Course Outline



  1. Course Introduction
    • Introduction
    • Course Goals
    • Course Methods, Exhibits in the Room
    • Overview of Course
  2. Preliminaries
    • Geography, Scope of the Course
    • Rug Research and Scholarship
  3. A System for Categorizing Rugs
    • Tribal Weavings
    • Cottage Industry, Village
    • Town and City Workshops
    • Court Carpets
  4. Fabrication of Knotted Pile Rugs
    • Wool Production and Preparation
      1. Division of Labor
      2. Variations in Wool Quality
      3. Types of Animal Fibers
      4. Wool as a Miracle Fiber
    • Cotton and Silk
    • Processing Wool into Yarn
    • The Loom
    • Knots and Weaving
      1. The Symmetric Knot
      2. The Asymmetric Knot
    • Technical Analysis
      1. Reading and Counting Knots
      2. Warp Depression
      3. Weft
      4. Selvages
      5. End Finishes
    • Natural Dyes and Dyeing
      1. Overview of Dyeing
      2. Mordant Dyeing
      3. Traditional Natural Dyes
    • Synthetic Dyes
    • Revival of Natural Dyes
    • Video of Rug Fabrication
    • Visual Dye Analysis
  5. History of Knotted Pile Weaving
    • Origins
    • The Pazyryk, the oldest carpet in the world
    • Carpets After the Pazyryk
    • Early Mid-East Pieces
    • East Turkestan
    • Fustat Carpets
    • The Seljuk Period
    • Eastern Paintings
    • European Paintings: 15th-17th Centuries
    • Mamluk Carpets
    • Ottoman Carpets, 16th Century
      • About the Ottoman Empire (1281-1925)
    • Safavid Persia
      • About the Safavids (1501-1723)
    • Moghul India
    • Caucasia
    • The 18th Century
    • 19th Century Revival
    • 20th Century Decline and “Renaissance”
  6. Designs and Motifs
    • Rectilinear and Curvilinear
    • Field Designs
    • Border Designs
    • Sources of Designs
      1. Early Design Sources
        1. Floor Mosaics
        2. Zoomorphic Sources
        3. Local v. Imported Sources
      2. Design Evolution: From Complexity to Simplicity
      3. Western Sources and Market Forces
      4. Symbolic Aspects and Deeper Meanings
      5. Court Urban v. Peasant Nomad
  7. The Major Weaving Areas
    • Persia
    • Anatolia
    • Caucasia
    • Central Asia
    • East Turkestan
    • India and Pakistan
    • China
  8. Contemporary Carpets
    1. The Renaissance
    2. Locating new pieces made the traditional way
  9. Practical Considerations in Acquiring and Using Carpets
    • Selecting Carpets
      1. Color
      2. Composition/Design
      3. Condition
    • Examining Rugs for Problems and Defects
    • Locating and Establishing Relationships with Dealers
    • Negotiating
    • Carpets as Investments
    • Use and Display of Carpets and Textiles
  10. Examination of Carpets, Exhibits, and Tools of the Trade
  11. Comments and Questions