December 9, 2014 by Catherine Romero
Paige Albright joins us today to talk about the art of buying and collecting rugs. Paige, proprietress of Paige Albright Orientals, has a degree in art history and interior design and is considered one of the area's leading rug experts. She offers a well-stocked, curated collection of rugs and textiles in her shop, located on Petticoat Lane in Mountain Brook Village. Welcome, Paige!
Before we talk about collecting, let's establish a basic knowledge of rugs. Traditionally, I would discuss knots and provenance with a map. After all, rugs are named and defined by the areas in which they are woven, not only by country — Iran, Turkey, India, etc. — but by region, as well. City rugs are very different from tribal rugs, too, due in part to the influence of trade and access to more sophisticated materials, like silks and unusual dyes. Tribal, or village, works are smaller … coarser, perhaps made from nomadic groups who are only able to weave with indigenous materials, like goat or camel hair.
Identifying rugs is based on their type of knot, weave, colors and motifs. Their purpose is often to convey history, whether cultural, personal or political, as they tell stories and commemorate special occasions. Remember, this is an ancient art that goes back hundreds of years. It is how the region expressed itself. While we could discuss the intricacies of all aspects of weaving, today, as I said, we are going to talk about collecting, an interest of those who often share a passion for textiles.