besides these practicalities, a carpet also serves an aesthetic purpose and is considered to be an important element in one’s home decor.

When we choose a carpet we always pay close attention to it’s appearance and the overall impression and ”feel” that it gives. Much the same as a painting, a handmade carpet can be seen as a unique piece of art. One of the things that gives that uniqueness and personal charm to a handmade carpet is the traces that prove that they have actually been made by hand by a person and not a machine. In other words, what can sometimes be perceived as a flaw or an imperfection, can actually serve to give personality and charm to the carpet.

Below you will find a quick guide to the most common imperfections that might just help you appreciate the uniqueness in your ”one of a kind” carpet.

Abrash

Nomadic and village carpets sometimes show a variation in the coloring and the tone may not be exactly the same throughout the carpet, a phenomenon known as an abrash. Since the yarn used in these carpets is colored under modest conditions (often in the village home or country-side), this variation is not considered a defect, but rather a charming reminder of the weaver’s simple work conditions. 

The mirror effect


Balance is commonly obtained by symmetry. In the case of traditional carpets it is common to find “the mirror effect”. The mirror effect means that if we would fold the carpet in the middle, it’s design would be identical on both sides. In certain cases however, although the pattern may appear to be similar, this is not respected and each side looks slightly different to the other.

The weaver’s personal touch

In most cases, nomadic weavers weave from memory. The knotting process of a carpet may take well over a few months to complete and during this process a weaver might have to set this task aside for other more urgent matters. It is not uncommon that a weaver leaves a carpet untouched for a longer period of time and when work is finally resumed, the weaver might very well have made changes to the initial pattern he had in mind when he first started out. 

Size and shape 

An otherwise perfectly symmetrical and evenly colored Persian carpet can sometimes have an uneven and asymmetrical shape. The most common reason for this is that the weaver has tied the threads in the loom with unnoticed variations in strength. Before the carpet is completed, the weaver can change the strength and the type of loom used for the weaving which will have an impact on the shape and measurements of the finished carpet. A variation of up to 7-8 cm is considered acceptable in a handmade carpet.

Pile cut unevenly

One of the last stages in the production of a carpet is the polishing. It is at this point that the pile of the carpet is trimmed to the length desired by the weaver. Since this is normally done by hand, it is very difficult to achieve an even cut in the whole pile and some areas might end up with a slightly longer pile than others.

What some people might consider as an error, a default or a flaw in a handmade carpet may on the contrary actually increase it’s value and add to it’s charm. An imperfection can help make your carpet a perfect ”one of a kind” work of art, to be admired for many years to come.

Picture 1. One of our collectible pieces, Kerman carpet, dates back to approximately the 1950's

Picture 2. Beautiful Lori carpet with visible abrash

Picture 3. Kayseri Patina carpet with a pile cut unevenly


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