Persian rug collectors often justify their obsession with handcrafted Oriental and Persian rugs by explaining their desire to own a small piece of the rich history and beauty behind the art form of Persian rug design.
Oriental and Persian rug weaving is a tradition that spans the centuries over a number of cultures. There are several references to the art of rug weaving found in ancient scriptures and classical writing. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that proves these references where to pile carpets and not simply to flat weaves (Kilims).
On the evidence of fragments found in ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian tombs, we know that various forms of flat weaving were well developed more than 4000 years ago. Other evidence suggests that weaving of pile rugs existed in the Middle East and other parts of central, northwest, and eastern Asia long before 2000 BC.
It is definitely certain however, that Asia was the first continent to produce rugs and that it was definitely the nomadic wanderers who created them.
The rearing of sheep, the prime source of carpet wool, is a traditional nomad occupation. Add to this the necessity of thick coverings for people having to endure extreme cold and it's likely the craft of weaving developed to replace the use of rough animal skins for warmth.
Before the discovery of the Pazyryk Rug, the oldest pile rug fragments of ancient rugs ever discovered were found in East Turkmenistan in an area known as the Tarim Basin. This area includes parts of northwest India, East Turkmenistan, southern Russia, Uzbekistan, Kirgizstan, western China, and Mongolia itself.
The art of pile rug weaving appeared in Europe some time after 1000 AD, and likely in Spain because of its proximity to Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Iran.
Other European countries soon imitated the craft and by the 20th century weaving rugs was prevalent in almost all of Europe. However, even with Europe producing their own rugs, we can still see through classic paintings that almost all the rugs depicted appear to be of the Persian or Anatolian types.
Rug weaving in Europe never became as important as it did in Asia and as a result, many Asian nations built enormous rug exporting industries over time.
When the old throw pillow need new covers try this simple how-to.
When the pillows start to become raggedy or look straight out of the seventies it is time to make throw pillow covers.
You should first select a theme or color that will match your decor. Take a measuring tape (or string) and measure all the way around the pillow from front to back lengthwise, and front to back horizontally. Add an extra inch into you measurements for the seams. If you want to put a zipper on the cover than you should measure one end of the pillow
When you go to buy the cloth select a nice thick material that does not fray, snag or rip easy. If you have kids you may want to stay away from whites or very expensive cloth. A good material suggestion is a 50/50 cotton polyester blend. Test the material on the ends with your hand to make sure it is a good durable material. If you are going to put zippers on your pillow covers pick up ones that blend into your material, do the same with the thread.
Once you arrive home you should wash the material in the washing machine. After the material is washed and dried you can begin measuring out the material you need for each pillow.
For example: If you have a pillow that is 15" lengthwise and 12" width wise then you would measure out 31" (2 x 15" + 1" seam) lengthwise and 25" (2 x 12" + 1" seam).
After the material is cut fold the material so that the wrong side is out. (The wrong side is the side that you do not want shown when the pillow is done. For example, the printed side would be the right side.) Once it is folded it should be approximately the same size as the pillow but without the stuffing.
With the wrong side out there should be 3 open ends. Select which end you would like to put the zipper (if you adding a zipper) and sew up the other two openings leaving that one opening bare. When you sew remember that you have a half inch seam allowance on each of the three sides, otherwise sew ? inch in from the outside edge.
Once both edges are done turn the material so that the pattern is now on the right side. You may want to put the pillow into the case and make sure it fits appropriately. Take the zipper and turn the right side of the zipper (the side you would show) towards the right side of the material. Pin the edge of the zipper to the edge of the pillow casing. Hint: Do not sew too close to the actual zipper, as the material may get caught while you are zipping. Once the zipper is pinned you may sew that one side.
To make a little flap that hides the zipper you should do the following for the other side. Unzip the zipper and fold the other half of the opening that is unsewn over so that only the right side is showing. The fold should be just long enough that when you press the unsewn side of the zipper up next to it the top of the fold goes just beyond the zipper. Pin the bottom of the unsewn zipper (the part with no teeth) along the bottom of the flap so that the teeth are at the top where the flap is folded over. Sew along the bottom of the zipper and the flap.
When you are done you should be able to zip the zipper and have a beautiful new look for your throw pillow.
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