National Geographic : 1961 Jan
Stealing a peek at the pho tographer, a young artisan in a Kermn rug factory pauses in her dawn-to-dusk labors. "Most girls pulled the con cealing chador over their heads as soon as they saw my camera," says photographer Abercrombie. Children as young as nine or ten work in carpet factories. Their average wage: 50 cents a day. Irregularities in patterns and colors, strangely enough, often account for the Persian rug's beauty and brilliance. Power looms can weave fairly exact copies, but the product lacks vitality and luminosity. HS EKTACHROMES NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY Cross-legged on a scaffold in NW'in, a girl weaves a beauti ful Persian rug. On a base of cotton cords, she knots strands of wool or silk, her fingers moving faster than the eye can follow. She works at home on a loom and color pattern provided by the contractor. Iranian women and children prove the best rugmakers, for their small, agile fingers can tie as many as three thousand knots a day. A good carpet takes months, sometimes years, to weave; a few are the work of a lifetime. When finished, this 7-by-10-foot rug will be dusted, washed in a river, and laid in the sun to dry. Its vegetable dyes will not fade or run.