Lift Embargo: Iranian Rug Trade to Resume

For the entirety of my life, including but not necessarily limited to my career in the world of rugs, the position of the United States toward Iran has shifted numerous times. Waffling somewhere between a cozy unorthodox trade arrangement leading to unpunished imperialistic hubris (Iran-Contra) and the ostracization of an all-of-sudden-we-cannot-talk-to-you-because-lame-reason now and then pariah State, the treatment of the Islamic Republic of Iran by the West can best be described as a school yard pissing contest where the later wins because it has managed to curtail the supply of fluids to the former. The Iranian embargo has done far more to foment resentment toward the West than to encourage popular (read: acceptable to the West) change, and overall has been decidedly unkind to the people of Iran and by extension the Iranian carpet weaving industry. With the recent announcement of the deal struck between Western powers and the Government of Iran however, it once again appears as though trade of Iranian made carpets will resume. Rug and Carpet dealers rejoice!

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The Ruggist's Harangue - The State of Something - A discussion of photorealism in carpets. | The Ruggist

Ruggist’s Harangue | The State of Something

A candid look at photorealism in handmade carpet design and manufacture.

Photorealistic designs in rug production is not a new concept, but it is one that is enjoying popularity mostly due to, in my opinion, advancements in technology and not great artistic or creative merit. An iconic photograph, of an iconic building, in an iconic city. That’s great. Let’s “design” a rug. I’ll just desaturate the image, drop it into the rug graphing software of your choosing, maybe pick the colours, but likely let the computer, and viola! I’m a designer. Now I’ve heard Mr. Irwin did not design this rug, but that is neither here nor there. He is passing this bunkum off as design and frankly it is not. Don’t believe me? That’s fine, I believe you to be wrong. That notwithstanding, it is a fantastic technical achievement in rug construction, but it might as well be a screenprinted design on a cotton chenille machine woven rug. It’s that stupid of a concept and it is insulting to think that people with real taste and style would appreciate, let along purchase such a rug. It’s pretending to be iconic by borrowing provenance and anything else it can from both its origins and the exceptional skill of those who wove it. It’s an affront to taste (good or bad) and we need not ever speak of this again, but of course we will, because on the other hand… .

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