IT is to be feared that commercialism has stepped in and made many a peasant weaver who was formerly an artist into little more than an unimaginative operative, though there are parts of Western Asia, notably in Anatolia, Persia, and Syria, where the conscientious worker is not to be enticed by all the blandishments and promise of wealth of the merchant, the agent, and the middle-man.
There are still numerous families whose tasks may be regarded as heritages of work in which all members of the family share. Their fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers for long generations carried on the business of weaving, and the present refuses to break with the past. In some cases, of course, it is necessity rather than tradition which is the ruling factor, but many weavers take a genuine delight in their craft. It is usual for a family to have its own exclusive design, and its own well-guarded secret of how to dye permanently with vegetable colours. Aniline or other mineral dyes are unsuitable on account of the natural oils of the wool.