The Oriental Rug & Textile Society was established in 1977 to encourage enthusiasm and interest in carpets and textiles of the Orient, but the Society is now concerned with carpets and textiles of the whole world. 


We advance understanding in the processes of making carpets and textiles, and promote knowledge of the traditional centres of weaving through specialist talks and in the pages of our journal.

The Society organises visits to museums, auction houses and private collections. Curators have always been exceptionally generous with their time and expertise, showing us treasures not normally seen by the public. 


Our overseas visits have included trips to Turkey, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Germany, Morocco, France, Armenia, Egypt, India, Iran and, most recently, Kyrgyzstan.


A Carpet Ride to Khiva

20 JANUARY 2021 at 6pm 

A talk by Chris Aslan via Zoom (log in from 5.40pm)


The lecture tells the story of the UNESCO silk carpet workshop that Chris Aslan established, and also delves into 15th century Timurid carpet designs, illuminated manuscripts and their depictions of carpets, sericulture, and natural dye-techniques.


Chris was born in Turkey where he spent his childhood as well as in war-torn Beirut. He spent two years at sea before studying Media and Journalism at Leicester University, after which he moved to Khiva, a desert oasis in Uzbekistan, establishing a UNESCO workshop reviving 15th century carpet designs and embroideries. It became the largest non-government employer in town.

     After a year in the UK writing A Carpet Ride to Khiva, he moved to the Pamirs in Tajikistan for three years, which included training yak herders to comb their livestock for cashmere-like down. This was followed by two years in Kyrgyzstan living in the world’s largest natural walnut forest and establishing a wood-carving workshop.

      Chris Aslan has recently finished rowing and studying at Oxford and survived his curacy at St. Barnabas in North Finchley, but is now taking two years out to focus on writing fiction. Several novels are published and more are  on the way. He also lectures for the Art Society and leads tours to Central Asia to pay the bills. He is missing a large chunk of his heart which will forever remain in the 'stans.

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>>> For the foreseeable future events will be online via Zoom. Details will be announced as they become available.


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