if you are in the area of the Texas Hill Country, I suggest you take a little side trip to Paint Rock to see what I fear is a dying art once done by hand-taking fleece, cording and spinning it into yarn, and weaving the yarn into rugs. Beautiful, one of a kind rugs. The way it used to be done before factories took over.
Paint Rock, population 320 in the 2000 census, is the county seat of Concho County, chosen because of the availability of water back in the day. I don’t know if that number has gone up or down-didn’t think to check the city limit sign-but it is safe to say that there is not much town; vacant buildings, a couple of antique stores, the Court House, which is worth touring as well, and the jewel of the bunch, Ingrid’s Custom Hand Woven, Inc., of which, I am sorry to say, I have no picture. The business is housed in two buildings, and you need to see both to understand the process the fleeces, from sheep, llamas, alpacas, goats, and even buffalo, go through before becoming a rug that has been custom ordered. Alas, I don’t have any pictures of all that, either. But I do have a picture of the lovely little alpaca rug that seduced me into buying it and taking it home, even though I had not a clue where I would use it.So it is hanging in the hallway where it can be seen from most of the rest of the house and will, I hope, absorb some of the sounds that we discovered bounce off the now-tiled floors which used to be mostly carpet. If you will Google the name of the shop, you will find sites that will show the steps involved to make these rugs. But what you should do is take a road trip to Paint Rock and let Mr. Reinhard Schoffthaler proudly take you through the whole process from start to finish. And don’t be surprised when you, too, come home with a rug you didn’t know you couldn’t live without. Really.