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Antique white colour Tekke Turkmen carpet

Antique Tekke Turkmen rug after restoration.

Antique Tekke Turkmen carpet in white colour: Of various tribes who have been involved with carpet making in South and Southwest of Turkestan, the name of Tekke always stands out. Almost all of the Tekke Bokhara rugs are based on so-called elephant Foot or Gul design, in which incidentally seen in the majority of Afghan rugs. The unique feature of original Tekke rugs is that their colours are not uniform. They are innumerable shades of the same colour, known as Abrash. This is a feature of natural dyes which gives liveliness to the rug and cannot be obtained in machine spun yarns. Most Tekke rugs are made of deep blood red colours. These colours normally reflect the surroundings the dwellers live in and the harsh conditions in which they are subjected to. However, occasionally there are few pieces made, which have defied this philosophy. The white Tekke Turkmen rugs belonging to the early and mid 19th century are rare and almost impossible to source. That is why the discovery of these rugs even if in poor conditions can still create huge excitement.

Of course, a dilemma remains whether, it worth to restore these rugs, or just accept their used conditions. In my humble opinion, it all depend on, how passionate we are about restoring these rugs and what is our ultimate goal. Many other questions can also be asked, like the cost of restoration or even if they can fully be repaired. In order to remove any ambiguities with regards to these questions, let look at below images belonging to a lovely Tekke Turkmen room size carpet in white field sourced from vintage home in Scotland. The images before and after restoration showing an incredible transformation.

Before Restoration:

Tekke Turkmen white carpet made circa 1880 with faded field and worn areas holes and stains before restoration.
Antique Tekke Turkmen carpet made circa 1880 demonstrates faded field and worn areas including holes and stains just before restoration.
End kilims worn off with tears as well as tatty pile.
Tekke Turkmen carpet with its end kilims worn off with torn fringes.
Visible holes like the one in the photo with many stains.
Above image shows visible hole areas of old stains and extensive wears into the Gul motifs.
Areas of heavy wear with the white field became faded and look dull.
Areas of heavy wear with the white field became faded and look dull.
End Kilims and fringes subjected to years of usage with many tears and stains.
End Kilims and fringes subjected to years of usage with tears and stains.

After Restoration:

after restoration only few localised wear and stains remaining.
after the restoration, this antique tekke Turkmen carpet has only a few localised wear and stains.
Process of re-piling as well as restoring parts with the identical wools.
the Process of re-piling as well as restoring parts with the identical wools.
Tatty and torn end Kilims replaced with new fringes woven with both ends secured.
Tatty and torn end Kilims replaced with new fringes woven with both ends secured.
The original colours have returned in this splendid antique white tekke turkmen rug.
The original colours have returned in this splendid antique Tekke Turkmen carpet.
Restoration of field and retuning the vibrant colours.
Restoration of field and return to the vibrant colours.

The important aspect of restoring antique rugs is that during restoration many discoveries are found. For example, how texture and the weave in this Turkmen are different from other Tekke rugs. It seemed its foundation was heavier. Even the original wool felt slightly coarser but the overall weave still fine with high density. Both red and white colours look deeper and more antique looking than other Tekke Turkmen rugs.

Above discoveries show, how fascinating and unique these tribal rugs are. As such it would be a shame to not bring back their true identity by having them professionally restored.

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