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rug in my possession Colour change in an Anatolian Kurd prayer rug

At the bottom of the rug there is a nice moss green in some places. In the hooked border framing the field, this green gets soon replaced by a colour that might have been similar to the stable green but has over time turned into a not unpleasant grey-mauve, more reddish than greenish in tone (see first two images). On the back of the rug the colour change is also there, but less pronounced — it looks more like a green-brown (see third image). The colours front and back are close (no discernable tip fading when peeking into the pile) but there is a difference nevertheless.

I have scoured Brüggemann & Böhmer's book on Carpets of peasants and nomads in Anatolia to get a good hypothesis of what colour the green could be. My main question is whether we have an intentional colour change even at the time when the rug was woven (because the weaver ran out of green) or whether the good green was replaced by another unstable green dye. I had thought (and perhaps you agree) that this rug would be too old for the occurence of a synthetic green (especially in east Anatolia) but I may be wrong. If the green is not synthetic (if it ever was a green), what natural dye might have turned into the colour you see in the images? I read that indigo sulforic acid (blue) has been used for greens which may fade somewhat, plus one of the yellow dye plants yielding quercetin or apigenin. The yellow component could also fade but that should render the green more blueish, not reddish as in this case. Have you got any hypothesis?

Anatolian kurd prayer rug, front view of green colour change

Anatolian kurd prayer rug, detail view of front showing green colour change

Anatolian kurd prayer rug, detail view of back

And now, for the context, a full view (photo not made by me but by the Cloudband dealer where I bought this rug). You can see that it has been used a lot for praying (wear where the knees and feet would go).

Anatolian kurd prayer rug, full view

On Turkotek, there was a discussion about it (from 18 November 2005 into December) which has since then been removed—now (Oct 2006) that I have received the zipped thread from Filiberto Boncompagni, I first thought of just listing the main points and opinions but it turned out to be easier to just reproduce it here (since it has been in the public domain on the Turkotek board, I hope that none of the contributors would object to having the discussion documented here).

Last update: 08 October 2006 | Impressum—Imprint