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Conserving for the Future

Collecting Old Rugs and Paisleys: How, When, Where, and Most Importantly, Why?

By: Cynthia A. Norwood
Conserving for the Future

My obsession with antique paisleys started in the early 1980s while attending the Houston Quilt Show when I was an avid quilter, not a rug hooker. I saw my first antique paisley shawl and I was instantly intrigued and started collecting. Shortly after that experience I became a rug hooker. My rug collection did not begin until the late 1990s, but I wish it had started much earlier. I frequently think of fabulous rugs I saw and had the opportunity to buy, but didn’t. My hope is that someone else saw the value and was smart enough to save them. And just maybe I’ll see them again and be able to purchase them!

My collections began simply because I loved the colors, designs, and beauty of the textiles. But my eyes were really opened to another aspect when I saw how much my young niece enjoyed looking at and handling my pieces and hearing the history and the story behind the acquisition of each one. Her reaction at such a young age made me realize that these items needed to be preserved for future generations.

This article is from the Spring 2016 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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I want to buy some paisley shawls. I will buy damage also

Hello! Unfortunately we do not sell shawls. The article above is about collecting old rugs and paisleys. If you are interested, you can visit our shop to see what we do sell:


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