Proper Names | Monologue

‘The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.’ – Attributed to Confucius

‘She was here on earth to grasp the meaning of its wild enchantment and to call each thing by its right name, or, if this were not within her power, to give birth out of love for life to successors who would do it in her place.’ – Boris Pasternak

In apparent reaction to the redeveloping tone and stance of The Ruggist, I was asked recently what things I think are imperative for the rug industry to change during these times of Covid. After the paramount and equal concerns of humanity and environment, foremost is that we must embrace honesty. Advertising and marketing, salesmanship, and yes of course my own critique of rugs and carpets must not only welcome the truth, but must also champion it above what is often not-so-politely called ‘bullshit.’ That era my friends has past; unfortunate as that may be as I myself have been know to write some great bee-ess.

Instead we must, as Confucius and Pasternak remind, call things by their proper name. Silk is silk. Period. ‘Bamboo Silk’ is not. Exclamation Mark! In fact, the later is simply rayon (or viscose if you must) and that is okay. It’s a fibre, made by man, and it has application. However let us not put lipstick on a pig and borrow the credibility of silk to promote a synthetic fibre. Rather let us embrace the fact that we – as a dangerously intelligent species – have created something with wide, debatable applications, across many industries. Let us call it rayon and let us take pride in the fact that we have willed into existence a fibre which brings lustrous charm to a wider audience that silk alone. The limitations of reality prevent us from providing de luxe natural fibres to all of civilization, but we can provide both natural and synthetic options to meet the needs and wants of a wide range of clientele. There is no shame in this, and moreover we should be humbled by what we can actually do by calling things as they actually are, by their ‘proper name.’ 📸: Tibetan Highland Sheep’s Wool – plus secret guest – as seen in Kathmandu, Nepal of course!