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AREA & ORIENTAL RUGS
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KAYSERI ORIENTAL RUGS
LOCATION & HISTORY
Kayseri oriental rugs originated in the town of Kayseri, located in central Anatolia Turkey at the foot of Mount Erciyas.
Kayseri was first known as the city of Masaka. Later, during the Roman period, the province's name was changed to Kaesarea or Caesarea, then Kayzer before becoming known by its modern name of Kayseri.
Many civilizations played a role in the history of Kayseri and they all left their imprint on its culture. The city was one of the crucial cities on the Silk Road, an ancient network of trade routes which linked regions of the ancient world in commerce from 130 BCE-1453 CE. One of the major regions of trade with Kayseri on the Silk Road was Persia. Thus the Kayseri oriental rugs bear more of a resemblance to those of Persia, featuring more curvilinear and floral motifs than other Turkish rugs.
Rug weaving is a flourishing tradition passed down in families in Kayseri for centuries. Most weaving is done by girls and women between the ages of 14 and 26 who work with one another within each neighborhood of the village or in workshops. While mastering the textile arts, young girls begin the creation of their Ceyiz, or dowry, consisting of beautiful things that will be useful in their future homes.
CONSTRUCTION OF KAYSERI ORIENTAL RUGS
There are 3 basic types of Kayseri oriental rug construction:
Kayseri Silk Rugs
Excellent quality Bursa silk is used for the foundation of warp (up and down cords) and weft (side to side cords) as well as the pile in Kayseri silk rugs. Metallic threads are often added to accentuate certain designs and motifs.
These silk on silk rugs of Kayseri are famous for their intricate designs, soft texture, and fine weavings. They tend to be more formal in design, often with a floral motif, and they can more often than not be found covering tables or used as wall hangings rather than as floor coverings, because of their artistic beauty. The silk rugs are usually woven in small sizes.
Kayseri Artificial Silk Rugs (Floss)
Kayseri artificial silk rugs are known as artificial silk, art silk, Turkish silk, floss or mercerized cotton. The use of waste silk blended with rayon and mercerized cotton, with its silky luster and feel, could easily fool the untrained eye into thinking these are actually pure silk rugs.
The mercerization process treats cotton thread in a caustic solution under tension. This causes the fibers to swell, allowing dye to better penetrate the fibers, increasing the luster.
Mercerization makes cotton easier to dye, but it also makes it less absorbent and mercerized cotton can only be dyed with chemicals.
Cotton is used for the foundation of these rugs (warp and weft) and the floss or art silk is used for the knots (pile). More knots can be fit onto a cotton foundation than a wool one and thus the creation of more intricate floral and geometric patterns can be found on these rugs.
The designs of Kayseri Artificial Silk rugs are adopted from Persian rugs as well as from some 19th century Turkish rugs. One unique design is the saff, featuring multiple mihrabs side by side. (Mihrabs represent niches in the wall of a mosque and are indicators of the direction toward which Muslims must face in prayer).
Unfortunately, the Kayseri artificial silk rugs do not withstand wear very well and Turkish travelers are routinely warned about purchasing them. If you are not able to get a chemical test done, an easy way to determine if mercerized cotton or silk was used in a rug is to wet a small portion. The mercerized cotton will feel like cotton while the silk will have a silky feeling. These Kayseri Artifical Silk rugs are usually woven in small sizes.
Kayseri Wool Rugs
Kayseri wool rugs are constructed of wool pile on a wool foundation of warps and wefts. The wool is of high quality and is trimmed short. Designs are similar to the Persian Tabriz and the Isfahon as well as Turkish rugs. They are commonly woven in sizes from small up to 6'6 x 9'9 sizes.
KAYSERI ORIENTAL RUGS TODAY
There are 2 main types of rugs woven today in Kayseri and its surroundings. They are Bunyan rugs and Yahyali rugs from the Kayseri districts of the same names.
Please continue reading here for more information and photos of Kayseri Oriental Rugs.
TURKISH RUG MOTIFS
Turkish rug motifs and the way they are arranged in patterns are the keys to discovering each weaver's story. This is true of pile rugs as well as flat woven kilims from Turkey.
If the weaver is single, she may express this by the motif of a hair band announcing she is ready for marriage. If she is married, she will often use the yin-yang motif, expressing love and unity between a man and a woman. If she wishes to have a child, she may include the tulip motif. If she wishes protection for her flock from wolves, she can use the wolf's foot motif.
Turkish rug motifs can vary in shapes and sizes, as well as colors, all chosen according to the taste and the tradition of a given village or tribe.
Some motifs, such as the dragon and the scorpion both share the same basic diamond shape with a hooked or stepped boundary and it can be difficult to distinguish between them.
There are certain motifs found only in Anatolia (Turkey). Others can also be found in Persia (Iran) and the Caucasus region. Rug weaving appeared very early in all regions inhabited by nomadic Turkish groups. Turkish rug designs appeared prominently in many early European artists' paintings in the 14th to the 16th centuries, such as Holbein, Memling, and VanEyck, etc.
TURKISH RUG MOTIFS SYMBOLIZING PROTECTION
A large number of Turkish rug motifs symbolize protection against wild animals and any kind of evil or malice a weaver may feel threatens her or her family.
Weavers have believed from earliest times imitating or weaving part of a dangerous animal will give them power over it and protection from it. Examples of these are the scorpion, the snake, and the wolf's foot or wolf's mouth.
A large number of Turkish rug motifs contain motifs woven as protection against the evil eye and the harm it can do to the weaver, her family, and her tribe. These motifs include the human eye, the cross, hook, scorpion, and burdock, etc.
The most common Turkish rug motifs symbolizing protection are noted below:
THE ARROW MOTIF (Ok)
The arrow motif is a general protective symbol usually used in borders.
THE DRAGON MOTIF (Ejder)
The dragon is a mythological creature whose feet are like the lion's, whose tail is like a snake and who has wings. The Turks of Central Asia stylized the dragon with a beak, wings, and a lion's feet.
Believed to be a great serpent, the dragon is the guardian and protector of treasures and secret objects as well as the tree of life. The dragon is the sacred imaginary animal of the sea, sky, mountains, and forests.
It is a symbol of power, force, and might because of its ability to produce flames from its mouth as well as by its supernatural appearance. The dragon also offers specific protection from the sting of the scorpion.THE EVIL EYE MOTIF (Nazarlik)
The weavers have always believed some people possess a power in their glance which can cause harm, injury, misfortune, and even death. At immediate risk are babies, pets, important objects in the home, and property.
The evil eye motif itself is used in the same way an animal is depicted on a rug in order to control it or to reduce its effect.
The Muska is a triangular package containing a sacred verse carried by the tribal people for protection. When woven into a rug, it serves as an amulet, conferring protection by its presence.
THE BURDOCK MOTIF (Pitrak, Dulavratotu)
a plant with burrs that stick to clothing and animal hair, is believed
to avert the evil eye. It is also a symbol of abundance.
THE CROSS MOTIF (HAC) The cross motif can divide the evil eye into four pieces, thus reducing its power. The cross motif was used well before Christianity and does not represent religious meanings.
The swastika is a variation of the cross motif and has been used for centuries as a motif in rugs.
THE EYE MOTIF(Goz)
The belief is the human eye is the most effective precaution against the evil eye. Very often it is depicted as a spot (usually of blue color) inside a triangle, square or quadrangle. A common form of the human eye is a diamond divided into four parts. The particular eye motif used on rugs can vary from one region to another.
THE HAND (El), FINGER (Parmak), and COMB (Tarak) MOTIFS
The hand, finger, and comb motifs are very similar. All are used against spells and the evil eye. The use of this theme dates back to very early times. The fingers on the hand number five, which is considered a lucky number.
The comb motif is largely related to marriage and birth. When used against the evil eye, it expresses the desire to protect birth and marriage against the evil eye.
To continue reading about the protective motifs and learn about those symbolizing love and marriage, the desire for fertility and pregnancy, the desire for immortality, the desire for good luck and happiness, the fate and the heavens, those symbolizing religion, family signs, and more, complete with photos, please continue reading here.
INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Indoor air quality is a very important environmental consideration, especially since the majority of us spend a majority of our time in an indoor environment.
Taking a deep breath of air, especially outdoors after a thunderstorm or when the air is crisp and clean, smells and feels good. It's refreshing. But taking a deep breath of air inside, such as in a home or a commercial building, can be a different matter altogether.
When indoor air quality is poor, there can be issues for many people, especially those who suffer from allergies, asthma, and respiratory illnesses, among others. The list can be quite extensive.
POOR INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Poor indoor air quality doesn't mean just 'stuffy' air, the type that can build up in a home that doesn't have sufficient air exchanges during the day. Although that can contribute to poor health for some individuals, what really causes health concerns is excessive dust, pet dander, pollen, mold, and other pollutants.
More often than not, families of today have both parents working, meaning less time spent cleaning in the home. Tobacco smoke, radon, cooking odors, and bad air drawn in from outside are all factors that can contribute to poor indoor air quality.
During times of renovating or redecorating, products such as cabinetry, paints, varnishes wood finishes, caulking, adhesives, etc. can also cause poor indoor air quality. Even everyday cleaning materials, building materials, ducts transmitting heat and air conditioning, as well as our pets and our general furnishings all affect the indoor air quality of our homes and other buildings.
CAN THE INDOOR AIR QUALITY BE CONTROLLED?
Yes. The indoor air quality in a home can be controlled to some degree. Keeping things clean is first and foremost. Second, avoid cleaning products and interior furnishings that emit high volatile organic compounds or VOCs.
These chemical compounds are widely used as ingredients in household products, such as paints, varnishes, and waxes, as well as many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing, and hobby products.
All of these products can release VOCs while they are being used and, to some degree, when they are stored. Many of them can cause short and long term adverse health effects.
Additionally, concentrations of many VOCs can be up to ten times higher indoors than outdoors, making it prudent to have proper ventilation in the home at all times.
WHAT ABOUT VOC EMISSIONS AND ODORS FROM WALL-TO-WALL CARPET?
As far as VOC emissions go, scientific studies have shown new wall-to-wall carpet is one of the lowest emitters of these chemical compounds and they dissipate very quickly. There have been no links of adverse human health effects to the VOC emissions from carpet.
After a carpet installation, the emission levels of VOCS will drop significantly within the first 24 hours and if fresh air is vented into the environment, the level will dissipate to one that is undetectable within 48 to 72 hours. This is true whether the carpet has natural or synthetic fibers.
When there is an odor from carpet, it is usually a harmless byproduct of the latex used to hold the fibers and the backing together. It will dissipate within a few days. This latex is not a natural latex. It is made from compounds different from latex so an allergy to natural latex does not mean you cannot have wall-to-wall carpet in your home.
WHAT ABOUT FORMALDEHYDE AND CARPET MANUFACTURE?
is possible to find formaldehyde in very old carpet or in household
textiles that may have absorbed formaldehyde from other environmental
sources. Formaldehyde is not used in the carpet manufacturing process in
the United States.
CARPET ACTS AS AN AIR FILTER AND ACTUALLY IMPROVES INDOOR AIR QUALITY!
To find out more and for tips on how to keep your home environmentally friendly, please continue reading here.
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Top of September 2019 Newsletter
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