What sorts of challenges face the person who needs to make an area rug? Several years ago, one Persian movie suggested a few answers to that question. It was a movie about a Japanese widower, a man who had once visited the country of Iran. After his wife’s passing, he returned to Iran, and asked an old friend to make him a large Persian carpet.
The friend looked to his wife and other female relatives. They worked daily at a number of big looms. They used their carpet making skills to weave large area rugs. They did not shrink from the need to prepare one or more 9×12 area rugs. They began their efforts by studying the pictures in the book that the man from Japan had brought with him.
After studying those pictures, the carpet makers chose the design that they wanted to place on the requested floor covering. Once they had selected a design, then they needed to gather the proper materials. Since they worked on wool area rugs, they planned to make a woolen carpet. Therefore, they proceeded to dye the various strings of woolen yarn.
Now the dyes that they used were not something that they could purchase in the store. Instead, they used natural materials, bits of nature that contained the desired hue. Having chosen the dying materials, they began heating large pots of water, and placing the dyes in that hot water. The women kept watch over the amount of time that each thread of yarn spent in any one pot. Too much exposure to a dye could produce a yarn of the wrong shade.
During one scene of the movie, some yarn did become a dark shade of green. What the carpet makers needed was a light green. Therefore, they had to use baking soda, in order to lighten the yarn. After each group of woolen threads received its dye, those threads had to dry. Since time was of the essence, the men who had requested the carpet made it their job to drive around, while sticking the wet yarn out of the window.
By what seemed like a miracle, that Persian carpet was finished just in time for the Persian New Year. The Japanese man took the carpet back to Japan, and had it displayed to the viewers of a special parade. That carpet had a special “love knot,” one tied into the rug by one pair of female hands.