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Valley Vogue Collections Art Blog

Preserving History and Culture Through Fiberart

by valleyvogue , January 16, 2010—12:00 AM

Topics: customers, designing, handwoven, restoration, weaving

Valley Vogue is taking a brief break from the production of our own designs to help restore the work of others. It is a privilege and quite inspiring to not only view the work of another but help it continue. Recently, we have been contacted by several different people to look at older handwoven rugs in disrepair. Maybe one of the positive things resulting from a poor economy is that people seem to be looking to preserve instead of replace. Possibly our disposable society is turning a corner. We certainly hope so. Our current project is to restore a handwoven rug from Bansko (SW Bulgaria). The original owner (and weaver) of the rug, Katrina (third woman on right in photo), was the voice coach of the present owner (second woman on right in photo). The rug was part of Katrina's dowry. This beautiful rug is now more than 70 years old. In spite of some small areas of wear, this rug has many more years of service left in it.

Handwovens are never just a combination of woven threads but a result of the weaver's imagination and skill. Each time a weaver sits to weave, their mind and body work together to create something that most probably will outlast their own lifetime. It is what makes the hard work so rewarding. This seems to be true of our current project.

As Fran and I examined the rug, we saw not only the signs of wear but also telltale signs of tedious hand dyeing, meticulous weaving and a rich sense of pattern. Katrina must have poured her heritage, heart and soul into this rug. We hope to restore it in a way that would make Katrina proud.

I intend to blog my way through this project. It helps the process to take a step back and evaluate. For now, we have cleared our work table, gathered our tools and fibers to begin the actual work on the rug this week.



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