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.

Madadpour Attacks Iranian Carpet Export Association in Press

IDs Proposed For Persian Carpets

Production has decreased to five million square meters from the previous 7.5 million square meters. TEHRAN, March 6--Managing director of the Company for Export Development and Carpet Evaluation said that the export potential of Iranian carpets is not higher than the present capacity. Speaking to ISNA, Soleiman Madadpour called for issuing IDS for carpets and said, according to the latest figures, carpet production has decreased to five million square meters from the previous 7.5 million square meters as a result of which more than 900,000 employees have been laid off. Commenting on the national coding system for hand-woven carpets, Madadpour pointed out that national coding is done by National Center for Coding Goods and has nothing to do with issuing IDs for carpets. Asked about the reason for the decline in carpet export, he noted that Iranian hand-woven carpet lacks specific identity in international carpets where fake carpets are abundant. Criticizing the performance of the National Carpet Center in holding exhibitions, Madadpour noted that holding hand-woven carpet exhibitions by the association of carpet exporters is tantamount to granting special privileges to certain people which they use against their rivals in international markets.

Asked about bringing carpet export out of the prevailing stalemate, he said that Persian carpets should be provided with IDs after undergoing quality control.

FINE ESTATES AUCTION At Foster’s Auction Gallery
Saturday March 24, 2007 at 10:00 a.m.
At Foster’s Auction Gallery, Rt. 1, Newcastle, Me.

Visit our website at for color pics. & listing.

Preview Friday, March 23, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. & morning of sale 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
Note: An auction of fine antiques from coastal Maine homes & estates. Don't miss this sale.

ORIENTAL RUGS: Tabrez 9'10x13'6, Pers. Mashad 9'7x13'3, Pers. inc.: (6'9x9'7, 3'8x9'4, 4'3x6'4, 3'7x6'7), Kashan 10'3x12'5, Pers. Tabrez 8'6x12'1, 6'9x11', Bee bee Kahbad 9'x11'10, Serapi 4'3x6'5, Pers. tribal 5'4x9'6 & 5'x10', Mir 3'11x6'3 & 3'10x6'8, Pers. Mir 3'10x10'6 & 3'6x10'9, Baluchi 3'6x6'5 & 3'9x6'5, N.W. Pers. 3'7x12'2, Pers. Hamadans: (4'9x7'4, 4'x6'11, 4'x6'10, 3'7x6'7), Ant. Kazak 3'5x10'11, Pers. Malayer 4'3x7'9, Serapi 3'5x9'6, Herez 4'5x7'9, Shirvan 3'6x9'3 etc. OTHER RUGS: Hooked rugs inc. fireplace w/cat & sgn. "Lang County Penna.".

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Iran : Persian carpet production shrinksMarch

Iran : Persian carpet production shrinks
March 7, 2007
According to the Soleiman Madadpour, the Managing Director of the Company for Export Development and Carpet Evaluation revealed that the carpet production in Persia has decreased a lot. The latest figures of the carpet production shows that it has decreased to five million square meters from the earlier 7.5 million square meters which resulted into the redundancy of 900,000 employees.One of the reasons for this decline is that the Iranian hand-woven carpet lacks specific identity in international carpets where fake carpets are found in plenty.Madadpour proposed that Persian carpets should be provided with IDs after undergoing quality control and National Carpet Center should hold exhibitions in order to pull up the carpet export out of the existing impasse.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Ball chairwoman Melissa Keshishian raises $500,000 For the Corcoran

Ballgoers outshine Corcoran, but just barely
By Jennifer Crier Johnston
March 5, 2007
Abreath of spring blew into Washington at the stately Corcoran Gallery of Art Friday night. Of Washington's many social events, the annual Corcoran Ball is surely the most visually spectacular. Despite limited gallery space due to preparations for the "Modernism" show opening on March 17, guests marveled at the always astonishing scene created by noted floral designer Jack Lucky with the help of the Corcoran Women's Committee. Ballgoers were bombarded by the modernism theme as soon as they entered. Pale turquoise hues dominated in the Atrium, with the main staircase lined with reproductions of a 1918 Gerrit Rietveld chair. There was pussy willow galore and white flowers to die for -- white amaryllis without the long stalks (who would have guessed?) -- with Plexiglas chairs surrounding the organza-bedecked tables as an especially appropriate touch. Brushed aluminum walls -- also in keeping with the modernist theme -- served as a spectacular background for black and white tablecloths laid under polished pewter chargers with glasses set on a diagonal plane (which had a few guests wondering if they'd had one too many). Centerpieces were conversation-friendly pedestals with red tulips and roses. In the Salon D'Ore, stacked masterpieces by Reynolds, Turner, Gainsborough and Constable provided a jaw-dropping backdrop for mimosa trees, roses and orchids topping the tables. Ditto in the Mantel Room, where Gobelin tapestries complemented rust covered chairs, flowered tablecloths and multicolored rust roses. Yet another gallery boasted "jungle" decor with palms, pineapples, bromeliads and rattan chairs. The splendor proved a trifle overwhelming for a few of the guests up on the Bridge, where Everett "Kip" Johnson was spotted jauntily relocating banks of forsythia from the purple damasked tables in order to chin-wag with VIP journo David Gregory. The Otto Ruesch Conference Room, dedicated to the late Corcoran board chairman (and husband of current chair Jeanne Ruesch), was the site of the pre-dinner reception for top donors. In his adjoining office, Corcoran Director Paul Greenhalgh was spotted proudly showing off a few favorite works by Corot and David Smith and a small, circa 440 B.C., Greek statue. Taking time to discuss the Elgin Marbles with collector/arts attorney Richard Newman and his wife, Janice, Mr. Greenhalgh was heard expounding on the gallery's renovation plans (some of the columns have already been cleaned and gold leaf repainted above the rotunda) and the upcoming modernism exhibit -- the largest ever staged in the United States, if not the world. Following a delicious crab and green tomato napoleon and filet so mignon it could be cut with a fork, longtime Corcoran benefactor Evelyn Nef was first on the dance floor, followed by Corinne Bensahel (in glittering white Dominique Sirop couture) dancing with Dr. Thome Nicocelli. Guests, a healthy mix of the Washington social and business glitterati and their offspring, got it right fashion-wise, although a few short frocks and velvet slacks were in evidence at one of the few remaining black-tie events where long dresses are de rigueur. Seated at one especially glamorous table were Aniko Gaal Schott in a brown tulle by Roberto Cavalli, Sedi Flugelman in Christian Lacroix, Nini Ferguson in Hermes, and Junita Duggan in Evelina Galli. Among the younger set, model Katie Rost stood out in her perfect black and white printed high-waisted chiffon strapless Marchese, as did Samantha Waterman in BCBG, Lindsay Angerholzer in Vera Wang and Margaret Pickron in Carolina Herrera.
Ball chairwoman Melissa Keshishian said she expected the event to raise $500,000 from the 1,000-plus who attended, with proceeds benefiting both the gallery and its College of Art and Design. The honorary patrons, British Ambassador Sir David and Lady Manning, were unable to attend, although the guests comprised an eclectic mix of old and new arts supporters, including Russian Ambassador Yuri Ushakov and wife Svetlana (seen sipping Dom Perignon with Judith Terra, resplendent in a silvery Christian La Croix), Argentine Ambassador Jose Octavio Bordon, developer John T. "Til" Hazel, Bernard and Jane Carl, Bitsey Folger, Albert and Madzy Beveridge, Lolo Sarnoff, Philip and Nina Pillsbury, Franco Nuschese, Vicki and Roger Sant, Philip and Melanne Verveer, Jim Kimsey, D.C. council member David Catania and Women's Committee Chairman Laura Coughlin.

Monday, March 5, 2007

AfghanMark enables rug buyers to help Afghan women

AfghanMark enables rug buyers to help Afghan women
By Stevenson SwansonTribune national correspondentPublished February 18, 2007
NEW YORK -- The beauty of Afghan carpets, with their intricate patterns and vibrant colors, belies the ugly conditions under which many of them are made.The women who weave the rugs in Afghanistan are usually paid less than $1 a day. Many sit or stand hunched over a dimly lit loom, straining their eyes and their backs. Children as young as 12 may labor next to them.

AfghanMark is aimed at reducing those hardships.A new certification program run by the Afghan Women's Business Federation, AfghanMark is intended to guarantee higher wages and better working conditions for the weavers who work for the eight carpet companies or consortiums that have agreed to abide by the labor standards set by the federation.Carpets produced by those manufacturers will carry an AfghanMark label, showing a woman whose head is wrapped in a traditional scarf, and bearing the words, "Made by Afghan Women.""We feel this is a win-win situation for everyone," said business federation spokeswoman Halima Kazem at a press conference here last week announcing the certification system. "Through their purchase options, American consumers have the opportunity to improve the lives of Afghan women."The women's business federation was set up after U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban regime in 2001, following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Funded by the U.S. government's Agency for International Development, the federation seeks to help women become more involved in the Afghan economy, which is struggling to recover from nearly a quarter-century of war and brutal repression under the Taliban.The country's carpet industry is a logical focus for the federation. Carpets traditionally have been made by female weavers, and they are one of Afghanistan's best-known legal exports -- as opposed to opium, its biggest cash crop.Afghan folklore credits the invention of the hand-knotting method of making carpets some 3,500 years ago to a woman named Khali, whose name lives on in the Afghan word for carpet, kaleen.The AfghanMark program represents roughly 27,000 carpet weavers, or about 18 percent of the country's estimated 150,000 weavers. Through the program, manufacturers hope to differentiate themselves from the pack; many of these businesses have women managers or owners who are committed to improving the lot of Afghan women."It's growing," Kazem said after the press conference at the Rubin Museum of Art, which specializes in the art of the Himalayas and adjoining regions. "We hope every carpet company joins us."The AfghanMark program requires manufacturers to pay weavers 50 percent more than the current wage, or about $1.50 a day, and to give a weaver a 10 percent commission on the sale of a carpet she wove.Also, the payments must be made in cash. Weavers are sometimes paid with food, Kazem noted.To qualify for certification, companies must agree to use vertical looms instead of horizontal floor looms, which increase back and eye strain.Companies in the program are subject to random inspections, and if children are found working on the looms, inspectors will stop the work and refer the children and their parents to organizations that provide schooling for working children.Likewise, if inspectors determine that a weaver needs medical care, they will send her to a health clinic.After two violations of the AfghanMark standards, a company will be tossed out of the program, Kazem said.During their visit to America to launch AfghanMark, Kazem and other representatives of the certification program planned to meet with carpet wholesalers to discuss import deals that would bring AfghanMark carpets to this country.Kazem sees the "Made by Afghan Women" labeling effort as an important step in reviving the country's once-thriving carpet industry.In the 1970s, the carpet trade pumped about $40 million into Afghanistan's economy, but after the 1979 Soviet invasion and the war that followed, the industry collapsed. Many weavers fled to Iran and Pakistan.Latifa Abasy was one of those refugee weavers. While in Pakistan, she studied English and worked in an Afghan carpet gallery. Now, she's in charge of trade development for the women's business federation, which estimates that the Afghan carpet industry could grow from a low of $2.5 million in 2002 to $18 million-plus in 2009.Abasy hopes to increase the number of Afghan carpets that are shipped through Dubai. Now, most are shipped through Pakistan, where they are labeled "Made in Pakistan" before being sent to America."To develop a brand name for Afghan carpets, that's the goal that we have to reach," she said.

Sunday, March 4, 2007's donations aid in the ongoing recovery effort put forth by the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.'s donations aid in the ongoing recovery effort put forth by the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.
Toronto, ON (PRWeb) March 3, 2007 -- The inner strength of Hurricane Katrina's survivors is the foundation for all the relief efforts in the Gulf. All you have to do is Google the words "Human Resiliency" and stories of the Katrina Survivors come up. The financial support required in such a massive recovery effort is critical and necessary over the long-haul. In celebration of Presidents' Day, during the week of February 19th - 25th donated 5% of all sales to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund (BCKF).

Helvetica, sans-serif; TEXT-DECORATION: none" href="" alt="Link to website">What's especially exciting about the BCKF is while the needs (both immediate & future) of the Katrina survivors are being addressed, the incorporation of CCI (Clinton Climate Initiative), 22 cities working together to reverse Global Warming through the reduction of greenhouse gases, gives renewed hope for our future generations

This is not the first time that has donated a percentage of their sales to help support and rebuild communities affected by natural disasters around the world. "What's especially exciting about the BCKF is while the needs (both immediate & future) of the Katrina survivors are being addressed, the incorporation of CCI (Clinton Climate Initiative), 22 cities working together to reverse Global Warming through the reduction of greenhouse gases, gives renewed hope for our future generations" said Farida, Executive Vice President of is proud to take part in the recovery effort for the Hurricane Katrina Survivors and would like to thank all of the customers who put in motion, through their purchases, the sales that generated $7,500 towards the long-term recovery effort in the Gulf. 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

Germany, U.S. buy 50% of Persian rugs

Germany, U.S. buy 50% of Persian rugs
Sun, 04 Mar 2007 12:51:20
Iran exports its Persian rugs to more than 100 countries, said an Iranian carpet industry official Sunday, adding the German and U.S. markets accounted for 50 percent of Iran's hand-woven carpets for export between March and November 2006. Abdollah Ahrari, who heads the carpet division at the Khorassan Razavi Commercial Organization, said 10 countries purchase some 80 percent of the Persian rugs that Iran exports to international markets. Italy was among the top two target markets for Iran's Persian carpet exports in 2005 but it's been replaced by the U.S. as a major importer of Persian rugs. Islamic countries however import only 15 percent of Iran's Persian carpets. "Among Muslim states, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey, Bahrain and Qatar recorded the highest volume of Persian carpet imports from Iran in the eight-month period," Ahrari said. The industry official indicated Iran needs to boost its Persian carpet exports to the Persian Gulf states and Lebanon, adding the Iranian government must play a role in financially supporting the domestic carpet industry. The government currently offers incentives to carpet exporters but Ahrari said individual carpet weavers also need to receive state support in order to improve the quality of their products. Iran's carpet industry has been losing its regional and international markets to competitors like India, Pakistan and China which enjoy cheaper labor and greater state support for the production and export of their carpets. Observers say weavers in these countries often reproduce traditionally Persian designs in their cheaper-made products, damaging Iran's international reputation for its Persian rugs. HRE/MR/BG