Thursday, June 14, 2012

Field Trip to Talisman

A particularly old and fine Turkoman rug detail. 

This week the Santa Cruz Handweaver's Guild booked a field trip and tour of Talisman, a local establishment which has an excellent reputation for cleaning, conserving and repairing fine Oriental rugs and textiles. Talisman was created in 1980 by David and Iris Walker and is now run by their son, Gopala. 
David and Iris are now in Santa Fe where they operate Walker Textile Conservation. 

 Our group of 24 was split in two and we spent the first segment learning about conservation and repairs from the women who do them. Our guide has been working at Talisman for 9 years. 

The work they do is extremely detailed. 

Careful attention is taken to match colors and materials. 
We were all amused by the orderly racks of stranded yarns in every hue. 

We learned some interesting things, like how rugs are sometimes treated with acids to intentionally fade them and make them look older. This beautiful one was most likely an example of that.

Also, some restorers employ a method of "painting" the white foundation where the pile has been worn away. You can cover the stark whiteness underneath, giving it the appearance of being fuller. This is only a temporary coverup, as the paints will not withstand the rug's next cleaning. 

Gopala showed us the cleaning area and talked about proper assessment and cleaning techniques. They leave nothing to guesswork, testing and evaluating at every step of the way. Each rug or textile is treated on an individual basis according to it's fiber, durability, condition, construction, colorfastness, etc.
They have built unique washing areas. None of the rugs are run through machines; they are washed by hand.

 It was a very impressive tour because of the beautiful textiles we saw and because of the great care that Talisman takes with it's customers' rugs. Gopala is always interested in seeing each piece that comes in and is always expanding his knowledge. It is clear that he has a great interest in these rugs and his work. 

Here are a few more photos taken by another guild member, on the Santa Cruz Handweavers  Guild website:

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting!
    Love Debra Dorgan, (AllThingsPretty) TAFA