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Hell's Kitchen and Blind Identification



There are only two programs I make a point to watch each week, and Hell's Kitchen is one of them.  Last night was a very interesting episode, starting with Chef Ramsay preparing two tartar dishes.  He stated the main ingredients for both: One beef, the other seabass.

After each chef tasted the dishes, feedback was outstanding.  However, what they did not know was the beef was actually substituted with tuna, and the seabass replaced with scallops.  Everyone was surprised by Ramsay pulling the wool over their eyes.

Next was the team challenge.  Red Vs. blue: Each member was blindfolded and given food to taste.  They then needed to accurately identify the food they were given. Robert could not even identify his own favorite food, black truffles.


Of course this got me thinking...  Would it be possible to identify rugs blindfolded and using only sense of touch and one corner?  
Well, I'm not about to try it, but hey, color and design isn't everything...  Here are some of my thoughts:
Determining hand tufted would be on the easier side, the rough canvas would be a dead giveaway.  Machine made in some instances may be easy as many are synthetic.  However, some of the more complex machine made rugs to identify as machine made would be a 700 series Karastan.  They're wool, and the back is very smooth.  Knots are close, so it would be hard to tell direction of the weave which runs opposite that of a hand knotted rug .  Perhaps the best indicator for this would be feeling the corner of the rug to see if the fringe had been added on after production.
Easy would be Chinese 90 line rugs.  Long kilim/skirt, thick pile with carved wool and somewhat floppy handle and heavy feel.  
The thin rugs are very distinct.  Pieces like Afghan and Pakistan Peshawar, including Indian chobi rugs would probably be fairly easy to identify as falling into a group.  Often you can feel the flatter selvages, or the way the fringe is finished.  But determining exactly which of the three would be near impossible in many instances.
Indian rugs from the 70's and 80's would probably not be too impossible.  In the 70's, a great deal of importation was of low knot count, thick piled wool.  The wool also was somewhat coarser too.  In the 80's, many Indian rugs imported had long fringe, sometimes a bit higher in knot count than the 70's.  But the biggest giveaway would be the round selvedges, short kilim before the fringe typical.  There are few other rugs that are as distinct as these era specific Indian rugs.
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Moderately priced: Take a look at Chobi type Rugs up for bid on eBay!
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