No one knows exactly when the art of rug weaving began, but primitive forms can be traced back to as early as 7000 B.C. Since then, the art has taken many different forms, with some of the world’s most popular techniques and designs emerging from what is now the country of Turkey.

We spoke with Alp, the third-generation owner of Asia Minor Carpets to learn more about this ancient art and preview the rug event he will be hosting at Dwell Home Furnishings on May 5th and 6th.

Alp inspecting the quality of one of his rugs

All the rugs on display at this event will be made or curated by you and your company, Asia Minor Carpets. Tell me about your company and what you do.

My grandfather began the business in Turkey and it has been going on for three generations, but I am the first to begin doing business here in the United States. I studied International Trade at the University of Michigan, but it wasn’t until I took art and art history classes that I truly realized what we have at Asia Minor Carpets. My professors would conduct lectures about the very artwork we were creating.

Alp’s showroom

I opened my first 800-square foot showroom in New York City in 1983 and it just took off from there. We were in New York for thirty years, but for the last six years, we’ve been in Vermont. Wholesaling was just too difficult in New York City. Trucks…forget about it, so I brought the company into the mountains. I began designing new rugs for the American market using different sizes, colors, and designs, and because of this I received six awards at the international rug show in Atlanta.

Tell me a little bit about some of the different kinds of rugs you’re going to have on display at the event.

This is only my second event, personally and I want to do it right. As a manufacturer and wholesaler, I don’t often get to interact with consumers. I’m very excited that potential buyers and enthusiasts will be able to interact with my work firsthand. We’ll have mostly Turkish rugs, some of them original or vintage pieces.

The Patchwork Collection

My company cares a lot about sustainability so we buy old vintage rugs from villages as well as some urban locations in Turkey. From there it goes to our plant where—depending on the structural integrity—I examine them, shear them, hand-distress them, and strip the color to re-dye.

Antique Turkish rug with the color stripped

When the rugs are damaged or have other issues, we cut them into panels and sew different panels together by hand with baseball stitching and back them, creating a kind of sculpture. Old becomes new and old tradition becomes a modern look.

Patchwork rug

All our original work is made with hand-spun, locally-sourced Turkish wool and vegetable dyes. Red comes from madder root, yellow comes from sun-dried daisy flowers, browns come from walnut shell that we grind into powder, apricot tree leaves give us an acidic yellow-green, blues are mineral indigo and the rest come from stone powder dyes.

Refugee Pieces

Asia Minor is now sponsoring refugees in Turkey, mostly mothers, children, and the elderly. We have about 50 weavers now. It takes years to train people, so we will not have many of their pieces on display because they can’t yet produce a lot. Out of the nearly 50 refugees we employ, only about 15 of them can weave with our other master weavers. It’s like playing music. Weaving is also therapeutic for them; they all have trauma. We mix our local Turkish weavers with them in the workshop so they can socialize with other artisans and get relief from that pressure and trauma. They can also work with their young children by their side. 4 or 5 rugs of theirs will be on display at the event.

…And More!

In addition to the patchwork and refugee pieces, there will be some vintage rugs, a few antiques, tribal pieces, flat-woven rugs, and some originals that we build from scratch. There will be some modern pieces as well as rugs made by Nepalese weavers. These feature a unique texture, bringing some diversity to the show. In retail value, I’ll be bringing over $1.5 million worth of rugs to Dwell Home Furnishings. Each rug has a story and I will be talking to people at the event about why the panels are designed the way they are, where the color comes from, etc.

The fine details

Asia minor is part of Mesopotamia—the beginning of civilization. We still have that influence; the way we cook, the way we weave, our sustainable lifestyles, all that is still happening there and I like to bring that out in our work.

What if someone can’t make the event, but is interested in your work?

We have a retailer website that a Dwell designer can use to order something through us. I also plan to leave some merchandise behind after the event. We also will do custom work. If you like something, but need it in a different size or if you like the size and texture but wish for a different color or design, we are happy to do a custom weave.

What made you decide to host this big event at Dwell Home Furnishings?

Financially, what I’m doing doesn’t make any sense, but I’m doing it because I love it. We buy the wool, spin it by hand, dye it by hand with natural dyes, then it goes into the looms for weaving, then it comes here to our warehouse, then it goes to trade shows. You don’t sell everything you weave at the shows, and the money turns around in two to three years.

People tell me to buy machines or get into a different business, but then the spirit is gone. You must have passion. Dwell Home Furnishings values this. Few retailers appreciate good work. Dwell Home Furnishings understands and appreciates what I’m doing—I can see the energy and love that flows through their showroom.

Most consumers love looking for and buying new furniture rather than take the furniture renovation route. From colors to textures to wood trim, it’s an opportunity to recreate the look of any room in your home. As time passes, we tend to acquire a personal favorite-maybe it’s a piece we bought right out of college that has sentimental value or an heirloom table handed down from grandparents.

That’s where people like Mike Pitlick of Dwell Renovations come in. Mike is manager of the Coralville furniture renovation store. And In a throwaway society, people like Mike are a rare breed. For 36 years, he’s worked in wood and furniture restoration.

Mike does everything from refinishing furniture to gluing and making repairs to crafting parts to replace missing or damaged pieces. As Mike notes, “You can’t just go to the store and buy a table leg for a formal dining set from the 1940s.

Dwell Renovations Mgr Mike Pitlick, Coralville-Iowa City specializes in furniture renovation.

Pitlick, restoring a family table

 While some of the work Mike does involves refinishing and matching stains, he also finds himself working on dresser drawers that don’t slide properly or finding replacement hardware for furniture that’s lost a handle or knob over the years.

Furniture Renovation Challenges

You might think older furniture would be the most challenging to restore, but Mike says newer furniture is actually tougher. “Newer furniture often has multiple steps and stages of stains and glazes. You try to match what’s there, because there are often companion pieces. Still, the layers make it difficult.”

And sometimes Mike says you get a challenge that is extremely difficult to fix, like a scratch that’s perpendicular to the grain.

What gives Mike the best memories are when he can repair a piece of furniture that has meaning to the owner, perhaps it’s an heirloom-like the rocking chair that’s been passed on from generation to generation. Mike admits he gets sentimental about those pieces. “The best is when people are so pleased with the work that it brings a tear to their eye. That always brings a tear to my eye, too.”

Dwell Renovations, Coralville, IA, handles a wide variety of furniture repairs. From refinishing to restoring to more basic repairs, Dwell Renovations can help you keep those special pieces in the family. And if they can’t repair or restore, you can visit Dwell Home Furnishings and Interior Design for high quality, new purchases.

Dwell Renovations Has New Location

Dwell Renovations has a new location at 2010 James St. Suite B & C in Coralville, IA. Stop by-Mike will be there! Or call the new Dwell Renovations number: 319-338-1647.

UPHOLSTERY-SALE-thru 11-16-15Sale on stock and special order upholstery and leather styles now thru November 16th including Sofas, Sectionals,
Beds, Ottomans, and many more styles from our favorite manufacturers.

1 YEAR INTEREST FREE FINANCING

monday – friday 10-6, saturday 10-5, sunday 12-4
Hwy 6 West Coralville • 319.338.8909

American Leather

Bernhardt

Norwalk Furniture

Rowe

Younger

Lee

Questions?  Contact Us

Join us for our fall Tag Sale!

Make plans to attend Dwell Home Furnishings & Interior Design’s fall tag sale, Saturday, Oct. 3 and Sunday, Oct. 4. Save up to 70% off sofas, chairs, casegoods, rugs, tables, vintage and antique furniture, accessories, lighting, gifts and one-of-a-kind finds.

Shop and register for giveaways at any of our locations Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dwell Home Furnishings Hwy 6 West, Coralville (next to Applebee’s)
Dwell Kids 2341 Coral Court #4, Coralville
Dwell Warehouse 2000 James Street, Coralville

Tips for shoppers

  • Arrive early
  • Bring a friend
  • Bring your measurements
  • Travel light
  • Cash or credit only
  • All sales are final
  • All merchandise sold as is

Click here to view the Fall 2015 Tag Sale Postcard

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dERBY dAYS sALE

Join us for winter savings. Fabulous savings on contemporary designs, whole store clearance. Take advantage of our 1 year interest free financing available.

our passion is to play with style, and to find the places where creative rules intersect to contrast or balance each other in brand new ways. A thoughtful synergy of individual ideas is what brings Dwell home furnishings and interior design's style to life. Join us during our Winter Sale now thru march 1st. Store Wide Savings on in staock and special orders further reductions taken on clearance items

December 26, 2014 through January 4, 2015

Save 15-70% Storewide During Our After Christmas Sale!
Take an additional $100 Off orders over $1000 from December 26th through December 31st!

after christmas sale dwell up to 70% off coralville

 

Click to download a pdf of this event.

Saturday, October 25th and Sunday, October 26th Only! – 2014

Up to 70% Off on sofas, chairs, casegoods, rugs, tables, vintage & antique furniture, accessories, lighting, gifts and one-of-a-kinds!

Dwell-Tag-Sale-10252014

Click to download a pdf of this event.

Offer valid August 27th through September 17th – 2014

The Bernhardt Home Furnishings Event is the perfect opportunity to personalize any room in your home.
Take advantage of this sale event and furnish your living spaces at an exceptional value.

Bernhardt-Fall-Sale

Click to download a pdf of this event.