San Francisco to host Rug & Textile Show

SAN FRANCISCO — In olden times when camel, horse, mule, and foot, were the primary means of transportation, travelers would end their day at the caravanserai where stables could be found for their steeds, storage rooms for their goods, and accommodations for themselves.

Even the most modest of these establishments had resident traders who provided provisions for the travelers; but in the grander establishments, those on major trade routes, one could find a veritable souk where there was a lively trade in luxury goods from the far corners of the earth.

This Oct. 15-26 in San Francisco traders from Asia, Europe, and America will gather for 11 days, setting up a highly specialized souk offering antique and archaeological textiles, costume, and “oriental rugs” at the Antique Rug & Textile Show.

The atmosphere will be informal; if a trader’s door is open, just pop in. Many of the traders are highly specialized and most are among the foremost experts in their field.

The textiles being offered can be classified as art—not furniture. Most of the rugs and textiles were made for ceremony within a tribal or village context. They were produced solely for the use of the weavers, their clans, and tribes—not for sale, trade, or export. The iconography, colors, and techniques, represent millennia of mother-to-daughter tradition refined and evolved with each succeeding generation; the essence of “traditional.”

Additionally, court textiles, costumes, and rugs will be offered; those items produced for the emperors, sultans, khans, emirs, and shahs of the many dynasties, civilizations, and places that have faded into the dust of history.

It is this material that is copied, reproduced, and flogged by the decorative carpet producers and dealers that one normally encounters. Many designs seen in contemporary haut couture  designer luxury goods are derived from these textiles.

The Antique Rug & Textile Show will take place at the Motel Capri, 2015 Greenwich Street in San Francisco. More information may be found by visiting