Labour of Love

Entering a Persian carpet shop is a thrilling experience. You are instantly transported to countries and cultures thousands of kilometers away from your own through their handwoven art. The richness and multitude of colours, the intricacy of the designs, the softness or roughness of the pile to the all can be quite overwhelming and yet so stimulating and satisfying at the same time.

Choosing this luxury item - that was once the item to own above all - can be daunting, maybe even outright confusing! Add to that the cost and the uncertainty of whether you are getting a "good deal", your highly pleasurable sensory experience could turn into the opposite. If you throw colour choices in the mix it could become less daunting, but this mysterious item of beauty can still remain a confusing seductress...

I would like to give a bit of advice, if I may...The way I see each piece is that it represents the weaver who wove it. I try to find the story he/she is wanting to tell me because it IS their story. I look at the piece and I start with...

Chapter 1: The colour: The chosen palette tells me about the colours that are important to them, the colours that are available to them and it tells me about their surroundings and what they see. Every colour chosen tells me about their life in colour.

Chapter 2: The design: Every design tells me their family and tribal history. It shows me what characters and symbols are important to them. It may even reveal their daily rituals or routines. It shows me their lineage, their genealogy.

Chapter 3: The knots: Every woven line of knots tells me about a day in their life while weaving this piece, it carries the joys and sorrows experienced during the days, weeks or months of the weaving process. Every fiber tells me the story of their DNA because by weaving each knot they transferred their DNA.

Chapter 4: The cover: The overall look of the carpet tells me who this weaver is and it is up to me to decide whether to buy their labour of love, because that is what this trade is! An absolute, unequivocal labour of love not just for one day, one week, one month, one year, one lifetime but for many centuries and thousands of lifetimes.

I then need to decide whether I want to take their story home and make it part of my own, not just for me but for the generations after me who will inherit the story too.

Happy Carpet Shopping!