I'm giving the carpet buying experience its own entry because I took a lot of pictures. Although we did not opt for the silk carpet, we enjoyed seeing how the silk threads were teased out of the cocoons, then wound together into thin threads, then wound together into thicker threads and possibly wound again, depending on how thick your thread was going to be. We also saw how the dye was mixed into vats and how the weaving was done. We also found out that the lowly silkworms, after being boiled to death in their own cocoons, were shipped off to Scandanavia to become skin products. Also, here are the two carpets we bought.
Hand weavingHere is one of the weavers. This company has an appreticeship program to help keep traditional rug making techniques alive. All their carpets are hand woven and double knotted. Up above you can see her pattern that she is using. She knots groups of thread, pounds them down into place and then cuts them to the right length with little scissors that look like sheep shears. I thought this was interesting: each carpet has to be done one person because everyone is different in how they pount the threads into place. If more than one person works on a carpet, they are come out uneven. I think it's kind of like gauge in knitting.
Here is the wormNext stop, a bottle of skin serum (he's the little brown guy on the rail.