Bridal Camel Trapping (khalyk)

Sources agree that this oddly shaped article was made as a wedding trapping, but whether it hung from the front of the bride's litter or bedecked the chest of her camel is a matter of debate. With its long, multicolored tassels, it must have added to the festive air of the occasion. Although women of other Turkmen tribes - Yomut and possibly Ersari - also wove khalyk, most of the few pieces that survive were made by the Tekke. This one has typical motifs: a horizontal panel of hooked x's and side flaps with a type of cartouche seen on other Turkmen tribal weaving and even on carpets from Turkey and the Caucasus (see, for example, cat. nos. 14 and 41). The ambiguity of the interlocking designs on this trapping - for instance in the horizontal panel, where the x's visually transform themselves into inward-pointing arrowheads - is evidence of both the sophisticated Tekke weaving tradition and the weaver's own skill. As an individual touch, she has included a few knots of white cotton in the panel and side flaps of the khalyk and two tiny, amulet-like diamonds of purple silk at the exact center of the top.

SIZE: 38 x 27 in. (96.5x68.5 cm.)
WARP: wool, Z2S; ivory
WEFT: wool, Z2S x 2; brown
PILE: wool, silk, and cotton, Z2S, asymmetrical knots open right, h. 13, v. 22, 286 k/sq. in., design woven opposite direction to pile; wool: ivory, dark brown, brown-red, orange-red, yellow, blue-green, dark blue; cotton: white; silk: purple
ENDS: top: tassels of 6 warps with multicolored wool wrapping; bottom: ivory and red wool weft-faced
plain weave, folded under
SIDES: blue wool overcast over 4 warps

Oriental Rugs from New England Private Collections