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ABC MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

August 2017

Welcome to Our Monthly Newsletter!

We hope you will enjoy this month's articles.  

This month's topics are:   

Persian Bakhtiari Oriental Rugs

Child Labor in the Weaving Industry

Homemade Essential Oils Air Fresheners

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PERSIAN BAKHTIARI ORIENTAL RUGS

BAKHTIARI HISTORY

Bakhtiari oriental rugs woven before 1950 were examples of tribal rugs, which are traditionally smaller rugs, with wool yarns hand knotted onto a wool foundation. The nomadic lifestyle of these sheep herding tribes, moving their stock from winter to summer pasture, dictated the necessity of smaller and easily movable looms, using the wool from their sheep for the foundation and pile of their rugs.

Sometime in the middle of the last century, these nomadic tribes began to settle in various villages in Western Iran. Weaving looms that did not have to be seasonally moved could be larger and sturdier, making the production of larger size rugs possible. The use of cotton for the foundation of the rugs also became more and more common. Baktiari rugs woven today use wool pile knotted on cotton foundations. 

BAKTIARI ORIENTAL RUGS - WAVING LOCATION TODAY

The Bakhtiari oriental rugs of today are woven in a large number of villages located in an area of Western Iran known as Chahar Mahal.

It must be noted the weavers of Bakhtiari oriental rugs are typically not of Bakhtiari tribes, but rather a number of tribes under the rule of Bakhtiaris. The rugs coming from this region are all referred to as Bakhtiari rugs. The rugs produced by these formerly nomadic tribes share common designs, structures, and color palettes.

Often, place names are used to refer to the origin of the pattern and the quality of the rug, rather than to the place of actual manufacture. As an example, Saman, Hori, Chahal Shotur and Bibibaff are names used to refer to certain Bakhtiari rugs.

The Bibibaff have a high knot density and are considered one of the best, whereas the Hori are of looser weave and inferior quality. The Chahal Shotur and Saman rugs are considered to be of lower quality than the Bibibaff but are of good quality nonetheless.

Generally speaking, Bakhtiari rugs are made of very good wool with the knots thoroughly beaten down to make the rugs thick and solid. They are considered to be one of the most durable and long-lasting of Persian rugs.

BAKHTIARI DESIGN

Bakhtiari oriental rugs have 2 predominant designs that are relatively easy to recognize, making them good examples for our study of Oriental Rugs by Design.

1.       Garden Panel Design (Khesti)

This is the most common design with individual squares (sometimes rectangular, diamond, or hexagonal) decorated with animals and plants. Each compartment will have a different (and complementary to the others) color. 

The motifs include trees such as the willow and the cypress, grapevines, vases, and birds, etc. Direct influences from the designs of the nearby Persian Isfahan rugs include tree-of-life motifs as well.

To read more about Persian Bakhtiari oriental rugs and their design and construction complete with photos, please continue here.


CHILD LABOR in the WEAVING INDUSTRY

The use of child labor in several countries where hand-woven rugs and carpets are produced has been well-documented. But those of us who are fortunate enough to have been born and raised in a free Western country such as America, where child labor laws are in place and rigidly enforced, may be totally unaware of the early age and the extent to which children in these countries are working at weaving looms... sometimes 16 and 18 hours a day, 7 days a week and from the age of 3 up!

In areas of the world where rug weaving is the major source of income for a family (very much like farming was in America in the 19th century), children are expected to help with chores and bring in some income when possible. Weaving is a specialized skill passed down from parents to children and it can mean more income for the family when the children are involved. This is a fact of life for these people. Unfortunately, education and the possibility of a better life for the children quickly fall by the wayside through the actions of dishonest profiteers in the industry.

While we can understand that children working with their parents at home can be beneficial for the family unit, even though it means delaying education of eliminating it altogether, it is generally not considered to be morally wrong. Forced or bonded labor, on the other hand, is evil and abusive, no matter the age of the person forced to work long hours for little or no pay under excessively harsh conditions.

FORCED OR BONDED LABOR

Forced or bonded labor can be initiated when a poverty-stricken family requests a loan from a weaving contractor, perhaps for a wedding or a funeral. In order to pay back the loan, one or more family members will be forced to work until the loan is paid off. It is unlikely the loan will be paid back in a reasonable time because of extremely low wages and unfairly high interest. Also, typically, the amount of debt remaining at any time is kept from the family members.

If the family member forced into bonded labor is a child, due to the long hours and poor nutrition, the child may get sick (with no treatment available) or even die. That child will more than likely have been physically or verbally abused as well.

Even if a country has labor laws in place, they are rarely enforced. For example, in Pakistan in 1992 the Bonded Labor Abolition Act was actually put in place, but it is still not regularly enforced.

WHY CHILD LABOR?

Poverty! Poverty is the main reason why child labor or any type of forced or bonded labor exists in poor countries. Poverty leads to illiteracy, low productivity, poor health and low life expectancy. For the children, it is a vicious circle, all leading back to poverty with no way out.

Under-handed rug making companies use children because they are the lowest quality and cheapest labor around, even though they are the least skilled. These are the companies that sell sub-standard rugs and consistently cut corners on such important things as wool quality and dyes.

And these are the very companies you can be certain employ children in forced or bonded labor. If the rug you are thinking of buying is of good quality, it was most likely made by an adult experienced weaver who is producing work for an income.

Years ago, a propaganda campaign was run by dishonest weaving companies to convince consumers that the small and nimble fingers of children were necessary to form the intricate designs used in rug making. Even though this claim was discredited a long time ago, there are still some who believe this to be true.

THE EFFECT OF CHILD LABOR and FORCED OR BONDED LABOR ON CHILDREN

To find our more about how child labor affects children, what is being done to stop child labor, and what you can do to help, please continue reading here.


HOMEMADE ESSENTIAL OILS AIR FRESHENERS

Homemade essential oils air fresheners, using pure essential oils in any of several different ways can result in a healthy, holistic way to freshen the air in your home. Some of these homemade projects make excellent gifts as well.   

When unpleasant odors linger in your home, and, especially if company is coming, do you automatically reach for the Glade or the Febreze?   

Air conditioning in the summer and cold weather in the winter may prevent us from opening our windows and letting in fresh air. But do you really want to introduce chemically laden, possibly toxic odors into your indoor environment?   

There are better ways to freshen the air in your home. One of these is with the use of essential oils. One advantage to using essential oils to freshen the air is the added holistic benefit that each individual oil can add to the home environment. The aromatic qualities for each of the oils listed below is from the 8th edition of Modern Essential Oils.

THE BASIC RECIPE

The following basic recipe can use a variety of essential oils, either one at a time or in combination, and is relatively simple to do: 

You will need small glass containers with wide mouths. An empty scented candle holder would work well or a small canning jar. Most 'dollar' or arts and crafts stores carry a variety of glass containers.

Water, Gelatin, Salt, and an assortment of Essential Oils (see below), as well as a few optional items, are all the rest of the materials needed for this project.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ounce Unsweetened, Unflavored Gelatin (4 Envelopes of Knox Powdered Gelatin.)
  • 2 cups Cold Water, Divided.
  •  1 Tablespoon Salt or a Splash of Vodka (to deter mold growth and bind the oils to the water--can also use rubbing alcohol.)
  • 20 to 30 Drops of Various Essential Oils. Optional: Food Coloring (preferably natural).
  • Disposable Chopsticks or Skewers would be helpful to stir the mixture in the jars.
  • A Candy Thermometer (see below). 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Bring one cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan.
  • Sprinkle the gelatin over the boiling water and whisk until smooth and all the gelatin is dissolved.
  • Add the salt or Vodka (or alcohol) and the second cup of cold water and whisk. Set aside.
  • Make sure to let the above solution cool to about 100 degrees. Almost all essential oils have a flash point which means the scent will evaporate if they are heated above a certain room temperature. Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature.
  • Add the desired amount of essential oil and food coloring to the jar(s). Pour the gelatin solution over the essential oil and food coloring. Stir until evenly colored.
  • Allow everything to cool, uncovered, on a heat-proof surface. When the solution reaches room temperature, place it wherever you want a lovely scent!

6 Essential Oils Air Freshener Recipes

Below are 6 essential oil recipe based on the above basic recipe. You can also feel free to experiment with your own favorite oils.

CAUTION: If doing this project with children, please make sure to keep all essential oils out of their reach. Some cannot be ingested without harm and all are meant to be used very sparingly. To get the most out of your essential oils, make sure to buy only pure, therapeutic-grade ones.

For the recipes and additional recipes using essential oils as air fresheners as well as an essential oils air freshener spray, please continue reading here.



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FUNDRAISING FOR ALZHEIMER'S in AUGUST!!

Here's how YOU CAN HELP US for this very important cause...

IN AUGUST

USE OUR SERVICES and earn Gift Certificates.

We offer the following Gift Certificates for you during our August Alzheimer's Awareness Fundraising.

  • Earn $5.00 in Gift Certificates for every $50.00 spent on rugs or textiles cleaned at our plant.
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Feel free to share your Certificates with family or...

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to our Alzheimer's Fundraising Team.

See below** to donate or join our team!


IN SEPTEMBER

WALK WITH US to end Alzheimer's!


This is such a special event and we are so excited to be part of it.


To celebrate, we will be holding a drawing during our Walk for Alzheimer's in September of three $200 Certificates toward any ABC services.


YOU COULD WIN one of our gift certificates worth up to $200 during the Walk to End Alzheimer's in SEPTEMBER! 


Please join and/or sponsor **our ABC team
with a donation to enter in the drawing.

PLEASE NOTE:

We will be accepting donations thru

September 16th.

The walk is September 17th.


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!

We have expanded our FREE pick up and delivery service to include the following areas:

ELMIRA
HORSEHEADS
BIG FLATS
CORNING

Call our office at 607-272-1566 to schedule a free pick up and delivery of your area rugs today.

Please note:
Certain restrictions may apply.

Please click here to read our policy on pick up and delivery of area rugs.


UPDATE ON OUR CONSIGNMENT RUGS ALERT...

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!

WE NEEDED MORE RUGS TO SELL ON CONSIGNMENT and WE HAVE RECEIVED A NUMBER OF GOOD QUALITY AREA & ORIENTAL RUGS.

As soon as these rugs are processed, they will be posted on this website.


Please keep checking back so you don't miss out on any of these!

Do you know someone who is downsizing, changing home d├ęcor or looking for good quality area rugs at a reasonable price for a home or office?          

Do you have a rug you no longer want?   

 Are you looking for a rug to buy at a reasonable price?

Please HELP US to continue this worthwhile service. 

Please share with your family, friends, and neighbors.


THANK YOU!!  WE LOOK FORWARD TO CONTINUING TO SERVE YOUR TEXTILE CLEANING AND REPAIR NEEDS!



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