TURKOMAN rugs are woven by nomad tribes living in Central Asia. The tribes are known as the Ersari GokIan, Sarik, Tekke, and Yomud, and most of these rugs have some points in common, although they vary a good deal in detail. Generally speaking, the Turkoman takes the greatest care to have his work perfectly done. In order to give fixity to the color the dyer steeps the wool in a mordant of alum and water. The dye is almost invariably brought from Bokhara. At Ashkabad the Turkomans dye the wool themselves when it is intended to be yellow, but when any other shade is desired it is sent to the city to be dyed. Camel’s hair is largely used in the rug-weaving of Central Asia. The camel itself is carefully washed, and the soft hair growing next its skin is used for fine rugs. The goats of this vast region also receive the same watchful attention as the camel ; the soft, silky fleece is accounted precious, and is used for the finest Turkoman rugs. The natives use their rugs not only for the floors of their tents, but as portieres, thereby dividing the tent into sections. This is one of the reasons for the heavy fringe one so frequently sees on the ends. It permits of hanging, and is very strong, as is the case with the Turkornan rugs themselves, no matter how fine the texture.
( Originally Published Late 1900’s )