I reached my natural intellectual prime–such as it were–in an age when the written word and a few photographs (color, if you were lucky) were the only readily available means an individual had to make themselves knowledgeable in a new subject like rugs, carpets and tapestries. At that time, in my household that meant the Encyclopedia Britannica or some lesser encyclopedia like World Book. Local libraries had plenty of worthwhile books to be sure such as Oriental Rugs: A Complete Guide by Charles W. Jacobson written in 1931, but growing up, finding a job, and raising a family precluded spending a lot of quality time at the library reading about rugs, carpets and tapestries; three things that fascinated me even back then, but hardly subjects apt to assist me in putting food on the table.
So imagine the pleasure I felt while ensconced atop a pile of beautiful rugs at Hom World Rugs here in Rochester watching a video that taught me more about rugs, carpets and tapestries in forty-two minutes than I’d picked up in years of reading about them. The Colors Of India, A Rug Making Journey is about both the people that make these wonderful hand-knotted rugs and the rugs themselves. We follow the craftsmen and women from the moment they sheer the sheep for the wool until the rug is ready for shipment. In glorious full color I watched them spin the yarn, prepare the vegetable dyes, weave, knot…who could have imagined the time and effort that went into creating a hand-made rug.
What really stuck me was the time spent preparing the rugs after they came off the loom. They still had to be stretched, tightened, their pile cut to a uniform height, soaked and raked dry. I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot here, but I think you get the picture. Each rug is an enormous enterprise requiring the labor of many skilled artisans.
I’m a great believer in the written word, but the truth is that sometimes it simply isn’t enough. A writer as skilled as Shakespeare could not describe the creation of a hand-made rug as ably as this short video. Not that this video is as beautiful as a Shakespearean Sonnet–it isn’t; hardly anything is; although some of these rugs come close. Colors Of India, A Rug Making Journey, on the other hand, conveys a lot more useful information.
This Video is available on Amazon