ONE WOMAN ONE WEFT , The village rugs of Hamadan,
by Tad Runge, 152 pages, 75 color plates, 76 color details, 10 b& w photographs, and a comprehensive technical analysis section by Holly Smith. Hardbound. ISBN # 0-615-12038-5
The authors goal in writing One Woman, One Weft, was to demonstrate that Hamadan village rugs woven before WW 2 don't always rate the lowly status they have acquired in the hierarchy of oriental rugs.
Examples that are creatively designed, attractive and use excellent dyes and wool can routinely be found. He presents seventy five challenges to the stereotype.
The book also chronicles the lives and environment of the village women who wove these rugs:
In a culture and at a time where a woman's primary role was to work for and serve others, the way she wove a rug may simply have allowed her to please herself.
One highlight of the book are the excerpts I borrow from Clara Case Edward's letters found in the archives of Bryn Mawr College. Clara, the wife of Cecil Edwards, the author of The Persian Carpet, lived in Hamadan from 1912-1923.
A second highlight are the photographs Tad obtained from the Edward's Archives at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
A new appreciation for both the creator and the product should result from reading this book.
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