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