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DERBEND ORIENTAL RUGS
Derbend oriental rugs (Derbent, Derabend) are a type of Northern Caucasus rug made in and around the city of Derbend (Derbent) in the upper northeast corner of what is now the Russian Republic of Dagestan. The Republic is bordered on the East by the Caspian Sea and on the South by Azerbaijan.
The port of Derbent (as it is now called) is Russia's southernmost city and may very well be the oldest city in Russia as well. Its strategic location, occupying a narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains, has for centuries made it vulnerable to many different conquerors and cultures. These have included the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan, and Iranian kingdoms. The 1813 Treaty of Gulistan put the city into Russian hands.
When the Russians set up their administrative districts, they combined the mountainous area of what is now Dagestan with the flat area near the sea known as Derbend (Derbent), and called the entire area Dagestan.
Today, although Russian is the official language, there are more than 30 commonly spoken local languages. Unfortunately, this region is a very heterogeneous, ethnically diverse area and can tend to be unstable.
WEAVING IN THE CAUCASUS MOUNTAINS
Weaving in the Caucasus regions can be traced back as far as the Bronze age. Along with the Derbend oriental rugs, other notable rugs from the Northern Caucasus region include the Kuba and the Dagestan.
The Kazak, Karabagh, Gendje, Moghan, Talish, and Shirvan rugs were the major rugs from the Southern Caucasus region.
Antique rugs from these regions were often mislabeled as coming from major collecting points, rather than the actual area where they were woven, making positive identification difficult.
CONSTRUCTION OF DERBEND ORIENTAL RUGS
Derbend oriental rugs share many of the general features of the Dagestan rugs but are typically much bolder and more crude. They also are larger in size, are more coarse, have longer pile, fewer colors, and figures are not clearly defined.
The warp (up and down cords) and weft (side to side cords) are usually wool but the Turkoman influence on the Derbend area resulted in goat's hair being used for the warp in many of the rugs (rather than wool) giving the rugs a wilder appearance with a darker hue.
The pile is wool and, as mentioned above, it is usually longer than the other rugs in the area.
The knot is the symmetrical or Turkish knot.
The sides of the Derbend oriental rugs are overcast, some with several colors of yarn.
The ends are typically finished with 4 rows of knots in the solid selvage where the fringes grow out. Often, however, the warp and weft are woven together in a broad web (also borrowed from their Turkoman neighbors).
DESIGN OF DERBEND ORIENTAL RUGS
As mentioned above, the Derbend oriental rugs followed many of the general features of the Dagestan oriental rugs, such as the use of lattice patterns and geometric flowers.
There can be a main design with a large star (such as an elongated Yomud star) or some other geometrical figure which may be repeated 3 or 5 times diagonally on a field of blue or red. Figures on a blue field will often have predominantly red and saffron yellow colors. If the field is red, the figures will usually have blue and yellow colors.
The latch-hook motif can be an important part of the design.
Border stripes are clearly defined as in most of the other Caucasian rugs.
The Derbend oriental rugs have a natural sheen or luster. This is a characteristic of many of the Caucasian rugs. It may come from the yarn being rubbed under the coarse woolen socks of the weavers or it may be a result of the yarn being dyed without washing out the natural oil from the wool, making the yarns spread out into a cluster of fibers which reflect the light.
DERBEND ORIENTAL RUGS TODAY
To continue reading about Derbend oriental rugs, please continue reading here.
UPHOLSTERY FABRIC ID
Upholstery fabric ID can provide a consumer with crucial information about the cleanability, general maintenance, and durability of upholstered furniture. It can give clues as to whether or not a certain fabric will hold up to pets, children, spills, stains, sun, etc. The plethora of different types of available upholstery fabric can be very confusing to someone seeking the best option for his or her individual or family needs.
Upholstery fabric can consist of natural or synthetic fibers and any combination of the two. The type of fabric and the type of weave as well as the particular finish that may have been applied to the fiber and the type of dye, and whether it is colorfast or not, are all matters of concern to help determine the best fit for the purchase of a quality piece of upholstered furniture (which could be one of the more expensive items to purchase for a home or business).
When a consumer has a general knowledge of upholstery fiber ID (which includes the type of weave, finish, and dyes) of the fabric covering a particular piece of upholstered furniture, he or she can then make an informed purchase decision.
UPHOLSTERY FABRIC ID - NATURAL FIBERS
There are 3 types of natural fibers:
REGENERATED CELLULOSE FIBERS
UPHOLSTERY FABRIC ID -
Common Trade Names: Anso, Antron, Ultron, Zeftron, Enkaloft.
Common Trade Names:Dacron, Fortrel, Kodel, Trevira.
Common Trade Names: Acrilan, Creslan, Orlon Zefran.
To find out more about upholstery fabric ID including types of weaves and finishes, dyeing, and cleaning, please continue reading here.
SISAL NATURAL FIBER
Sisal natural fiber is derived from the inside of the large leaves of the Agave Sisalana plant, native to Southern Mexico. It is the same cactus used to make aloe and tequila!
Sisal natural fiber has been cultivated since pre-Columbian times but it was first cultivated for commercial use in the late 1930s when its economic benefits were discovered in countries across the world.
The development of cheap synthetic fibers in the 1980s and 90s sent the sisal market plummeting. The 21st century has seen a resurgence of the use of sisal, as well as its waste byproducts, due to the growing public awareness of natural fibers in general and the fact sisal is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Sisal used for rope and twine are the traditional uses for this fiber. However, sisal is such a diverse resource material, there has been a growth in new non-traditional uses of this plant as well.
Today, sisal is sustainably farmed across the world. Brazil, and right behind it, Tanzania, are the largest producers. The fiber of the sisal agave is also very similar to that if its relative, henequen (Agave Fourcroydes).
THE SISAL PLANT
The Sisal plant is very hardy and grows well all year round in hot climates and arid regions, often those areas not suitable for other crops. It can be cultivated in most soil types except clay.
The sisal plant usually grows to about 3 feet high and is around 15 inches wide. The leaves from which the fiber is extracted are fleshy and rigid and grow out from the stalk in lance-shaped leaves that are gray to dark green. Each lance is 2 to 6 feet long and 4 to 7 inches across, ending in a sharp spine.
The plant can be harvested from 3 to 5 years after being planted and its productive life can be as much as 12 years (though usually falls between 4 to 8 years). Each plant will produce approximately 300 leaves (depending on location, altitude, level of rainfall, and variety of plant).
At some point anywhere from 4 to 8 years, the mature plant will send up a central flower stalk which can reach up to 20 feet high. Unpleasant smelling yellow flowers will emerge. After these flowers start to die, small plants develop called bulbils which fall to the ground and take root. Similar to other agave species, the old plant dies after flowering is completed.
Besides the bulbils, young plants can also be propagated from the rhizomes or underground stems of mature plants. These young plants are usually kept in nurseries for the first 12 to 18 months They are then transferred to the field at the beginning of the rainy season.
The outer leaves are cut off close to the stalk as they reach full length. The initial harvest is usually about 70 leaves from each plant, averaging around 25 leaves thereafter. The leaves need to be crushed, washed, and dried first before the fibers within them can be used.
The fibers to be extracted lie lengthwise in the leaves, most of them near the leaf surfaces. The fleshy pulp is very firm and must be scraped away by hand stripping or by a mechanical decortication process. The fibers must be removed from the leaves as soon as possible after they are cut in order to avoid the risk of damage during the cleaning process.
ADVANTAGES OF SISAL NATURAL FIBER
DISADVANTAGES OF SISAL NATURAL FIBER
To find out more about sisal natural fiber including its many uses, both traditional and non-traditional, as well as the cleaning and maintenance of sisal natural fiber rugs and stain removal procedures, please continue reading here.
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