Wednesday, November 7, 2007

5 million Active in Carpet Industry

5m Active in Carpet Industry

Villagers will earn some extra money and fill their leisure time in non-agricultural seasons by weaving carpets.

Head of National Carpet Center has announced that handwoven Persian carpets ranked third among Iran’s export items after oil and petrochemical products.
Morteza Faraji further stated that five million Iranians are involved in the handmade carpet industry, IRNA reported. “No industry in the country creates job for such large number of the people,“ he noted.
Highlighting the importance of the industry, the official stated that people in rural areas will earn money and fill their leisure time in non-agricultural seasons by weaving carpets.
Faraji stressed that the industry needs the support of all Iranians to survive.
Meanwhile, a senior commercial official said that a draft bill on protection of and legal support for design of carpets is now being drawn up.
Head of the Commercial Studies and Research Institute Mahmoud Dodangeh said the bill is aimed at providing legal support for handwoven Persian carpets design and motif overseas.
Once approved, the bill would deal with imitation of Iranian carpets and their presentation to the market under the name of Persian carpets, said the official.
Weavers from China, India and Pakistan have recently imitated the features of Persian carpets and sold them in the name of various Iranian tribes, he added.
Features of Persian carpets, such as the motifs, warps and woofs and knots, depend on the geography of the area, where they are woven, he said.
Dodangeh said that such imitation would mislead foreign customers and make them lose confidence in Persian carpets, he noted. In the long-run, this would also be detrimental to the country’s original carpet-weaving craft, concluded the official.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Gabbeh Industry in Uncertain State

Gabbeh Industry in Uncertain State

Although ’Gabbeh’ is classified as a handicraft, Iran’s National Carpet Center is in charge of managing the affairs of this industry.
Speaking to ISNA, deputy head of Bushehr Traditional Arts and Handicrafts Department Ahmad Dehaz further said that about 25,000 out of the 40,000 artisans in the province are involved in weaving the Gabbeh, which is a kind of floor covering made from colored yarns.
However, Traditional Arts and Handicrafts Department, which is in charge of Jajim and Kelim industries, is not responsible for the affairs of Gabbeh artisans who have to seek their dues from the National Carpet Center, he noted.
Stating that craftsmen have the right to complain about the negligence towards Gabbeh weaving, Dehaz further said that there is no doubt that the conditions of the industry will improve once it comes under the jurisdiction of the department.
Carpet Joint Stock Company is represented in several provinces but it lacks the expertise to deal with Gabbeh, he said, noting that under the law, the department cannot support the industry.
Commenting on the changes in the color and design of Gabbeh woven in the province, Dehaz said that they should take market demands into account.

Friday, June 22, 2007

THE WATER-SAVER Gregory Kasparian, Turco-Persian Rug Co., Toronto

Turco-Persian Rug Co has a new President, Jessica Kasparian. I expect the same great service and integrity as with her father and his father before him. I first heard about Turco-Persian Rug Co from the late James Mark "Uncle Jimmy" Keshishian A.S.A. "Uncle Jimmy" was America's greatest rug dealer in his day and he recommended the Kasparian's highly.

June 21, 2007



In the cavernous cleaning area of Turco-Persian Rug Co., carpets snake their way through shaking, scrubbing and rinsing machines, while workers attack stains by hand. When this place is in full swing, Turco-Persian can clean up to 200 carpets a week--and wash away more than 11,350 litres of hot water each day, about the same as taking a 14-hour shower. And that's an improvement: Until owner Gregory Kasparian installed automatic shut-offs that close the taps when there's no rug on the line, Turco-Persian used twice the water it does now.

It's hard to believe Kasparian--who took over the century-old business from his father--when he insists financial concerns trump environmental ones. He was thinking about saving energy long before it was fashionable. In the 1960s, an architect who was helping to expand the facilities told him not to bother insulating the building. Natural gas was so cheap, he said, that he'd never make back the cost of insulation. Kasparian did it anyway. "It's amazing how things change, isn't it?" he says.

More Stories
And last year, the 69-year-old traded in his gas guzzler for a hybrid Toyota Camry. Then he signed up with Bullfrog Power, the first 100% green electricity retailer in Ontario. Bullfrog's energy mix comes entirely from wind and low-impact power sources, but it doesn't come cheap. At 9.1 cents per kilowatt-hour, it costs 30% more than conventional hydro. Kasparian estimates his company's energy bills have gone up by an average of $450 a month, on top of already huge costs of $1,300.

In the cleaning room sits a new hot-water heating system designed by QuikWater, based in Oklahoma. The system, which cost $35,000, forces water through a series of stainless-steel packing rings that are warmed by a gas burner. The process is 99% efficient--almost no heat is lost in exhaust, and no huge hot-water tank sits in the corner constantly sucking energy. All the fluorescent lights have been equipped with electronic regulators that mean the fixtures consume one-third less electricity. Even the soap Turco-Persian uses, made locally by Sohan Chemicals, is free of harsh detergents.

Upstairs in the drying room, where a couple hundred Persian rugs hang like the flags of fallen empires, the sauna-like air was once vented directly outside. Now, that air is stripped of moisture and recirculated, and incoming air is prewarmed through a heat-exchange system. The upgrade cost Turco-Persian more than $48,000 two years ago. But the company that installed it told Kasparian he'd save $20,000 a year on his gas bills. So far, they're right on target.

Despite Kasparian's efforts, he doesn't tout Turco-Persian as a green company. In fact, he seems keenly aware that it still has a large environmental footprint. Hot water is still a concern, so next on his list of planned improvements are solar panels that will preheat water coming into the building, before it gets to the hot-water tank. He's in the initial stages of calculating whether the savings will justify the cost. But Kasparian will likely go ahead regardless--consider it an investment in future generations. "If we can do it," he says, "anyone can."

--Ken Hunt

World's largest carpet to be unveiled by Iran Carpet

World's largest carpet to be unveiled
Wed, 06 Jun 2007 10:48:00

Iranians have earned $8.6m from weaving the world's largest carpet measuring 5,627 square meters.
The world's largest and most exquisite hand-woven carpet will be unveiled in Tehran in the near future, a carpet industry official has said.

The Managing Director of the Iran Carpet Joint Stock Company, Jalaleddin Bassam, also said the carpet has been woven by Iranian weavers at the behest of the United Arab Emirates.

The company earned 80 billion rials ($8.6 million) from weaving the world's largest carpet measuring 5,627 square meters.

"It will take us three months to install the carpet in a mosque in Abu Dubai," Mehr news agency quoted Bassam as saying, who added his company has since received dozens of orders from the United Arab Emirates.

"Our company is going to weave 24 carpets and two carpet tableaus measuring a sum of 550 square meters for the UAE with a value of $1 billion," he said.

The official added several Europe-based Iranian merchants have also ordered hand-woven carpets measuring more than 2,000 square meters.

"Receiving orders from abroad will bring prestige and profit for Iranian carpet weavers," he said.

Iran exported $364 million worth of carpets last year but its share of the global carpet market is at risk as India and Pakistan move towards producing low-cost carpets for international buyers.

Iran, Pakistan and India are major carpet producers and produce roughly 43, 26 and 24 percent of the world's carpets respectively.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Peter Pap in Fortune Small Business Mag

Rugs to riches
Our experts smooth the wrinkles in a carpet dealer's expansion plans.
Brian O'Reilly/San Francisco
June 7 2007: 11:13 AM EDT

(FSB Magazine) -- AS A SUCCESSFUL DEALER IN ORIENTAL RUGS for more than three decades, Peter Pap has a well-honed sense of the market. These days he's picking up vibes that make him both excited and increasingly anxious. He sees a once-in-a-generation opportunity looming in the business. Back in the postwar boom years, wealthy Americans went on a shopping spree, snapping up valuable antiques, including rugs, in Europe. Now, as those folks die or downsize into retirement homes, their kids, lacking space (or, perhaps, taste) are selling the family heirlooms. Serious collectors all over the world are eager to bid. Pap is impatient to better tap this burgeoning trade and grow his business, Peter Pap Oriental Rugs. But it's not easy.

PAP, 52, IS A SELF-DESCRIBED perfectionist who drowns in administrative detail, from shipping hassles to insurance paperwork. "I do best buying and selling," he says, "but I'm spending 80% of my time doing what others should do." He wants to borrow money to buy rugs, but he's frustrated because banks won't let him use his multimillion-dollar inventory as collateral. Not least, Pap is thwarted by technology. His website ( offers photos of only a few rugs, and images are slow to open, which frustrates potential customers. His showrooms in San Francisco (where Pap lives) and Dublin, N.H., use different accounting programs, which complicates bookkeeping. Staying in touch with important customers is a spotty effort; he doesn't have even a simple customer-relationship-management program.

Admitting he was stuck, Pap contacted FSB for a Makeover, and we assembled a crack team of consultants to help. To conquer administrative hassles, Pap met with Chris Abess, 42, a management expert at the San Francisco office of Deloitte Consulting. For insight into the mysteries of small-business banking, he sat down with Ivan Ruiz, 29, a senior loan officer at Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco. And for technical difficulties, Patrick Cook, 40, came from San Jose, where he is chief technology strategist for the Small Business Technology Institute, a nonprofit that helps tech-challenged entrepreneurs.

At a coffee shop near Pap's San Francisco showroom, Abess pulls out a list of questions. Pap, he learns, is one of a handful of U.S. dealers with the expertise and resources to buy and sell the most costly rugs, including some that go for $250,000. (Pap is also a frequent guest on PBS's Antiques Roadshow.) His 2006 sales were $3.5 million, and his business is profitable.

Many of his customers are wealthy art and furniture collectors seeking magic carpets for their well-appointed mansions. But Pap confesses that he often spends more time educating a new customer interested in a $5,000 rug than catering to an old one willing to spend $250,000. "I love fine rugs, and I want other people to love them too," says Pap. "I want to teach them everything." Unlike many brick-and-mortar merchants, he doesn't worry that shoppers will educate themselves at his expense and then hunt for better deals online. Every antique rug is unique, after all. And he will buy any rug back at the original price if the customer finds another Pap rug that he likes better. Pap concedes that he is mismanaging his most valuable asset: his loyal following among the nation's serious collectors. He rarely makes time to call them. He has neglected to collect many of their e-mail addresses. Even if he had an up-to-date e-mail list, Pap lacks an effective online marketing program.

"In the world of antique rugs, you're a celebrity," Abess comments. "And Peter Pap Oriental Rugs has become a celebrity business." However, Pap is violating a cardinal rule: Celebrities even niche ones should never try to manage their businesses day-to-day. Pap needs to hire a marketing manager and an administrator so that he can concentrate on buying and selling rugs. Pap and his marketing manager should analyze the customer list to decide how and when to contact former buyers. Every day afterward, Pap should get a list of customers to call. "And shame on you if you haven't talked to them in two years," Abess adds, only half in jest.

Pap's marketing manager should build relationships with art dealers, high-end homebuilders, design-magazine editors, and interior designers. Other salespeople should take over the time-consuming task of educating first-time buyers. Pap could also add educational features to his website, such as rug FAQs or even a staff-written rug blog. Although customers can view pictures of the rugs on the site, Pap's business doesn't lend itself to remote online sales. High-end rug buyers prefer to touch and feel the product before they buy. The new administrator should handle operations such as insurance, shipping, and finance.

By the time he meets with Ivan Ruiz from Wells Fargo Bank, Pap is itching for a loan to fund his great escape from administrative purgatory. Pap hopes to borrow several million, but not just to add inventory. "I want to ramp up the business with new employees, more advertising, more PR," he says. His collateral: some 1,000 antique rugs, worth several million dollars. Pap leads Ruiz to his basement office. In contrast to the well-lit showroom on the first floor, Pap's workspace is dark except for a few fluorescent lights hanging between the floor joists. Rugs, rolled and tied in brown string, are stacked in every corner. And the un-heated office is so chilly that the bookkeeper is wearing a parka at her desk.

Ruiz is a friendly guy with a lopsided grin, but he makes it clear that he has some reservations about doling out dough. He starts by outlining some basic rules about small-business banking. Commercial lenders will analyze Pap's balance sheet to make sure his business is properly capitalized. "We don't want you to have to sell a rug to pay the electric bill," Ruiz says. Bankers typically lend three dollars for every dollar of equity in the business. Pap is clearly disappointed. He had hoped he could qualify for a larger loan by using rugs as collateral. Ruiz demurs politely. Pap challenges him, pointing out that bankers often lend against buildings or equipment. Why not rugs? Ruiz shakes his head. Banks can establish the market value of buildings and equipment, and they can be sold quickly if the borrower defaults. "We don't have experts who can value rugs," he says, and selling them takes a special skill.

RUIZ SUGGESTS A SO-CALLED 7A project loan backed by the Small Business Administration ( Commercial banks dole out more than $15 billion in 7A loans each year. The loans are available to any qualified U.S. entrepreneur, regardless of gender or ethnicity. If Pap intends to use the money to expand his business, the agency might guarantee the loan based on anticipated earnings, not historical cash flow. Pap is intrigued but noncommittal, so Ruiz offers a few more suggestions. Pap should find a bank he likes and get to know a lending officer. Bankers are more willing to lend to someone they know and trust, Ruiz says.

Later that afternoon, Patrick Cook of the Small Business Technology Institute gets an earful of the dealer's tech woes. "It takes forever for someone to download an image from my website," Pap laments. "When I'm in New Hampshire, I could make a cup of tea in the time it takes to get a reply from the server in San Francisco." Cook is a former manager of technology services for British banking giant Barclay's. He grills Pap about his connection to the Internet and offers a quick solution. Pap's 462K DSL connection is too slow. Pap needs to upgrade to a faster DSL line (cable can be slower depending on local traffic levels). Cook also advises Pap to get a more direct and powerful connection. "Try setting up servers with fat pipes high-capacity connections to the web in several places around the country to speed things up," he says. Firms such as Covad and EarthLink provide this service.

Cook also advises Pap to invest in CRM (customer relations management) software that will help him make use of his customer data. CRM software for small business is an increasingly crowded field, but leading products include Entellium CRM (, Microsoft Dynamics (, and SAP Business One ( He should also focus on collecting customers' e-mail addresses. That would enable him to launch a more sophisticated marketing campaign aimed at the buyers most likely to purchase the rare rugs that are now beginning to come on the market.

A few weeks later Pap reports that he's following up on the advice. He bought a budget consultation from Deloitte: For a small, un-disclosed fee, a Deloitte consultant spent a week with Pap during the Winter Antiques Show in New York City. He helped Pap install software that captured contact data from shoppers who visited his booth. Even if only a few browsers buy rugs, the investment will have been worth it, Pap says. He also asked for more tech help from the Small Business Technology Institute. As for a loan, he plans to work the kinks out of his business plan before visiting bankers. As with all our Makeover subjects, we will stay in touch with Pap, and keep you posted on his progress.


CHRIS ABESS is a management expert who works out of the San Francisco office of industry powerhouse Deloitte Consulting. (

PATRICK COOK is the chief technology strategist for the Small Business Technology Institute, a nonprofit in San Jose. (

IVAN RUIZ is a senior loan officer at Wells Fargo Bank, a prominent commercial lending institution headquartered in San Francisco. (


FSB's consultants provided a wealth of advice for a logistically challenged rug merchant.


Peter Pap Oriental Rugs (


San Francisco and Dublin, N.H.


$3.5 million


Sells antique Oriental carpets.


Pap is swamped with time-consuming administrative responsibilities and technology problems that are hampering his ability to capitalize on a boom in high-end antique carpets.

Our consultants suggested tech fixes and advised Pap to hire an administrator to handle the day-today, as well as a marketing manager to oversee an organized campaign to reach serious rug collectors.

Do you have business advice for Peter Pap? If so, please write to us at We will publish selected responses in a future issue of FSB.

To give feedback, please write to

To write a note to the editor about this article, click here.

From the May 1, 2007 issue

Saturday, June 16, 2007

"Baluch" from the Collection of Mark Hopkins

The New England Rug Society Presents An ACOR 8 Exhibit

"Baluch" from the Collection of Mark Hopkins
I was quite pleased to see that NERS has posted a very nice exhibition from the Mark Hopkins' Collection. Mark has an interesting approach which he discusses in his introduction. He pretty well dismisses the ethnographic significance of the pieces and looks at them as art. The show focuses on a very narrow group of rugs with a large degree of repetition of design elements. While one may agree or disagree with Mark's approach focus instead on the unity and cohesiveness of the collection and seek to understand what an important collector saw in it.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hope as stolen rugs mysteriously returned

Hope as stolen rugs mysteriously returned
RUGS stolen from a charity shop trying to raise money to build schools in Afghanistan have been mysteriously returned.

They were dropped off at Saraswati, in Holyrood Road, by a taxi driver who had been flagged down in the street on Saturday, at about 3.40pm.

The five rugs are among the less expensive of the ones taken and worth about £500 in total. However, it has given the owners hope the others may yet be returned.

Ten Afghan rugs worth about £2800 in total were taken during the raid, which took place at some point over the bank holiday weekend leading up to May 28.

It has endangered the future of the charity shop and its efforts to raise money to build schools in the war-torn country.

Dan Gorman, project manager with the Edinburgh University Settlement, which was set up by the university but is now independent, said: "I'm hopeful this is going to lead to us getting the rest back.

"If there's any chance of that happening we've got to hang on to it because we really need to see the others returned.

"I think when the story of the theft appeared in the Evening News it pulled a few heart strings and someone has had a pang of conscience.

"I hope they are now realising the importance of the work that this charity shop is trying to do, and how much it is needed by a small community."

Mr Gorman was not in the shop on Saturday when the rugs were returned.

Instead, it was a volunteer who took them off the taxi driver and before he was able to find out what had happened the cabbie had left.

Mr Gorman said: "There were a few volunteers in the shop at the time. This taxi pulled up, the driver got out, and he had in the back this bundle of rugs. The volunteer did not know the background and did not really know what was going on. The taxi driver just said a woman in her 40s had flagged him down and given them to him."

The rugs have been identified as ones taken from the shop and are still in immaculate condition.

They include two Turkmen carpets, two Kuchi kilns, and another kiln that had not originally been identified as missing.

However, several items, including some expensive rugs, have not yet been returned.

The include a large felt rug, about four metres squared, with brown and blue lines, worth £400, and a large yellow rug with two large red pomegranates in the middle and a surround border of small pomegranates, worth £1040.

Two Zeigler rugs with distinctive stripy designs, worth £380 for the pair; two Beluch Runners - long red designed carpets, which look classically Persian, long enough to sit in a passageway or on stairs, which are worth £400 in total; and two Turkmen carpets, which also look classically Persian, with heavy design work and are mainly red, worth £500 combined, are all still missing.

A £32 bag and six Gudjeri cushions, which have stripy carpet on front, and wine-coloured velvet on the back, worth £48 in total, were also stolen in the raid.

The majority of the money raised through these rugs would have gone to building schools in north-east Afghanistan. However, Saraswati is also selling traditional tribal dresses made by Afghan women and the money from that will go to a charity called Zan that helps women in the country.

Int'l hand-woven carpet exhibit Tabriz Iran in July

Int'l hand-woven carpet exhibit due
Thu, 14 Jun 2007 08:51:44

Persian hand-woven carpet, a distinguished part of Iran and culture, ranks first in the global market.
Big names of the world's hand-woven carpet industry will display their finest carpets at an international exhibition slated for July in Iran.

The Iranian northwestern city of Tabriz, one of the best-known carpet-weaving centers, will host the international event on July 12-18.

Leading handmade carpet suppliers from around the world will join their Iranian peers at the exhibit to showcase their products, IRNA reported.

The exhibition will give Iranian merchants a chance to secure a foothold in international markets and find new customers for their high quality Persian rugs.

Persian rugs are part and parcel of the Iranian art and culture. Carpet-weaving in Iran dates back to 3,500 BC.

Currently Iran ranks first in the global carpet market with a share of 41 percent.

Speaking at an international exhibition of hand-woven carpets on Kish Island in early May, Iran's Commerce Minister said Iran holds a 41-percent share of the global carpet market with export value reaching $400 million in 2006.

Massoud Mir-Kazemi said that over 2,000 active Iranian carpet shops have been identified in Europe and the US and the figure is anticipated to increase

Friday, June 1, 2007

Travails Of Dagestan’s Pilgrim Rug Traders

Travails Of Dagestan’s Pilgrim Traders

The annual pilgrimage to Mecca this February brought big money to some Dagestanis, and a lot of trouble to others.

By Musa Musayev in Makhachkala (CRS No.170, 14-Mar-03)

Embarking on their holy pilgrimage to Mecca at the beginning of February, middle-aged Dagestani couple Ibragim and Aishat Magomedov made do on a very modest budget. They paid 1300 US dollars for the trip, and teamed up with 25 other pilgrims in a shabby old bus. The driver charged very little, but each of the pilgrims also chipped in for food.

The trip south through Azerbaijan was easy, but then the bus got a flat tire and the brakes broke. It took the driver four days to fix the vehicle. The engine broke in Iran, and they had to hire a tow truck to get to the Iraqi border. In Iraq, the engine completely gave out, so they had to hire a tractor.

“We wouldn’t have made it all, but then drivers of three KAMAZ trucks from Dagestan that just happened to be driving by agreed to take us the rest of the way. So we got to Mecca on the very first day of the Hajj,” Ibragim told IWPR.

The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, is one of the five pillars of Islam and something every practicing Muslim tries to do once in his lifetime. Every February, about two million Muslims from all over the world flock to Mecca.

For Russian Muslims, who have been allowed to make the trip since 1993, the journey is often prohibitively expensive and many try to make back their money while they are in Saudi Arabia.

Fourteen thousand pilgrims from Russia made the journey in 1995, but since then the number has fallen to around 5,000 a year, almost all travelling overland. Up to 80 per cent come from impoverished Dagestan. The Hajj costs at least 800-1000 dollars to make, while the average monthly wage in the republic is only 30-40 dollars.

When on the Hajj, every Muslim is required to forget about his daily worries and cleanse himself from impure thoughts and desires through a succession of religious rites. Ibragim and Aishat, however, could not abandon worldly concerns. “We would have returned without a penny if we hadn’t brought some rugs hand-woven by our daughters. We carried them around even during the rites, until we eventually sold them,” recalled Ibragim.

It didn’t take long to sell the rugs, as Saudis expect to buy merchandise from the Russian pilgrims.

To cut expenses, Russian pilgrims used to travel in KAMAZ heavy-duty trucks, which fitted with side shelves for the pilgrims, while the luggage stayed on the bottom. In 1999, Saudi Arabia banned the vehicles, branding them “uncivilized”, and ordering all pilgrims travelling overland to use cars or buses instead – although the ban has not been strictly enforced.

University professor Murad Kaziev, who went to Mecca this February, met some fellow Dagestanis in Saudi Arabia riding a bus chock-full of merchandise. “I also saw some KAMAZ trucks where people were sitting on the makeshift shelves in the back, and the rest of the space was filled with goods. They were all headed straight for the Jeddah port without stopping in Mecca,” he recalled.

Kaziev said he knows Dagestani pilgrims who have made a fortune shuttling hand-woven rugs from Dagestan, where they cost next to nothing, to buyers in Saudi Arabia. On their way back, these streetwise pilgrims usually stock up on audiovisual equipment, clothes and other consumer goods to sell back home in the northern Caucasus.

Several Dagestani pilgrims reported that one enterprising Makhachkala resident is renting out a warehouse somewhere along the pilgrimage route, making enormous amounts of money by handling Hajj pilgrims’ goods. This year, reportedly, the travellers hawked large quantities of electric drills, tanned hides and woollen socks, which were eagerly snapped up in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“The Koran does not expressly forbid mercantile transactions, but pilgrims are advised to focus on their purification rites during the Hajj,” Kaziev told IWPR. “The trouble is, many of the so-called pilgrims become so involved in commerce they never actually complete their pilgrimage. The traders make money on the Hajj, but religious leaders choose to turn a blind eye to it.”

Big-time entrepreneurs are setting up business alongside the small-time traders. They hire entire fleets of buses or trucks to ship traditional hand-made artefacts out of Dagestan, such as hand-woven woollen rugs or honey.

“In the last few years, especially from 1997 to 1999, about 37 per cent of Dagestani pilgrims were too busy doing business in Saudi Arabia to attend to their religious rites. About 15 per cent never actually made it to Holy Mecca or even Saudi Arabia. They completed their business and returned,” Bikmurza Bikmurzayev of the Dagestani office of the Russian Foreign Ministry, told IWPR.

“There is another problem. Having no knowledge of the local laws in the countries they travel through or in Saudi Arabia, Russian citizens frequently get in trouble there.”

In 2002 alone, foreign ministry officials helped Russian pilgrims win 273 court cases in the countries along the route. All the pilgrims were arrested for selling forbidden goods or otherwise violating trading rules.

Countries along the route have seized hundreds of tons of merchandise - for instance, 30 tons of Dagestani honey is being held in Syria. Dozens of vehicles, which ran out of spare parts, have been abandoned. Several Russian pilgrims are serving time in prison.

Despite their adversities, the Magomedovs are happy they went on the Hajj. On their way back, they joined a group of other pilgrims, who got home much more quickly: their drivers drove non-stop.

Their broken down bus is still in Iraq, and so is the driver. He cannot leave his bus, which is the only source of livelihood for him and his family.

Musa Musaev is a correspondent for Dagestanskaya Pravda newspaper in Makhachkala, Dagestan.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sotheby's Spring Carpet Sale New York

The catalogue is posted and the sale looks interesting. Anyone interested in meeting me at the preview for a walk through please let me know.
Carpets SALE N08326
Session 1: Wednesday, 6 Jun 07, 10:00 AM
Session 2: Wednesday, 6 Jun 07, 2:00 PM
Best wishes,
Barry O’Connell

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Iran Carpet Co. World’s Largest Carpet Complete

NEISHABOUR, Khorasan Razavi, Feb. 23--Iranian carpet weavers have completed the world’s largest carpet in the city of Neishabour, northeast Iran.
The carpet will be brought down in separate pieces from the looms Friday in a special ceremony attended by local officials.
The carpet measures 6,000 square meters, contains over 2 billion knots and has been woven by using 35,000 kg of wool and 12,000 kg of cotton. It took a year to finish, CHN reported.
The design of the carpet is called ’Toranj Afshan’--a composition of flowers, leaves, branches and plants scattered in different directions.
The project was launched upon an order by the United Arab Emirates and Iran’s Carpet Company in Neishabour. It was woven on nine separate looms and will be attached together in the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.
It took 1,200 weavers to complete the carpet whose value is estimated to be $8.2 million.
Iranian weavers had earlier completed two other large-size carpet projects. They included a carpet measuring 5,000 square meters and another measuring 400 square meters which were woven in Isfahan and Khorasan provinces, respectively.
The Persian carpet is one of the most distinguishable manifestations of Persian art and culture, renowned for their richness of color, variety of patterns and quality of design.
Kashan, Isfahan, Tabriz, Mashhad, Kerman, Qom, Nain, Sanandaj, Arak and Hamedan are considered as the cradles of Iran’s traditional carpet industry.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Chyrpy, probably Uzbek the question of False Sleeves

I added Uzbek Rugs: Chyrpy, probably Uzbek, Turkestan to my notes. Compare the long false sleeves to the sleeves of the King in "Big Head" Fariburz and Kay Khusrau dated 1494 . The tradition of long false sleeves is very old in Central Asia.

This whole thing has been a long process of adding together little bits and pieces. By collecting and sorting and resorting and endless linking seems to tie all this together. I am not sure to to what point but I enjoying writing it and many of you enjoy reading it so for now I continue. I am not really sure how much longer however, my days grow busier and my hands get stiffer so one of these days I think I will have to shut this down and take up something else. I may go back to bird watching or go to a seminary. The one in Mankato has been on my mind of late.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell
Cell - 240-988-4866

Friday, April 20, 2007

Oriental Rug Auction Sunday Apr 22 2007


Oriental Rug Auction Sunday - Oriental Rugs & Carpets Sale Date: Apr 22 2007 15:00

Samuel T. Freeman & Co.
1808 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
Tel: 215.563.9275
David Weiss VP - Paintings, Prints & Rugs Ext. 3014
Worth a look: the silk rugs, a tent band, and some nice Serapis.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell
Cell - 240-988-4866

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Best Oriental Rug Cleaning and Restoration Professionals

I am in the process of expanding my list of Carpet cleaners and restorers. Take a look at The Best Oriental Rug Cleaning and Restoration Professionals. Let me know any additions or corrections that I need to make.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell
Cell - 240-988-4866

Sunday, April 8, 2007

US citizens get acquainted with Turkmen ornament art

US citizens get acquainted with Turkmen ornament art

An exhibition dedicated to Turkmen and other Central Asian ornaments used in decoration of traditional national dwellings opened in the Textile Museum of Washington on March 30, the Ashgabat correspondent of reports quoting the State News Service (TDH). The Turkmen exhibits dominate the exhibition. That is why it occupies a separate room. The other room features Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Karakalpak ornaments.

The exhibition inauguration was preceded by a reception on behalf of the Textile Museum of Washington and the Embassy of Turkmenistan in the U.S. Some 400 people, including government officials, a number of universities, famous art critics, diplomats and big businessmen attended the ceremony. The Textile Museum board chairman, Bruce Baganaz, Turkmenistan's Ambassador to the US Mered Orazov and museum director Daniel Walker spoke at the inauguration ceremony.

The exhibition will be open until August 19. Booklets dedicated to the exhibition will be published soon.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Textile Museum Display

It is time to treat Native Americans with dignity and respect
Yours truly,
Barry O'Connell

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Dusty Robert's web site

Hello ,
One little known secret of the Internet is Dusty Robert's web site Nice people and a good discussion. It even has a forum with a Rug ID section.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell


Washington, D.C.- On Thursday, March 29th 2007, the first Afghanistan collection of handcrafted jewelry, home décor, and accessories was launched at Pangea Artisan Market & Café at IFC by Artizan Sarai, a unique online boutique for stylish and socially conscious consumers. The event drew an audience of over 200 people, many who were turned away at the door because of over capacity, who were interested in purchasing the label's highly anticipated collection of handcrafted jewelry, embroidered home décor, and exquisite fashion accessories.

Created by four Afghan-American sisters Alina Atash, Mariam A. Nawabi, Samira Atash, and Zohra Atash, Artizan Sarai blends inspiration from the ancient Silk Road and tempts global trendsetters with its original selection of contemporary and stylish products. The sisters, with career backgrounds in interior design, law, fashion design, and journalism, returned to Afghanistan three years ago, the first time since they left as children before the Soviet invasion.

Upon their return, they were affected by the poor living conditions and decided the best way to help was to create sustainable jobs for Afghans, who they see as willing, hard-working, and hopeful despite years of war, turmoil and oppression. They decided to create a home décor and accessories label that would elevate the image of Afghan-made products. For two years, they worked and trained artisans on design, proper finishing and quality control standards so that the products could compete on an international level.

"I am weary of Afghans being viewed as burqa-wearing, anti-American terrorists. It's a stereotype that needs to be changed. Afghans have a proud and rich history and should be respected for their talents, culture, and art. The hand embroidery, engraving, and craftsmanship that can be found there are some of the best in the world. Artizan Sarai will showcase this and bring Afghan products to a new level", states Samira Atash, fashion designer, co-founder and Creative Director.

Artizan Sarai's mission is to create opportunities for artisans in economically disadvantaged areas of the world, primarily Afghanistan, and to bridge cultures through artistic expression. The label strives to generate a strong U.S. consumer response that will drive positive change for artisans in Afghanistan.

Mariam A. Nawabi, co-founder, attorney and guest speaker noted, "There is a direct link between poverty and conflict and in order to win the peace in Afghanistan, we need to provide opportunities for the Afghan people. Americans can positively impact the lives of Afghan artisans through their purchasing power and bring hope to their future."

Artizan Sarai's official launch at Pangea Market was standing room only and offered sophisticated guests the opportunity to hear, taste and purchase a piece of Afghanistan's rich cultural heritage. As part of the event, live traditional Afghan music was performed and delicious Afghan hors d'oeuvres served. Artizan Sarai products were purchased by high official guests from the State Department, World Bank, Capitol Hill, and more, as store operators quickly restocked the popular merchandise.

Interior designer and co-founder Alina Atash, states, "We are proud that our launch was a huge success. Our collection reflects Afghanistan's cultural legacy and marks Artizan Sarai's breakthrough into the U.S. market-one that craves the rare and exclusive styles being cultivated in exotic locations."

The official website is set to launch April 10th, 2007. The sisters' next goal is source products from other economically disadvantaged areas of the world such as Palestine and Iraq.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sotheby's Spring Carpet Auction London

Sotheby's Spring Carpet Auction London
The catalogues are mailed and the sale is on-line. Jacqueline Coulter has put together another top sale that is well worth a look.
Session 1:  Tuesday, 17 Apr 07, 2:00 PM
London, New Bond Street BROWSE CATALOGUE
Jacqueline Coulter
Senior Director, UK and Europe - Carpets
Tel: +44 20 7293 5232

The RIA Convention

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at the RIA convention in Orlando. RIA was ASCR, was AIDS, was NIRC. It is the trade group for Rug Cleaners and Restoration Professionals. Uncle Jimmy Keshishian was national president back in 1981 when it was NIRC (National Institute of Rug Cleaners, I think, or maybe it was AIDS). Anyway they found me and persuaded me to come and talk. I prepared a long PowerPoint show and just talked about the rugs. I was going to talk about Persian Rugs as a non-verbal language but at the last minute I decided against it. I recalled a comment by Stuart Cary Welch in the forward of one of his books. He said something about writing a specialist book for the 6 experts in the field or he could write for the general public. He chose to write for the public. I am glad I kept it general since I think everyone enjoyed it. Actually I hope they enjoyed it since I have not seen the comment cards yet.
I think I need to get out and lecture more. I learn far more than I teach but the reaction tends to be positive anyway. I find that more and more of my thoughts are becoming generally accepted. Years ago one of the curators at the Smithsonian responded to one of my theories by saying, "Mr. O'Connell, You have every right to think so... But keep in mind that No One Agrees". Now I hear people advance ideas that only a few years ago I was castigated for when I came up with them. Not to pick on anyone in particular but it is heartening to see ideas gain traction. I think the success of my sites is due in large part to the fact that when I make a mistake I go back and correct it. One of the weaknesses of the Internet is that all time is now. All too often errors left uncorrected take on a life of their own.
Best wishes,

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Some of My Most Viewed Pages

I find it humorous at times that some of my most viewed pages are not about Oriental Rugs at all. My site does very well on Google Images and two of the most popular are my Guide to Mamluk Art especially the picture of the The Tipu Sultan Sword with fifteenth-century Mamluk or Ottoman Damascus watered steel blade. and also my Mashad Rugs: Guide to Mashhad Carpets. Both pages have rugs but going through the Analytics it is the sword in one and the Mosque in the other that bring the viewers. I do not mind a bit. It gives me a chance to teach new people about rugs. Of course that is Google Images which is very different from regular Google
Best wishes,

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Why do some old Oriental Rugs gets more vibrant and glowing?

On my discussion list Patricia Eddy asked a great question:

--- In OrientalRug@ yahoogroups. com, "patricia.eddy"
> It seems that the color in some old rugs gets more vibrant and
> glowing with age rather than mellow. Why is that? Does any one

From: "yesterday20785" View Contact Details Add Mobile Alert
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 00:50:24 -0000
Subject: [OrientalRug] Re: Antique Rugs and More
Many things factor in but here are some major factors;

Wool is like hair in that it has scales. For those of you who watch
American TV there are many ads that show dry damaged hair with the
scales opening up. Wool does that too and when it does it is at its
most beautiful but also its weakest. When a rug is new the scales are
tight and the lanolin acts like the cream rinse that women use on
their hair. Over the years the lanolin is striped away. when the
lanolin is gone naturally dyed shows those rich jewel tones that
collectors love.

Now and then I see artificially aged rug that look like antiques. The
problem is that grinding, bleaching, hammering blow torching, etc...
take a new rug and wear it out well before its time. If you want to
buy a look and do not mind the reduction in the carpets life then why

With a the rug from Richard I am willing to let my children grow old
and see it reach its high point. I am glad to have a new rug of the
old quality.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell

Friday, March 23, 2007

Magnificent Qing dynasty carpets made for the Forbidden City in Beijing

In the Fuller Building, 41 East 57th Street, the Danon Gallery of Rome and Doris Leslie Blau of New York have a show of what are thought to be magnificent Qing dynasty carpets made for the Forbidden City in Beijing. “We were in the fair for the first time last year and did so well we decided to expand to New York,” said Enzo Danon, who owns the third-generation business with his brother Roberto.

Mounted on the walls, silk carpets laced with gold and silver threads are covered with imperial dragons chasing pearls (representing the emperors’ search for truth and wisdom), lotus flowers (purity, virtue) and pomegranates (fertility). The catalog recounts famous tales of Chinese court life that reveal the meanings of the motifs.

“The symbolism works on different levels,” Mr. Danon said. “Many carpets were made by monks and show a strong Buddhist influence.”

Others have Chinese markings at the top. “There were more than a thousand pavilions in the Forbidden City,” Mr. Danon explained. “The inscriptions say where the carpets go.”

Woven in burnt orange, lavender, indigo blue and yellow silks, the carpets vibrate with color. All but three are available, from $35,000 to $160,000.

Afghan tribal 'war rug' collection reveals artistic skill, violent imagery

Afghan tribal 'war rug' collection reveals artistic skill, violent imagery
Pioneer Press
Article Last Updated: 03/23/2007 07:06:30 AM CDT

Tory Ferrey sits among a collection of her Afghan tribal "war rugs" including one depicting the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City in the Mahtomedi home of her friend Deb Lauer. (BEN GARVIN, Pioneer Press)Tory Ferrey's custom bumper sticker might read: Make rugs, not war. But the White Bear Lake resident does not object to art that does both: war rugs.

"At first I didn't want any of them," she said. "I thought they were kind of grisly. But we were able to get them."

Ferrey, a teacher's aide in the Mahtomedi school district, has about 40 Afghan tribal war rugs that depict everything from arrowheads to AK-47s. They make up a small part of her collection of Persian rugs that once numbered 600.

War rugs have become highly collectible in the past decade for a number of reasons.

Some of the appeal lies in the surprise factor, said Mark Traxler, of Mankato, Minn., a tribal rug collector and rug weaver well-known on rug-related Internet sites.

Traxler collects pieces 150 years old or older, but he has watched with interest as war rugs bloomed in the past decade.

"Western images of tanks and helicopters represented in a Middle Eastern form does not fit your idea of a normal Oriental rug," he said. "At the same time, it reflects something about weaving, in general, as representative art."

The weavers, he said, were trying to portray things important in their worlds, or in the case of tanks and machine guns, startling additions to their lives.

Added Ferrey: "They document everything that happens to them" in art.

The sense that the rugs portray an important time in history likely also appeals to some collectors, Traxler said.

Also, the supply of quality antique rugs has shrunk, he said, and what is for sale is exorbitantly priced.
"But you can obtain a meaningful piece of this new form for less money," he said.

Ferrey stumbled onto war rugs three years ago through her son, Nathan, then 9. He spotted a rug on the Internet auction site eBay and asked her to buy it. She thought it was a prayer rug until it arrived, when she could clearly make out images of helicopters, fighter jets and convoys. A city was being bombed.

The modern era of war rugs begins with the decade-long Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1979. One rug shows the bombing of a mosque. Another shows Soviet tanks headed away from Afghanistan, with deer stags, a favorite symbol of Afghan rugs, featured prominently.
As a collector, Ferrey is less interested in value than in workmanship and symbolism. She can tell the approximate age of a rug by the change in weaponry and materials. In recent years, the guns have gotten smaller, she said, and the helicopters bigger.

Two Sept. 11 patterns have become much copied, she said. She avoided the one depicting bodies falling from the flaming World Trade Center towers and chose another that included a dove. Shortly after the 9/11 rugs emerged, another design appeared showing Afghans helping U.S. troops search in Tora Bora for Osama bin Laden.

Imagery is more subtle in other rugs. She points to what at first glance seems to be a prayer rug.

"It's a very pretty rug, and then you realize this is a truck convoy around the border," she said.

English words are often misspelled. Most of the female weavers, she said, don't speak English and are likely copying unfamiliar symbols from paper.

War rugs have caught on among collectors in recent years, but Ferrey and Traxler said they are ancient in practice. Ferrey pulled out a rug with prominent horses rimmed with arrowheads, signs of power and conflict.

"It's part of being men," she said. "They're proud of their weapons. These

rugs were never made for women."
The rugs make for good lessons in talks she has given to church groups with her friend Deb Lauer, of Mahtomedi, also an aide in the Mahtomedi school district. Men in the audience perk up at the sight and pick out the different makes of guns and grenades.

Ferrey and Lauer have sold much of Ferrey's larger collection over the past two years to benefit various charities, including Afghan education. They've raised $38,000 so far, and Ferrey is down to about 200 rugs, which she hopes to sell at two remaining charity auctions, one of them Saturday.

Ferrey would like to sell the war rugs, too, but as a group to a museum or collector who appreciates the art and suffering of the people who made them.

"They're proud and very arrogant people," she said. "A lot like Americans."
Tory Ferrey's collection of about 40 Afghan tribal "war rugs" includes designs from the 1979-89 occupation of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and 9/11's aftermath.

If You Go Tory Ferrey and Deb Lauer are having two final rug sales for charity. The first will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the White Bear Lake Armory, 2228 Fourth St., White Bear Lake. Proceeds benefit the Partnership for Education of Children in Afghanistan. Rugs range in price from $40 to $800, depending on the size and condition. Many of the rugs have been used in Afghan homes.

The second sale will be April 21 at the Urban Arts Academy, 3901 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis. Proceeds will be split between the academy and an Afghan relief group.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Oriental rugs and stuff

I spent some time today reviewing my Guide to Timuri Rugs and freshening it up a bit. I wish I had my library set but I have to do it all from memory. As I go along I learn a little along the way. One of the next articles that needs attention is The Hazara A Historical Examination Of The Probable Origins Of An Improbable People. That was a wonderful article for me. I wrote it very early in my rug studies and I think it stands up pretty well.

It is funny how my Rug Notes work. I suffer from depression. I have avoided getting it treated because I have periodic episodes of brilliance and I worry if I get medicated to end the low periods I will also remove the high points. So I created my Rug Notes as a cure for depression. The worse it gets, the more creative I become. So my best work is the product of stress, exhaustion and depression. I sometimes suspect if I cured the depression I would give up rug studies and watch TV. Right now I am under more stress than any point in my life so I am getting a lot of work done.

As many of you know I dabble in politics. I was just offered a monthly retainer from one of the major democratic Presidential candidates. I did the data bases for John Kerry's battle ground states campaign in the last campaign and one of my associates took one of my ideas and pitched the major Democrat Presidential candidates on it. For now we said no since the money was not right but I may get dragged back into that vile mess that we call Presidential politics. The funny part is that like usual I am broke and could really use the money but for now I will compare offers and hope that my favorite candidate calls. In politics the more you charge the more they respect you, so it is important to make the right deal. In the last Presidential I charged enough that everyone was nice to me. Not too long ago I did a freebie for a candidate. Consequently he felt free to ignore my advise and the SOB never even said thank you. He lost and I will avoid that trap again.
Best wishes,

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

İstanbul to host international conference on oriental carpets

İstanbul to host international conference on oriental carpets
İstanbul will host the International Conference on Oriental Carpets (ICOC) April 19-22, with the Swissôtel serving as conference headquarters.

Under the supervision of Mehmet Çetinkaya, chair of the local organizing committee, preparations have long been under way for this important cultural event. The conference will have academic sessions, including presentations on Turkish, Egyptian, Persian, Indian and Caucasian carpets. In addition, there will be programs on historical and archeological aspects of carpets, as well as design, costumes and scientific analysis. The presenters will be from 22 different countries and talks will be given in English, Turkish or German with simultaneous translation offered.

Special exhibitions are being prepared for display in historic locations throughout the city, extending from Sultanahmet to Büyükdere. These exhibitions are scheduled to coincide with the conference, with private opening receptions for attendees.

The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art (TIEM) will host two of the exhibitions. Situated across from the remains of the Hippodrome in Sultanahmet, the museum is housed in the 16th century İbrahim Paşa Palace, once the home to the grand vizier of Suleiman the Magnificent. This is a chance to view a collection of extremely rare carpets, many of which have never been exhibited to the public before. TIEM will also host a show of 99 rare ikat coats from the private collection of Mehmet Çetinkaya. The majority of coats are from the 19th century, with some pieces dating from the 18th century.

In the Has Ahırlar of Topkapı Palace there will be an exhibition of 92 textiles from the palace collection. This particular show has been funded by the Koç Foundation and includes silk prayer textiles from Chios Island, Turkish prayer rugs, and Ottoman panels. After the ICOC conference, this collection will remain open for the general public. Çetinkaya personally selected each piece for the display and said, "I found lost treasures in the Topkapı collection."

The Vakıflar Carpet Museum in Sultanahmet is undergoing major renovations that are scheduled for completion in time for the conference. Currently housed in the sultan's loge of the Blue Mosque, the collection of carpets will be moved to a new home near the Aya Sofya Museum, in the Caferağa Medressesi. This building, designed by master architect Sinan, with its domes and high ceilings, makes it a perfect location for exhibitions. The exterior of the building is currently being restored, but inside will be state-of-the-art display areas for the new carpet museum.

Also in Sultanahmet the Darphane will hold a special exhibition of the private collection of the late Josephine Powell. Only about half of the items that will be on display have been exhibited before. The show will include rare kilims, camel bags, grain sacks and black nomadic tents. Powell's photographs, documenting vanishing Anatolian village life will accompany the textile exhibit.

The 15th century Tophane will host a show of items from several private collections of Anatolian textiles. Among the 176 pieces on display will be Anatolian carpets, kilims and cushions, as well as examples of Ottoman embroidery, çatma (patchwork) and suzanis.

The Sadberk Hanım Museum will host an exhibition that includes a rare collection of very fine çatma.

In addition to all of the exhibitions taking place during the ICOC, there will be a dealers fair held at the Swissôtel. Open every day of the conference, Çetinkaya stressed that participation in the dealers fair was very controlled. "These are not just any pieces from any shop. They are the best and highest quality. They had to be just the right pieces to be included," he explained.

For Çetinkaya, one of the biggest challenges he has faced in the preparations for the conference has been trying to coordinate activities at several venues spread out across the city. "In the West it is easier because they already have the infrastructure to have several exhibition spaces in different locations," he said. The organizing committee has been procuring funding, selecting pieces to be shown, overseeing the cleaning and restoration of items, many which have never been cleaned before, as well as overseeing building restoration. But when the conference begins in April their work will not have been in vain as they have the chance to show the world the best of Anatolian textiles and hospitality. Çetinkaya summed it up appropriately, "I am in the process of creating a huge feast."

For more information on ICOC and the upcoming conference visit

Vacuum Cleaner FAQs

Note from Barry:
To get a rug really clean can take up to 4 hours of vacuuming on a 9 by 12 rug. It also has to be done from the back with a beater bar vacuum. Since no one goes to this much effort that is why we need to send our rugs to a qualified professional rug cleaner periodically. 

Vacuum Cleaner FAQs

The secret to fabulous-looking carpets? It's simple — have a "no-shoes-in-the-house rule" and vacuum frequently.
Here, Good Housekeeping Institute's home care director, Carolyn Forté, offers advice on how to keep your vacuum and carpets in great shape.

1. What's the difference between a canister and an upright vacuum?
A canister vacuum is generally more versatile. Like uprights, canisters handle carpets, but they're also great at cleaning bare floors, vacuuming stairs and sucking up dirt from corners.

2. Which is better — a vacuum with a bag or a bagless vacuum?
Neither is better. The Good Housekeeping Institute tests show that both clean equally well. Which you buy depends on personal preference. Bagless cleaners save you the trouble of having to buy extra bags, but they can be messy to empty, and the filters and dust containers must be kept clean. While vacuums with bags keep dust and dirt contained, they are tricky to retrieve an earring or small object that gets sucked up accidentally.

3. Do more amps mean better cleaning?
If you're tempted to buy a model with the highest amps, horsepower or watts, you might want to think again. These numbers are simply measurements of the electrical current used by the motor. A vacuum cleaner's performance depends on airflow, the amount of suction it produces, and other factors including the overall design and attachments.

4. What are all the attachments for?
When you're vacuuming pile carpets and rugs, you should use the motorized power nozzle. But when you're cleaning bare floors and walls, it's best to use the wall/floor brush. To get dust out of drawers, heating and air-conditioning vents, and from under larger appliances, try the crevice tool. For mattresses, upholstered fabrics, curtains and car interiors, use the upholstery attachment. And to remove dust from blinds, lampshades and moldings, use the dusting brush.

5. How often should I vacuum?
In an ideal world, an area that has heavy traffic should be vacuumed every day. But once or twice a week is more realistic with today's busy lifestyles and certainly enough for areas that aren't often used. For best results, slowly move the vacuum over the carpet several times, going back and forth and side to side in parallel rows.

6. How many times does a vacuum need to be run over a carpet to get it clean?
Generally, you should use as many as seven strokes for high-traffic areas; three or four for lighter ones. If you're fanatical about dirt, consider buying a vacuum with a dirt sensor, which tells you when an area is clean.

7. How often should my vacuum-cleaner bag be changed?
If your bag is filled to the indicator line, it's time to change it. Even though some vacuums have "check bag" indicator lights, it's best to check the bag yourself and change it when it's no more than three-quarters full. If you have a pet or you vacuum up fireplace ashes, you may have to change the bag more often. To be on the safe side, check the dirt level in the bag before each use.

8. How often should I change the filter on my vacuum?
You don't have to change the filter as often as the bag. If the filter shows signs of wear, or is excessively dirty or torn, it's time to replace it. HEPA filters — ones that remove most dirt particles — should be changed after six months or after the sixth bag change. The owner's manual will tell you where the filter is located and will have recommendations for your particular model.

9. At what height should my nozzle adjustment be set?
The level you set your nozzle at depends on the height of your carpet. For example, you would use the lowest setting for a low-pile carpet and a higher one for plush carpet. You'll only need to push your vacuum with a moderate amount of effort when you've selected the appropriate level.

10. When do I know it's time to replace the belt on my vacuum?
If you think your vacuum isn't cleaning as well as it used to or the brush roll has stopped turning, it may be time to change your belt. First, shut off your vacuum and unplug its cord. It's not difficult to replace the belt as long as you have a screwdriver and a replacement belt. For instructions for your specific vacuum, refer to your owner's manual or call the manufacturer's service center.

11. What should I do if my vacuum cleaner isn't picking up dirt?
First, give it a full inspection. To do so, turn the machine off and unplug it. Then, check to see if the belt is worn or broken, or if the roller-brush won't move. Also, look for a full bag or any blockage that might be affecting the power of the machine. Sometimes, new carpet can be a problem because it sheds more fiber and has a tendency to fill bags quickly and clog the air stream. If everything checks out and your machine still isn't working properly, bring it to a repair shop.

12. How do I vacuum an Oriental rug?
Since Oriental rugs can be very fragile, you may have to use extra care when vacuuming them. Still, to keep them in peak condition, they should be cleaned often. If you're using an upright vacuum cleaner, it's best to turn off the agitator brush (if possible). When approaching the fringe, tip up the front slightly and push it completely off the carpet. This cleans the fringe without catching it in the rotating agitator brush. With a canister vacuum, use the bare floor brush for gentler cleaning of the carpet, and use an upholstery attachment for the fringe. Also, don't forget to periodically turn the rug over so you can vacuum its underside.

13. Is it bad for my carpet or vacuum to use powder fresheners?
Provided you have a good vacuum, powders shouldn't be a problem. For the best pick-up, start with a clean bag. Since these powders can clog the bag, you'll probably have to change the bag afterward.

Related topics: Oriental Rug Cleaning Austin

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Some rug stains are best left to the pros

Some rug stains are best left to the pros
Special to The Star

PHOTOS BY John Mutrux | The Kansas City Star
Rugs that are too dirty to be cleaned by vacuum may require professional cleaning. At Crown Rug Cleaners in Kansas City, Kan., the fringe is cleaned by hand (below left) before the rug is fed into a huge washing machine dating from the 1930s (above). Crown stocks various colors of thread for repairs (below right).

VIDEO: See how the pros clean a rug
Ruth Siress enjoys having her grandkids visit her Overland Park home, even when an open-faced peanut butter and jelly sandwich lands, delicious side down, on the Oriental rug in her kitchen.

“I try to remove all that stickiness as soon as possible,” she said. “I blot and blot, and then I blot some more.”

Siress has the technique down pat because she has several Oriental rugs throughout her home.

“Oriental rugs are so richly beautiful, and each one has an individual personality because they’re not mass-produced,” she said. “They add such a warmth and energy and definition to any home. I love them.”

Rugs require some tender loving care to keep them looking their best. They should be vacuumed weekly, said Carol Mundy, owner of Mundy & Yazdi Oriental Rugs in Merriam.

“Always vacuum with a beater brush, which is standard in upright vacuums,” Mundy said. “With canister types, the beater brush is detachable. It’s just like brushing your hair; the brush easily separates the fibers, then the suction sucks the dirt and grit and gravel out. It’s the best way to clean a good quality rug.”

Just don’t vacuum the rug’s fringe, because that will twist it up and probably rip it off. It’s best to set the vacuum on the rug and pull it slowly toward you, in the same direction as the fringe. As you reach the fringe, lift the vacuum up and over it.

“The fringe is crazy,” agreed Pam Stewart, carpet tech for Mini Maids in Lenexa. “I never actually vacuum it. It’s best to use a broom to sweep any dirt away, then comb it with a regular hair pick to straighten out the fringe. That keeps it looking nice.”

If you spill something, never try to rub out the stain, because that will tear the fibers apart and it will be obvious a stain is there. Blot the spill with a plain, dry, white cloth several times, then blot with a cloth moistened with water (or use a sponge).

“Most times the spill is sitting there, pooled among the fibers, and if you blot enough, you will get the liquid out,” Mundy said. “When you use a moistened cloth, you are diluting the spill so that it can be soaked up into the cloth.”

Avoid using chemicals, because they could lift the dye off the rug’s fibers and your rug will never look the same.

For stains that won’t come up with blotting, dilute a couple of drops of mild detergent with water and gently blot some more. But be sure to get all the soap out; it can leave a stain. The most difficult stains to remove? Set-in chocolate milk, red wine and pasta sauce, Stewart said.

“You can try the blot method over and over, but the fibers may already be stained,” she said. “If that’s the case, there’s nothing you can do but try a professional spot cleaner.”

If you must use a chemical, don’t spray it directly on the spill. Spray the product on a cloth and then blot the stain carefully. Work from the outside in, pushing the stain to the center. Start with a little pressure, increasing as you go.

With animal stains, it’s important to remove the smell.

“Pet urine, if it has a chance to dry, will almost always leave a stain,” Mundy said. She advises blotting with a little water immediately and repeatedly until the smell comes out.

Once the urine is removed from the rug, dry the rug as thoroughly as possible, and very lightly spray window cleaner to take the odor away. Use sparingly so the dye is not affected.

Silk rugs are much trickier to keep clean, and Mundy doesn’t recommend putting them on the floor. Rather, try hanging them on a wall or displaying them on a table top. Mundy recommends professional cleaning for stains on silk rugs.

Cotton rugs can be washed with soap and water and dried in the sun. But cleaning a wool or silk rug at home is risky, so Mundy suggests taking the rug to a professional who can scrub it with soap and water and rinse it enough times to get all the soap out. Additionally, professional cleaners have large drying racks, fans and sometimes heated chambers for better drying. Machine-made Oriental rugs should not be professionally soaked, however, because the backing could dissolve.

To test whether your rug needs professional cleaning, turn it upside down on the floor and vacuum the back with a beater brush. Peel the rug back and see how much dirt is on the floor. Do this two or three times. If all the dirt comes out, you don’t have to take your rug in. Just vacuum the front of the rug and place it back on the floor. If it still looks dingy, it might need professional help.

With weekly vacuuming and enough cloths around the house to blot, blot, blot, your rugs will look beautiful for years.




3101 W. Geospace Drive


(816) 257-1744

Charges $30 to clean a 5-by-7-foot rug, $50 for 8-by-10. If the rug must be dry-cleaned, there is an additional $15 charge; pickup and delivery included in price. In-home cleaning costs 28 cents per square foot.

•Crown Rug Cleaners

1120 N. 13th St.

Kansas City, Kan.

(913) 371-0636

Prices for cleaning range from $50 to $170, depending on the size and quality of the rug. A 5-by-7 synthetic rug is 60 cents per square foot, wool $1 per square foot and Oriental $1.75 per square foot. Does not pick up or deliver. Does not clean rugs in homes.

•Stanley Steemer

1711 E. 123rd Terrace


(913) 393-4242

Charges $4 per square foot for cleaning, which includes stain protection and deodorizer; pickup and delivery included in price. Cleans rugs in home, charging 25 cents per square foot for synthetic rugs. Strongly encourages on-site rather than in-home cleaning for wool rugs.

Blackwood March Antiques - ORIENTAL RUGS

Blackwood March Antiques - Estates Fine Art & Antiques Auction - March 20, 2007

Estates Fine Art & Antiques Auction Tuesday March 20th at 6 p.m. at Woodman¹s ³Essex Room² Main St. Essex Massachusetts Preview 4 to 5:55 Severe weather date Wednesday March 21st at 6 p.m.
ORIENTAL RUGS; Signed Turkish 9 by 12 carpet, 8 by 10 Persian carpet, Baluchi carpet, Persian and Caucasian scatter rugs, etc.

TERMS: Cash, Mass. Check, or prearranged credit with the auctioneer. We reserve the right to hold merchandise until your check clears. All sales subject to a 15% BUYER¹S PREMIUM to be added to the hammer price of each sale. All property sold AS-IS. All offerings subject to error.

Blackwood/March Auctioneers and Appraisers (978) 768-6943
3 Southern Avenue, Essex, Massachusetts 01929 Mass. Lic. 179 An illustrated cata-log is online at

Couple in Spot of Bother - five-day legal battle over stains on an oriental rug

Friday’s Scotsman newspaper carried an interesting tale about a couple who had lost a five-day legal battle over stains on an oriental rug. The couple had had the rug ‘on approval’ but, when they tried to return it, the shop owner noticed a stain and took them to court to force them to pay for it.

And the best part of the story was arguably flicking over to the next page, where there was ad for oriental rugs - including a promotion for ‘expert cleaning’.

If only the couple, who are now £18,000 put of pocket, had seen the ad first....... e Countdown To Spring Has Begun

e Countdown To Spring Has Begun

Toronto, ON (PRWeb) March 19, 2007 -- Winter can seem like an interminably long and unforgiving time of the year to make it through, so by the time the Spring Equinox is upon us it is not only highly welcome, but also widely celebrated throughout different cultures as the start of a New Year.

It is during the Spring Equinox, that light and dark are equal in the hours of the day and thankfully, light is poised to overcome and set the stage for better weather and new beginnings.

Everyone, regardless of culture or religion has traditions to prepare for this long awaited event, be they in a physical or spiritual way it can be anything from a thorough floor to ceiling sweep, to garden preparations. Whatever the goal all the tasks are met with the enthusiasm of a fresh start and it is hard to not feel good about that.

"For Nou-Ruz (the Persian New Year), a celebration of the Spring Equinox, preparations start a week before and include cleaning the house, buying new clothes and a party, Char-Shanbeh-Soori, to cleanse the negative thoughts/feelings of the previous year," said Reza from

A time of rejuvenation and an optimism that is hard to deny, spring is probably the only time of the year that cleaning is a ritual representation of change...for the better.

About is a marketplace leader in online Persian and Oriental rugs and has operations in both the United States and Canada. Born of a third generation Persian Rugs import/export business, the mission is to provide authentic, high quality, handcrafted area rugs and to provide unsurpassed service and experience. Persian rugs are unique, authentic imported treasures that withstand the test of time. Visit

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Jimmy Jamshid Delshad Is The New Mayor of Beverly Hills, California

Jimmy Jamshid Delshad Is The New Mayor of Beverly Hills, California

Jimmy Delshad and his family have lived in the City of Beverly Hills for the past 18 years. Jimmy has resided in the Los Angeles area for 48 years. He has been married for 38 years to Lonnie Gerstein Delshad and they are blessed with 2 children. Debra, is a graduate of Beverly Hills High, USC and Loyola Law School. Daniel, also graduated from Beverly Hills High and USC.

Jimmy Delshad earned a Bachelor of Science degree with Honor from California State University at Northridge in 1965 and attended post-graduate classes at USC.He has also participated in the continuing education program of "The Executive Committee," a round table of CEOs, for 7 years.

Jimmy is an entrepreneur and businessman. He embarked on a career in Computer Technology in 1965, going into business for himself in the 1978 in the then-new field of "Computer Storage Technology." His company's products were marketed and sold throughout the world.

Expert speaker on "Storage Technology" he sold his company when he was elected President of Sinai Temple so he could devote full-time to the needs of the community and other non-profit organizations. Jimmy now works as an independent Management Consultant.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Iran : World’s largest carpet to be laid at Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Iran : World’s largest carpet to be laid at Sheikh Zayed Mosque

March 13, 2007
Around 1000 weavers are working to produce world’s largest carpet which will be laid at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi.During a nationwide seminar on Persian hand-woven carpet in Mashhad, capital of northeastern province of Khorassan Razavi, the Managing Director Seyyed Jalaleddin Bassam of Iran Carpet Company told reporters that the carpet was nearing completion.The carpet measures about 6,500 square meters.Earlier also Iran has weaved a large carpet measuring 4,343 square meters for the Qabus Azam Mosque in Muscat, the capital of Oman. It was made by 550 weavers and it took three years to complete the carpet.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Got an old rug? Whether you do or not, you should know about Atiyeh Bros. in Tigard

Got an old rug?
Whether you do or not, you should know about Atiyeh Bros. in Tigard
By Cliff Newell
The Beaverton Valley Times, Feb 15, 2007

David Atiyeh of Atiyeh Bros. in Tigard keeps a tradition alive by selling quality Oriental rugs.
Jaime Valdez / Times Newspapers

Oriental rugs are on a roll.
Of course, they’ve been popular for about a millennium now, but in recent years Oriental rugs are in higher demand than ever. Just ask David Atiyeh, whose family brought Oriental rugs to the Portland area over 100 years ago.
“There is nothing like a nice Oriental rug,” Atiyeh said. “After centuries, that’s why they’re still popular. In fact, they’ve never been more popular than they are today.”
Rolling out the rugs
Atiyeh should know. His grandfather George and his great uncle Aziz came from Syria to the United States and established Atiyeh Oriental Rugs and Carpeting in 1900. The business became a dynasty with George’s sons, twin brothers Edward (David’s father) and Richard, and Vic, who went on to much greater fame as one of Oregon’s most popular governors from 1979 to 1987.
David kept the tradition going, guiding the company through the changes that assured it would reach its centennial. One of the biggest came in 2001 when Atiyeh Bros. moved from downtown Portland, its location for 101 years, to Bonita Road in Tigard.
So after all these years what keeps customers coming back to Atiyeh?
And why are Oriental rugs still so desirable?
“Each rug is so unique and different,” Atiyeh said. “They’re one of a kind.
'Buying one is a very personal experience. The decision to buy a rug should be deliberate and careful. We encourage customers to shop around and compare.
“We don’t worry at all if they want to go someplace else. If they’re educated and informed, they’ll make a good buying decision, and that’s what we want.”
Choosing a rug
When it comes to buying an Oriental rug, Atiyeh recommends looking for a combination of styling and color with a right feeling for space, whether it’ s a traditional or more modern style of rug.
Prices vary as much as the size of the rugs, but generally a high quality room-size (8 by 10 feet) Oriental rug costs in the range of $4,000.
“You can get a handmade rug for $2,000 to $2,500,” Atiyeh said. “But there could be quality issues. A machine made rug doesn’t have the uniqueness of a hand-woven piece. But a hand-woven rug is not necessarily a good product. It can be more coarsely knotted, have poor structure, design structure and consistency of finish.
“The ideal customer is one who wants to wait a year or two before buying an Oriental rug and who reads, spends time and even takes trips overseas to look at rugs.”
Atiyeh is in an exacting line of work, but he says, “It’s a fun business.”
And it’s a business he expects to boom as Atiyeh Bros. enters its second century.
“For a 30- to 35-year period, carpets were by far the most popular floor covering,” Atiyeh said. “Fifteen years ago there was a shift. Wood floors, stone and other hard surfaces became popular, and that increased the demand for rugs. We finished our best Oriental rug year ever in 2006.
“Today there are greater choices for design, color and qualities, which have given us more options. We don’t try to be everything to everyone, but we try to select the best rugs we can.”
A unique floor covering
Atiyeh is confident he is offering a unique product that is appreciated more than ever.
“An Oriental rug adds a beauty of feeling, with its design, color and just the sensation of walking on it. No other floor covering can do that. It offers a versatility that other floor coverings can’t.”
The company’s move hasn’t disrupted business, they said.
“The move to the new location was debated by the family,” Atiyeh said. “The Portland area was growing tremendously and we needed more space. We needed things our downtown location couldn’t offer.
“The move has worked out very well. Now we’re in one of the easiest areas to get to. But even when we were downtown,” he said, this area “was already our No. 1 customer base.
“In our first 10½ months, we did more business than we had done in any single year in 101 years downtown.”
A personalized product
Certainly, there are many factors in a business being able to push past the century mark in this ever-changing society. But perhaps the bedrock reason for Atiyeh Bros.’ continued success is David Atiyeh’s desire that their customers buy the Oriental rug that is just right for them.
“It’s a philosophy that’s been passed along,” Atiyeh said. “Our focus needs to be caring for the customer. It was ingrained in me growing up: Work hard, hustle, do what’s right.
“The rewarding part is seeing customers come back year after year. Our rugs are passed down through generations of families, and they come to us to see that they’re maintained correctly. Seventy percent of our business is repeat business.”
In case you have any doubts about the longevity of this philosophy, Atiyeh can reproduce a copy of an article that Aziz Atiyeh sent to a Portland newspaper in 1906, which went to great lengths to enlighten readers on the importance of outstanding customer service.
An impressive aspect of Atiyeh’s ideal is a knowledge of Oriental rugs. When it comes to Oriental rugs, Atiyeh believes a little education is a wonderful thing.
“An Oriental rug has to be made by hand and it must use natural fibers,” Atiyeh said. “Its value is subject to the skill of the person knotting it and the quality of dyes and wool. Our primary role is to select and screen to get the rugs with the best attributes.”
To do this, Atiyeh and his associates go to warehouses in New York City, which hold thousands of rugs, and they look at 10,000 to 20,000. They come from India, China, Napal, Turkey, Iran, Armenia and Pakistan.
“We’re lucky if we come back with 150 rugs,” Atiyeh said. “There are always rugs, but the key is finding good quality.”
Sometimes assuring value means bucking trends.
For example, Atiyeh noted the “tea-washing” process. It involves giving Oriental rugs a muted, more antique look, and for 10 or 15 years it was quite the rage. However, “a lot of rugs of lesser quality went through the process.”
As a result the whole market for tea-washed rugs had crashed by the end of the 1990s.
“We’ve probably lost some sales when a new fashion comes along because we won’t have as many of that kind of rug as the public wanted,” Atiyeh said.
“It’s a judgment role we have to play. We have to make sure a rug is long-lasting.”
A long-lasting rug adds character and beauty to rooms for years to come.
“An oriental rug has great historical references, but it’s one of the most adaptable floor coverings you can have. It can transform and complete a room,” said Atiyeh. “It’s a unifying element in a beautiful room setting.”

RIA/ASCR convention in Orlando this week

If anyone is going to the RIA/ASCR convention in Orlando this week look me up. I will be staying at the Buena Vista and will check in Wednesday. I speak Thursday afternoon. feel free to call my cell phone at 240-988-4866 to get in touch.

I suppose this will sound silly but this trip will be tough on me. I like to visit New York City, Los Angeles, and Iran. Anywhere else is tough, I just do not like to travel. My idea of the good life is having dinner with my family and sleeping in my own bed. I have never been to Florida before. I will make the best of it. With my new job I am starting to travel more.

As many of you know I moved to Pennsylvania to be CIO of an ad agency. That turned out to be about as boring as watching paint dry. So to kill time I have started new business development for the company. We are not really an ad agency in the conventional sense, we are a buying agency. A number of name brand national companies use us to buy their media while their regular ad agency writes and produces the advertisements. It is fun for me. Our existing accounts are 3 to 29 million dollars in buys a year but we are starting to look to smaller accounts to even off our busy and slow times. We dominate the outdoor power industry which means we are super busy now and by summer it will be quiet time.

So if any of the carpet cleaners in particular are at the convention this week let me know.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Iran weaving world’s largest carpet

Iran weaving world’s largest carpet
TEHRAN, March 11 (MNA) — Iran is weaving the world’s largest carpet which will cover a mosque in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, the managing director of Iran Carpet Company (ICC) said here on Sunday.

The carpet measures 6,500 square meters and will be laid at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, Seyyed Jalaleddin Bassam told reporters on the sidelines of a nationwide seminar on Persian hand-woven carpet in Mashhad, the capital of the northeastern province of Khorassan Razavi.

He added that 1,000 weavers are producing the carpet and it is near completion.

Iran has previously weaved another large carpet measuring 4,343 square meters for the Qabus Azam Mosque in Muscat, the capital of Oman, he recalled.

It was made by 550 weavers within three years, he added.

Carpet is among Iran’s top non-oil export-bound products. The country has started to revive its magic industry over the past few years.

1.98 Trillion Rials For Carpet Industry

1.98 Trillion Rials For Carpet Industry
TEHRAN, March 11--Loans worth about 1.98 trillion rials have been allocated for projects with quick returns as well creating jobs in the hand-woven carpet industry, disclosed Deputy Commerce Minister for economic development Mehdi Ghazanfari.He further stated that about 75 billion rials have been earmarked for extending technical assistance to set up carpet weaving factories.He said that so far the head offices of banks are considering loan applications for establishing 78 carpet weaving factories and 251 raw material production units.The official said that 35,000 carpet weavers will be covered by insurance.Increasing export incentives from three to five percent, undertaking research on dye and design are among the other measures to promote the carpet industry, he noted.Ghazanfari added that efforts have been made to maintain and develop current markets through proper publicity campaign as well as to introduce Iranian rugs on leading TV channels.He added that the number of ships increased from 114 to 117 and agreements signed for the purchase of 33 container and cargo ships.The official added that about 5,115,047 tons of commodities were loaded for transporting through sea during the first nine months of the year to March 2007, up by 21 percent compared to the corresponding figure for the preceding year.Ghazanfari said that regular shipping lines have been expanded from the southern ports to Asian and European countries while weekly services are operating from Asia to Europe.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

P-I features Thea Sands and Emmanuel's Rug & Upholstery Cleaners of Seatle

Retail Notebook: Rug cleaner's roots run deep
Try as she might, Thea Sand just couldn't get away from the family business.
Now, she has no intention of leaving.
The president of Emmanuel's Rug & Upholstery Cleaners is the fourth generation to operate the venerable Seattle-based company, which has been in business for a century.
"I thought my parents were going to sell it, retire and be like normal people," Sand said with a laugh.
The sale, however, never occurred, and Sand was asked to come back in 2002 -- after being away from the business for more than two decades -- to help run things after her mother became ill. Five years later, Sand said she loves her job and plans to stay involved for two decades more before turning over the company to her son, 21-year-old Ryan, and daughter, 24-year-old Trista, who both work for her.
"In rug terms, I become semi-antique this year when I turn 50 in May," Sand said. "I can see myself doing this for another 20 years."
Sand said the company, headquartered at 1105 Rainer Ave. S., has 13 employees and revenue between $800,000 and $900,000 annually. Along with cleaning Oriental rugs by hand at the shop, Emmanuel's has three on-location carpet cleaning trucks and restores antique rugs.
The company also sells imported rugs and has an upholstery cleaning operation.
Emmanuel's primarily serves greater King and southern Snohomish counties, but Sand said carpets are shipped from Florida, Alaska and Canada to be cleaned.
Tom Hill, executive administrator for the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, said Emmanuel's has one of the best reputations in the Northwest.
He also said it's unique for Sand to be running Emmanuel's because very few women operate rug cleaning businesses.
Hill did not have precise ownership figures by gender, but the Restoration Industry Association, a Maryland-based trade group for cleaning and restoration, estimates the figure for female ownership is less than 10 percent.
"It's always been thought of as a male business, but it's changing over time," said Hill, whose non-profit certification organization is based in Vancouver, Wash.
Barry Weir, Emmanuel's plant manager who will have worked 30 years for the company in September, believes the business has been around so long because of the focus on customers.
"We want our clients to come back, so we treat them like family," Weir said. "Our best advertising is word of mouth."
Weir said the company has had some distinguished clients, including the Seattle Sonics, who had their 1977-78 Western Conference Champions banner cleaned, and Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, who had a dining room rug altered.
A 1963 newspaper story noted that other customers included William Boeing, founder of the famous aircraft company, and D.E. Frederick, one of the co-founders of the Frederick & Nelson department store chain.
John Emmanuel, an Armenian immigrant from Constantinople -- now Istanbul, Turkey -- founded the company after coming to the U.S. in the early 1900s.

Thea Sand's great-grandfather opened Emmanuel's Rug & Upholstery Cleaners in downtown Seattle.
Three years after he arrived at Ellis Island, where immigration officials shortened his last name from Emmanuelian, he brought his wife and two boys to Seattle.
In 1907, Emmanuel began selling rugs door to door from a streetcar, and then he got a $1,000 unsecured loan from a client to open a showroom. He later opened a cleaning plant, and the business was handed down to his son Bob who hired a 16-year-old named Gene Sand to clean carpets.
After serving in the Army in Korea, Gene came back to Seattle and married Bob's daughter, Joyce, who had served in the Marine Corps.
The business was passed on to Gene and Joyce, who returned to Seattle around 1975 after moving to Reno, Nev., where they had a different carpet cleaning business.
Thea Sand had worked for her parents in Nevada, but she went off to the University of Nevada when her folks came back to the Northwest.
Sand then married, moved to California, had children, divorced and remarried.
Five years ago, while living in Oakland, Calif., with her second husband, Jeffrey Reich, Sand was asked to come to Seattle, where she had lived as a young child.
She said there are no regrets, although she still commutes back to Oakland, where her husband lives.
"I love it. Every day is different, and you meet some of the most fascinating people," Sand said. "And you see some amazing rugs and textiles. ... How could you go wrong?"
Emmanuel's Rug & Upholstery Cleaners
Address: 1105 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Closed Sunday
Phone: 206-322-2200
Web site:
P-I reporter Craig Harris can be reached at 206-448-8138 or

Boycot "300"

A note from the great rug scholar Dr. Khosrow Sobhe:

Hope all is well with you. I believe we should foster love and friendship, not hostility and hatred at this difficult time when the world needs peace. Below, please visit the link for a movie called "300".

Best regards,
Khosrow Sobhe

To all Iranians and all those who know and respect ancient Persian history and culture:

A new movie called “300” is opening on March 9th in theatres all over the United States , sponsored and made by Warner Brothers Pictures.

It is based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller, which portrays the battle of Thermopylae in which King Leonidas and 300 Spartans fight against Xerxes and his Persian army.
Upon seeing the previews of this movie, it immediately becomes clear that apart from the actual names used in it, the entire depiction of this battle is based on fantasy.
Xerxes and his army are shown as monster-like men, with attire and attitudes that can only be seen among demons.

Please take a moment to sign the following petition to boycott this insulting and inaccurate movie, in the hope that our voices may be heard.:

You may also wish to post messages to various “movie” boards like Yahoo Movies at
And please don’t hesitate to circulate it among as many people as possible!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Iran’s Carpet Museum Faces Storage Crisis

Carpet Storage Facilities Inadequate
Director of Iran’s Carpet Museum has expressed concern about the conditions in which carpet are stored in the museum’s repository.Parviz Eskandarpour Khorrami told ISNA that poor storage facilities, including restricted space, will damage the carpets in the long run.“Present storage area of the museum is so limited that even nine carpets are stacked on top of each other. This will eventually damages the rugs,“ he said, calling for allocating more space for storing valuable carpets in the museum.He added that some carpets that have been maintained in limited storage places more than the normal period are being damaged by humidity. Referring to the transfer of carpets, he said that they are transported several times a year to international expositions and this has also speeded up the destruction process.Asked whether international politics have an impact on cultural relations, the official said although political relations can negatively influence cultural ties, international carpet expositions can serve as the best means to forge links among nations.Commenting on exhibiting carpets in the museum, he said that some old carpets should be carefully preserved. “Lighting system for carpets is appropriate. While advanced technologies are presented to market every year, our old Persian carpets are strong enough to resist lighting and not lose their luminosity and transparency,“ he said.