Saturday, November 7, 2015

We Had a Flopping Good Time

When I first arrived in Bahrain I quickly identified some activities for my “must do” list.  

Pearl diving (done that)
Campfire in the desert (working on it)
Rug flop (attended one but wanted to organize one)

Last night we had a rug flop so I can check that one off my list.  And, it was great!

I know a lot of you are wondering, “What is a rug flop?”

I didn’t know what they were when I was first invited to one.  It was a hoot and I loved it.  So I decided I wanted to be more involved in planning and holding one.

A rug flop is where the “carpet” merchant brings a large number of rugs to you and shows (flops) them out for your review. Usually this is a party atmosphere with a group of your friends.  

Sort of like a jewelry party but with carpets and spouses included - perhaps a little wine and beer to go along with the party atmosphere.

When I goggled “rug flop” I was shocked at how many sites came up unique to Bahrain.  Perhaps we invented the rug flop in Bahrain. I know my friend Abdulla the carpet merchant has been doing them for sailors on the big ships for many years. Cool!

Here is how a rug flop happens. First the merchant goes through a large number of carpets, flopping them out one at a time -- placing the next one on top of the growing pile. He starts with the largest size continuing to the smallest and then runners. 

Here is a video from our rug flop. If you are reading this in an email, you will have to go to my blog page online to view the video.

Starting the "flop."
Our pile was growing.

As the merchant rolls out each carpet, he tells you where it was made, how it is constructed – fabric and blend of threads -- and how many knots it contains.  The more knots, the more expensive it is because of the skill and detail in the work required.

Here were some carpets with very large knot counts.  I think Abdullah said they were 1200 knots per inch. The back of the carpet looks almost as pretty as the front when the knot count is high.

After all the carpets are displayed, then the merchant will go back one by one through the big stack of carpets and quote prices. If you are interested in a carpet, it is pulled out and placed in front of you so you can review your choices making your final decision after all the carpets are priced.

Typically the merchant provides dinner as well. 

I forgot to get a photo before everyone started eating.  The food was really good.

This is a great way to enjoy picking out a carpet. You can see the carpets up close and personal in your own setting with plenty of time to discuss the right carpet for you.

When I told my friend JA about the first rug flop I attended, she chimed in with great enthusiasm, “I want to have a rug flop and I have the perfect space for it.”

So JA and I planned a rug flop with my favorite rug merchant, Abdulla from Oasis Handmade Carpets.

I have a confession, JA (and husband MA) did all the work. She was fantastic and made the event the success that it was.  THANKS JA!!!

It was great fun. Abdulla out did himself with fantastic food and beautiful carpets. Our friends came along for the fun and many carpets were purchased.  

JA and me on top of the big stack of carpets when they were all flopped out.

Much to my surprise, Abdulla brought a 50-year-old (antique according to Abdulla) Tabriz with a paisley design.  The first time he rolled it out, I was in love!  And, to my great surprise, Hubby D asked to have it set aside when it came up for review the second time.  

Love at first site when this carpet was flopped out.
Getting ready to "flop" with piles of carpets all around.

JW and KW are doing a "toe test" on a carpet.  

LW is feeling of a 100% silk carpet.  It was BEAUTIFUL!

LW is doing a toe test on one carpet. You have to sink your toes into the carpet to see how it feels.  OOOOO!

Abdullah's assistants were running all over the room helping people roll out their selections and look at them up close.

We ended the evening with 3 more carpets to take home.  I was thrilled.  

I know D had gotten used to having the carpet we purchased for daughter BHB under his chair at his computer so he actually picked one out to replace that one when we take it to her for Christmas. 

You will never guess!  The new carpet he picked out matches EXACTLY the original Tabriz we already owned.  It is the small version. It is perfect!

The far left is BHB's carpet, the new one is in the middle and our old one (purchased a year ago) is on the right.  Gorgeous!
So the RUG FLOP was a big success and our new carpets are wonderful.  I just have to get the maintance guys at our flat to come in and roll up the old living room rug and put down my new “antique” paisley Tabriz carpet.  

Our new carpet laying in the living room next to the old rug.

OMG!  Life is good.


By the way, for those of you who want to know, BHB chose carpet number two.  Here is a close up of the new carpet we will give her for Christmas. It is beautiful.

Hubby D is keeping BHB's carpet under his computer desk until we pack it up to take to Florida in December.
Here is a video of the "unrolling" of BHB's new carpet when we brought it home to our flat.  If you are reading this in an email, you will have to go to my blog page online to view the video.

1 comment:

  1. Your top flop made me laugh and so envious of the choice of rugs. It looked like open day in the magic carpet shop - test drive a carpet! I think you're right, it might be unique to Bahrain as I've not come across it in Egypt or north African countries that I've visited. What a unique way to socialise.

    Lucy Andrews @ Safeclean Westminster