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Textiles, Carpets and Tapestries
In Rhenen en bij Texel zijn fragmentjes historisch textiel gevonden. Ze zijn nu bruin en grijs, maar oorspronkelijk was de wol geverfd. Alleen, in welke kleuren? Stukjes prehistorische stof uit Oostenrijk hebben de beantwoording van deze vraag vergemakkelijkt.
Yao-Fen You, assistant curator European sculptures and decorative arts, discusses an 18th century woven tapestry by Francois Boucher.
Guest curator Elizabeth V. Warren guides you through “Quilts – Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum” (on view through October 16th at the American Folk Art Museum) and gives a preview of “Infinite Variety – Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts”
Tapestries are valuable works of art. Because of their size they fit only in castles and because of the time-consuming technique they are only affordable to the very richest. Now these tapestries are much sought after by museums, however, not easy to purchase, as Friso Lammertse, curator old master paintings, explains. Lammertse describes here the acquisition of a tapestry that Rubens designed for a series on the life of Achilles. With the help of tapestry expert Guy Delmarcel, he was able to show this rare item in 2003 in an exhibition on the Achilles series. This is now a showpiece in the permanent collection.
Although history and geography are supposed to deal with reasonably clear and documented information, most rug books are vague and at times even contradictory about the locations of Turkmen tribes. You say that they were nomads, so they had no fixed locations? Right, but even nomads find it difficult to achieve ubiquity. Therefore, I tried to summarize what a highly competent and respected historian wrote about Turkmen and what a handful of serious nineteenth century visitors got directly from the horse’s mouth. The following maps and comments are heavily borrowed from Yuri Bregel’s outstanding Historical Atlas of Central Asia. I merely tried to focus on my favorite Turkmen, simplifying and dividing Bregel’s complex maps until they were compatible with my underperforming synapses.
by Louis Dubreuil
The kush or kuç motif is one of the original designs used exclusively on Turkmen ensis, which are now generally understood to be door rugs for the Turkmen yurt or oï (the hypothesis that ensi were prayer rugs is no longer generally accepted). The questions of whether ensi were used inside or outside, every day or just for special circumstances, remain open. Some old reports, such as the one cited by MacDonald (TRIBAL RUGS, p. 66) about the Saryks in the Pendjeh oasis, indicate that ensis were outdoor hangings for the kibitkas (Saryk’s yurt).
by Gebhart Blazek & Henri Crouzet
In the period between 1998 - 2002, when an international market raised a strong interest in Moroccan Henna textiles, the veils of the Ahel Telt were among the most demanded types. The Ahel Telt live in the most northern part of the Middle Atlas as a part of the Beni Ouarain confederation. Their territory is situated east + southeast of the Jebel Tazzeka + south of the Oued Msoun valley. Similar to the surrounding neighbours of the Beni Ouarain confederation the Ahel Telt used to live mainly from semi-nomadic cattle breeding in the past.
It is interesting to remark that among all the Beni Ouarain tribes, examples of the complete set of textiles of the traditional female costume have only been preserved to our days in the small region of this group. While the women's shawls called 'tabrdouhte' or 'tabbnoute' (arab. handira) have been kept on being produced until the 1970ies or 1980ies even, the production of the large wrapping textiles ('tahraoukht'), the veils ('taritat' or 'tarredat'), the head bands ('tachedat n'tritat') + the traditional form of belts ('abkass ouziza') had been abandoned much earlier, generally in the 1920ies - 1930ies. In the period between 1998 - 2002, when an international market raised a strong interest in Moroccan Henna textiles, the veils ('taritat') of the Ahel Telt were among the most demanded types.
by Pierre Galafassi
Chemically speaking, wool is keratin, a protein copolymer containing about 17 different amino-acid monomers. The main elements are cystine, leucine, glycine and glutamic acid. Covalent cross-linking of adjacent cystine residues by disulphide bonds is a major factor for the mechanical properties of keratin fibres. The bond fragility to high temperature (over 90-100°C), alkaline pH, reduction or oxidation, must be taken into account in dyeing.
The Ourika Valley in the High Atlas region of southern Morocco , a place of idyllic beauty, has been a popular tourist destination since the period of the French protectorate. So it was surprising to discover that a previously unrecorded group of highly graphic Berber kilims, which had first appeared on the market as late as 2000, were made there. In 2004 the author travelled to the Ourika Valley with fellow Moroccan textile connoisseurs Wilfried Stanzer and Mustapha Hansali to learn more about this group of horizontally banded kilims, which are entirely woven from natural light and dark coloured wool and are further defined by the use of characteristic lensshaped motifs.
The Beni Ouarain and some neighbouring Berber tribes in the northeastern Middle Atlas are the weavers of a distinctive type of large, archaic-looking, white-ground pile carpet. These 'white giants' represent a direct link to the earlier weaving traditions of the Zenata Berber, and in their turn have had a fundamental influence on the development of the textiles woven by Morocco's mountain nomads.