Friday, June 6, 2008

China Day 07: Silk Carpets

A unique shopping opportunity soon awaited us at the Silk Carpet Factory!
This experience was not unlike our visit to the carpet factory in Egypt, with a couple of exceptions:

1. The carpet makers here are adult women rather than children.

2. The carpets are all silk rather than wool, so they are woven at an even more insane gauge - 400 knots per square inch, which works out to 20 knots across by twenty up in each square. I've embroidered to that gauge back in the day, but not since my eyes went.

3. Some of the carpets are woven on a thick wool warp, with a heavier plush of silk knots. This type of carpet is sometimes carved by hand:

After the lecture about the process and watching the workers, I searched the cavernous showroom
for goldfish-bearing carpets, but had no luck; by this time several tour members were helping me hunt. Here the delightful Rodney helps me find a modest little number that only costs about $1500.
Without goldfish, I wasn't even tempted.

Okay, maybe a little.

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