One of the things that middle-aged white people do is that they gradually, room by room, pay someone to replace the 1980 wall-to-wall carpeting that came with the house with stained oak floors. And then they have to buy oriental carpets to put on top of the new oak floor to render the overwhelming bulk of it invisible.
"Why not just put oak down around the edge of the room?" I asked. "And leave plywood where the rugs are going to go?"
"You think you are funny," said one of our floor guys, "and I laugh because you are paying me. But if you ever buy new construction, check--especially it the rugs are tacked down, and especially always check if there are runners on the stairs."
So we journey to the Macy's Furniture Warehouse Outlet at 1200 Whipple Road in Union City:
And we discover that in the past five years the number of handmade oriental carpets at 1200 Whipple Road has greatly shrunk--instead, they now have lots of very attractive (and attractively priced) machine-made Karastans. Nevertheless, we return with 220 square feet of carpet: a "Ziegmahal" and a "Khyber"--and no real idea of what tradition the rugs come out of: to my knowledge "Khyber" is not a rug-making tradition, and I can find no trace of "Ziegmahal" anywhere.
But making them took a lot of work http://www.jacobsenrugs.com/effort.htm, and they should wear like iron.