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Top 5 reasons to clean your area rugs this spring

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  1. Dust Mites and Allergens: Over time, rugs can become a feeding ground for dust mites. The dust accumulating in your rug can lead to irritation for those with breathing issues or allergies.  Regular vacuuming combined with a professional cleaning is the best remedy for this common problem. A powerful vacuum removes up to 80 per cent of particulate soil, but leaves behind a combination of oil, dust and dirt that eventually builds up into what can be pounds of unseen soil buried into the pile the rug. We recommend getting your rugs thoroughly washed by professional in order to keep your rugs fresh and looking their best.
  2. Canadian winters can wreak havoc on your rugs! Snow, dirt and salt tracked through your house during the winter can cause fading, stains and colour damage.  Professionally cleaning your rugs can extend their life by removing the buildup of salt and dirt.
  3. Spots and stains: With the holiday season well behind us, many of you are gearing up for summer entertaining. Ensure your home or cottage looks its best by having your rugs cleaned and stain-guarded.  Turco Persian uses a water-based fibre protection that helps repels spills and allows for easier cleanups.
  4. Pets: Over the winter, your pets spend more time indoors than during the spring and summer. This means more pet hair and dander makes its way into your rug. Furthermore, if you are dealing with a puppy or an aging pet you may also be dealing with urine or fecal stains. Allow the professionals to do what they do best; Turco Persian can treat your rugs with enzymes to target pet stains and eliminate odors.Free LR
  5. Storage: If you leave your rugs in a closed cottage for the winter, you may discover some uninvited guests taking up residence in your rugs. Moths love dark, undisturbed places to lay their eggs. The eggs hatch and the larva make a meal of the wool fibres. Agitation, sunlight and cleaning are the best ways to prevent contamination and spreading. Regular vacuuming and rotating large rugs once a year is recommended. If you have a moth problem, Turco Persian will perform a special cleaning to remove moths, larva and eggs. We can also apply a moth treatment to help deter new moths from attacking the rug. It is best to have rugs that are left undisturbed for long periods of time professionally wrapped for safe storage.

Remember that Turco Persian’s annual Spring Cleaning Sale is on now until April 30th! Mention this blog post and save 15% off all area rug cleaning, in-home upholstery and in-home carpet cleaning!*

*Minimum charges apply and offer cannot be combined with other coupons or discounts.

Rugs from the Emerald Isle

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To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day we’d like to bring your attention to one of Ireland’s more famous textile: The Donegal Carpet.

The Donegal Carpet Company began in 1898 boasting the largest carpet loom in the world. Founder, Alexander Morton didn’t like the industrial direction the carpet industry was heading and wanted to return to more traditional methods. He employed 300-400 women from the surrounding areas of Killybegs to hand-knot carpets in his shop.

Killybegs Harbour

Killybegs Harbour

This was a great boost to the economy as there were few industries hiring women at that time. The women who were hired were usually former embroiderers, lace makers and seamstresses with skills passed down through the generations.  They had great attention to detail and the ability to match colours and follow intricate patterns. The wool was collected from local sheep which produced fleeces that were revered for their high durability and softness.

Donegal Factory

Interesting link to Canada:

The Donegal Carpet Factory’s infamously massive loom comes from great Canadian pine trees and measure up to CanPine40 feet long. The same looms that once produced carpets for Queen Victoria over a century ago are still there today.

 

By 1906, the Donegal Carpet Company was well-known for their high quality, hand-crafted products throughout Europe. They received orders from many prestigious addresses such as Buckingham Palace, the White House, the Vatican and Upper Canada’s Government House in Rosedale, Toronto (Now Chorley Park).

Chorley Park from the air circa 1930– Government House, Rosedale Toronto 1930

Five rugs were even ordered by King Edward to be used on the Royal Yacht. The largest Donegal carpet ever made was for Belfast City Hall and measures 107’ feet by 46.6’ feet!

President McAleese and Queen Elizabeth II walking on a Donegal carpet.

President McAleese and Queen Elizabeth II walking on a Donegal carpet.

When looking at Donegal rugs for purchase, you will notice bright, vibrant colours and bold, contemporary styles. These rugs have always been popular among interior designers and fashion-conscious home owners. Donegals express elements from Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts and are inspired by intricate Celtic and Oriental patterns. They are so well made they can be passed down through generations for all to appreciate their fine Irish craftsmanship.

If you ever get the chance to visit Ireland, go to the Maritime & Heritage Centre in Killybegs where you can watch smaller carpets being made and try your hand at making a knot.

You can visit our Showroom to see our selection of Donegal rugs available for purchase or click here check them out online.

Antique Donegal Rug circa 1910, 4'x8' (Turco Persian Collection)

Antique Donegal Rug circa 1910, 4’x8′ (Turco Persian Collection)

Photo of Loom From: welovedonegalblog.blogspot.ca

Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know About “The Red Carpet”

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Ever wonder about the significance of a red carpet at events like the Academy Awards? Here are five things you probably didn’t know:

redcarpetcanne20111. Earliest known reference to “walking the red carpet” dates back to 458 B.C.

In the play Agememnon written by Greek play-write Aeschylus, a vengeful wife seeks her revenge by greeting her “heroic” husband with a crimson carpet upon his return from the Trojan War. Agememnon hesitates walking the carpet because the crimson colours are that of the Gods. Ultimately he heeds his wife’s encouraging words and takes steps that seals his fate by insulting the Gods.

Many of the ancient dyes which produced crimson, purple and scarlet colours were from sources that were very difficult to create and obtain. Hence making them available only to kings, nobles, priests and magistrates and considered the colour of the Gods.

Agamemnon walks on the Red Carpet2. In 1821, a red carpet greets a U.S. President.

U.S. President James Monroe was greeted with a red carpet that was rolled out to the river’s edge upon his arrival in Georgetown, South Carolina in 1821. Likely to protect his feet from the muddy riverbanks.

U.S. President James Monroe3. “The Red Carpet Treatment” was coined by the U.S. railroad industry.

The 20th Century Limited passenger train was a New York Central Railroad express service that ran between New York and Chicago from 1902 to 1967. It was the epitome of opulence and was known for many years as the “world’s greatest train”.

Passengers were directed on and off the train using custom-made, crimson carpets which became known as “the red carpet treatment”.

From that point on, “the red carpet treatment” became synonymous with preferential treatment of presidents and dignitaries world wide.

20th Century Limited20th_century_carpet4. A red walkway was used in Hollywood’s first movie premier.

On October 18, 1922, Hollywood’s first movie premier was held at Sid Grauman’s Egyptian theater for the release of Robin Hood, produced, written and staring Douglas Fairbanks. Sid Grauman created a crimson-coloured walkway in front of the theatre for the opening night. This may have been the catalyst for the red carpet in show biz from Hollywood to Broadway to film festivals across the globe.

EgyptianTheater 1922

Egyptian Theater Exterior 1922

5. In 1961, The Academy Awards rolled out the first red carpet for practical reasons.

The hew of the carpet varied in the beginning from various shades of burgundy and reds, which made no difference to the at-home viewers on the black-and-white broadcast. The carpet was simply meant to help guide movie stars into the theater.

It was not until 1964 that the “red carpet” began to function as a gallery of stars entering the building as we know it today. And it wasn’t until 1966 when the Oscars were first broadcasted in colour that viewers at home could appreciate the splendor of the red carpet.

Dan and Jess Cannes 2011

Jess and Dan walking the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival 2011

Interesting Antique Chinese Rugs

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In recognition of the Chinese New Year 2016 we’d like to show off a few special Chinese pieces from our collection here at Turco Persian.

Chinese art is full of interesting motifs of animals and flowers. The pictorials are full of symbolism and purpose.

All three pieces below contain motifs of cranes or herons and specifically the red-crown crane variety. The crane is significant in Chinese art as a symbol longevity, wisdom and nobility.

4053540545Chinese Saddle Bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

The significance of two cranes in the second antique piece (circa 1905) is the ultimate symbol of longevity. The Chinese script in the top right corner of the rug is an old form of Chinese writing showing somebody’s name. The name is most likely for whom the rug was made for or gifted to but could also be the weaving artist.

The third rug is an antique Chinese open faced saddle bag (circa 1900). Along with the crane motif is a deer. The deer in Chinese art symbolizes endurance, grace and a long life. The deer and crane together is for a very long and graceful life.

crane&deerCrane motifs can also symbolize immortality as a reference to Taoist immortals who were believed to have magical abilities to transform into cranes for long distance travel.

Another interesting antique Chinese piece in our collection measures 2’7″ round (circa 1900). Its scene depicts a small village and tranquil stream. It is unique because of its shape and how the vibrant colour blue has stood up over time. It’s a great collector piece.

40547All of these items are available for sale in our showroom. Simply click on the image for more information. For other Chinese pieces in our collection Click here.

Domotex 2016 – Recap

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Domotex 2016 RecapDomotex 2016 Hanover has wrapped up for another year. Ten halls and over 1400 exhibitors covering everything from the newest designs in floor fashion to stunning antique pieces.

Event attendance and exhibitor quality and quantity was very good this year which is great to see considering the global economic climate. There was lots of buying and selling. One would get the impression that the industry is as healthy as ever.

There are a few things that stood out this year, so here is a little re-cap.

The floor was a buzz with the announcement of lifting the US embargo on Iranian imports with the ratification of the Iranian nuclear deal.

India, Afghanistan and Pakistan continue to dominate the manufacturing scene by a long shot.

Some of the specific trends:

  • Use of Viscose continues to grow – The use of less expensive materials (viscose, aka bamboo silk, aka art silk) is everywhere. A very inexpensive alternative to real silk but these rugs don’t come without potential problems. Especially when it comes to cleaning.
  • Kilims had a big presence – a lot of new stuff coming out with good dyes and more vibrant colours. Many of the dealers divulged that consumers are turning to Kilims as a way to purchase a hand-woven product without resorting to inferior materials such as viscose.Domotex 2016 Kilims
  • Big drop off of second life and over-dyed – which is great for the industry because it was such a poor product and is plagued with colour run and foundation problems. However, sari silk highlights are still quite prevalent.
  • The transitional and modern designs dominated the show and the presence of antique classic rugs continues to decline.
  • Iranian products – A few Iranian exhibitors producing some over-the-top exceptional pieces showing that Iran still is the leader in detailed design and traditional materials but also sits at the top of the price list.
  • Machine made manufacturing process is really turning it up with better colours and resolutions around 2M points/m2. A trained eye is having to take a second look at some of these pieces. Mostly copying the traditional and transitional designs for a fraction of the cost.

All in all a great show. Hanover is a great host for the event and things ran very well.

 

Aga Khan Museum Opening

Aga Khan MuseumThis past Sunday, Turco Persian was happy to take part in the Aga Khan Museum’s first public event at their stunningly beautiful new complex in Toronto.

Turco Persian at Aga KhanIt was an open to the public event celebrating the launch of the museum, Canada Day and the coming of the 2015 Pan Am Games.  The day drew thousands of people exploring the new site and taking in the culture, exhibitors, food, sun and to catch a glimpse of the Pan Am flame.

Food Crowd at Aga KhanAga Khan MuseumAga Khan Museum celebrates Islamic culture art with a collection that covers pottery, paintings, sculpture and textiles housed in beautiful architecture.  The grounds surrounding the museum alone are enough to attract visitors. It is a beautiful addition to our multi-cultural city.

For more information on the museum, visit their website www.agakhanmuseum.org

What you need to know about tufted rugs.

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A tufted rug is a process of rug making in which yarn is looped through a mesh foundation by machine and then held in place by an adhesive which is usually latex. The face of the rug is then shaved leaving behind “tufts” or loops of yarn. So the pile is not actually knotted to the foundation as in a hand woven or machine knotted rug.

tufted_diagramThese types of rugs are prevalent because they are relatively inexpensive to produce due to the amount of time it takes to make them. This quick fabrication method also allows custom rugs to be made-to-order very quickly as opposed to what is usually four months to over a year for hand knotted rugs.

You can identify a tufted rug by looking at the back of the rug. The foundation is always backed with latex or covered up with cotton cloth or jute burlap to hide the latex. A hand knotted rug shows the design of the rug on the back since knots are exposed and no latex adhesive is needed.

Above: Tufted rug with exposed latex on back

Tufted rug with cloth backing

Above: Tufted rug with cloth backing

Hand knotted rug example

Hand knotted rug example

Tufted rugs are made all over the word but are most commonly from India, Nepal and China. Many new rugs are made in this manner but the process has been around for many years. Some older Chinese rugs made in this manner are sometimes referred to as Tientsin rugs.

Inexpensive fabrication and quick turnaround allows for beautiful designs to be brought to customers at a very economical price in comparison to hand knotted rugs. But there are things one should know before buying a tufted rug.

The latex used to secure the pile threads to the rug foundation will breakdown over time.  How long it lasts depends on the quality or pureness of the latex used. Some older Tientsin rugs have been known to have very high quality latex which can last decades. Latex however is expensive so most latex used nowadays is of poorer quality and only lasts about one to five years before showing signs of degradation.

If a rug is sitting in inventory at a store for a year or more, customers often purchase rugs that are already starting to degrade.

When the latex begins to dry out it gets hard and brittle and breaks up into powder. At this point the rug loses its foundation support and will fall apart as well as covering your floor with latex powder which can also become air born in your house.

Dried out and breaking latex on a tufted rug.

As the latex degrades it can also emit an unpleasant odour similar to that of burning rubber, dried urine or even smelly socks.

Cleaning tufted rugs also has its issues.

When latex gets wet in the cleaning process it can cause yellowness to leach to the surface of the rug. The cleaning and drying process can also accelerate the breakdown of the latex and amplify the smell.

The cloth backing used to cover the latex can also cause problems. Being that it is usually of a different type of material, it shrinks and stretches differently than the other materials in the rug which causes warping, bunching and curling. In the case of jute being used as a foundation or backing material, it almost always contributes to yellowing after the rug gets wet in the cleaning process.

Out of shape, degrading tufted rug

Out of shape, degrading tufted rug

Re-latexing, rebinding and re-backing are required at some point during the lifetime of a tufted rug. Repairs like these are common and fairly inexpensive but are hidden costs of tufted rugs nonetheless.

Another thing to note is the use of the description “hand tufted”. This is simply a tufted rug threaded with a hand held machine call a “tufting gun” so don’t be fooled. It’s still a tufted rug.

The rug maker sometimes draws out the rug design on the mesh canvas with marker as a guide for the hand tufting process. This marker can bleed to the face of the rug when it gets wet during cleaning. So a light earth toned rug can all of a sudden be colour damaged with bright blue, red or pink tones.

Tufted rugs have their place and are probably here to stay but make sure you know what you’re paying for. Too many times we’ve seen customers who have paid tens of thousands for a new rug only to have it show signs of degrade shortly after purchase and not stand up to a single cleaning.

Before buying a rug, do your homework. Tufted rugs may be an excellent economical choice but they do come with their own set of concerns. Be careful with buying a rug for looks alone and by no means should a tufted rug be purchased as an investment or intended to be a family heirloom passed down through generations.

 

A must see exhibit at the Textile Museum of Canada

Textile Museum of Canada

If you love rugs like we do, you must visit the Textile Museum of Canada, celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. Experience their latest exhibit called “From Ashgabat to Istanbul: Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections”, displaying beautiful antique rugs, tent bands, horse and camel decorations and bags from Central and West Asia.

Curator Natalia Nekrassova and her team have done a fantastic job piecing together a world class collection of rare pieces from private Canadian collectors and museums.

Natalia and her team have also assembled a book showcasing the rugs in the exhibit, which can be purchased at the museum.

If you’ve never been to the Textile Museum of Canada, this is the perfect exhibit to kick off what could be many visits in the future. It runs until April 19th, 2015.

Visit www.textilemuseumofcanada.ca for more information. (55 Centre Avenue, Toronto, ON)

We are proud sponsors of this exhibit and happy to support rug interest in Toronto and beyond.

Turkish Delights

I had the pleasure of traveling around Eastern Turkey last month with a small group of fellow rug cleaners. We signed up through ARCS (Association of Rug Care Specialists) and were treated to a real insiders reveal of the rug industry. We spent a good two weeks touring from one weaving village to the next meeting with weavers, rug dealers, wool dyers and specialist, rug washers, rug restoration facilities. The list goes on and on.

I chose to purchase a number of unique new pieces for our showroom in Toronto, which all share two important qualities – they are unique and extremely well made.

The rug displayed below is new production using vibrant vegetable dyes to modernize its antique Heriz pattern. The extra-wide cobalt-blue border is why I was drawn to the piece. It forces your eye to take in the entire rug from top to bottom, corner to corner instead of focusing on a center medallion (which is definitely not the case here).

Hand knotted with hand spun wool and all-natural vegetable dyes. Woven in Eastern Turkey. 9.09′ x 12.7′