A visit to Global Rug Specialist in Mountain View is a respite from the busyness of El Camino Real.
There are rugs on the walls, rugs on the floor, rugs hanging from the ceiling – each created from thousands of individual knots, each a work of art. A small loom in the showroom displays the highly detailed work involved in the creation of a handmade rug. With a comfortable patio in back, complete with gas fireplace, one would never guess the store’s location.
Hailing from a long line of rug makers and restorers, Sam Nejad, a native of Tehran, Iran, came to the U.S. in 1997 by way of Hawaii. In 1999, he moved to California and set up shop in San Jose and Mountain View. His Global Rug Specialist business at 825 W. El Camino Real, near Castro Street, is still thriving nearly 20 years later.
Nejad takes care of sales, estimates and appraising but is no stranger to repair and restoration, having studied rug maintenance in Iran and spent time with master makers on his regular trips back.
He does some hands-on work, reweaving damaged fringe and creating specialized vegetable dyes to bring tired rugs back to life, but he leaves the cleaning and most repairs to the specialists at his San Jose location.
Rugs can take a year or more to make, Nejad said. At one time, many homes in Iran had multiple looms set up for a lucrative cottage industry. Nowadays, though, embargoes against the country have limited the market for the creations, and the art form is becoming increasingly rare.
There are still many master weavers there, however, and Nejad sells a selection of their wares in his shop, along with other fine wool and silk rugs.
“Usually the people who come here like art,” he said of his clientele. “Besides being beautiful and making a home nice, (rugs) are breathing, with thousands of knots.”
The downside is that they absorb dust. Nejad recommends having rugs professionally washed every three to four years. Vacuuming is not enough, he stressed, as that only takes away the surface dust – as illustrated by shaking or beating a small area rug and seeing the cloud of dust that emerges.
A professional cleaning involves a thorough dusting, followed by soaking in soft water, hand scrubbing, pressure rinsing, drying, fringe-cleaning and brushing.
Along with complimentary estimates and appraisals, Nejad offers free advice for those thinking of buying a handmade rug. Whether they buy from his shop or elsewhere, he invites people to visit, browse the inventory and learn about the delicate work involved.
In addition to rug sales and service, Global Rug Specialist sells a variety of framed, signed prints by Chagall, Picasso and other artists, as well as handmade Kilim shoulder bags.
Global Rug Specialist is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. For more information, call 965-7847 or visit globalrug.com or facebook.com/globalbazzar.