Rug trunk show at Slifer Designs in Edwards weaves threads of hope |

Rug trunk show at Slifer Designs in Edwards weaves threads of hope

Daily staff report
Afghan women work at the loom to create masterful reproductions of antique rugs. Some of their work will be on display at a trunk show at Slifer Designs on July 10.
Special to the Weekly |

If you go ...

What: Trunk show and presentation on the art of rugs.

Where: Slifer Designs showroom in Edwards.

When: 4 to 6 p.m. Friday.

More information: 970-926-8200 or

EDWARDS — Giving back and helping create a community can sometimes be a global effort with a decidedly local impact. Bridging the gap between the Middle East and the Rocky Mountains, Slifer Designs hosts James Opie in a very special trunk show today.

Opie not only will share his hand-curated selection of artisan rugs, but he will share his four decades of Afghan knowledge with his presentation on The Afghan Project in the Slifer Designs showroom in Edwards. More than a trunk show, Opie will talk about his commitment to, and relationship with, Afghan weavers.

For more than 40 years, Opie dealt in antique rugs when he saw an opportunity to help Afghan workers make a good livelihood as artisans, while bringing stunning reproductions to the United States.

“We employ under-employed weavers to create rugs people can walk on,” Opie said. “Antique rugs are too valuable to walk on. It makes so much sense to create as an authentic copy as possible.”

Opie has developed relationships in Afghanistan and works with Afghan weavers to create antique replica rugs that are beautiful enough to be used as display but within reach to use in everyday life. The rugs featured in The Afghan Rug Project focus on the poor but highly skilled weavers whose families thrive when buyers in the West enjoy the fruits of the weavers’ skills.

The designs, materials and weaving processes are all geared to reproduce outstanding patterns. The essential ingredients in any quality oriental rug are hand-spun wool and natural dyes, grounding features of The James Opie Collection. No child labor is used in the making of these pieces.

“We are so excited to be part of this unique trunk show and cannot wait to share these rugs with our clients,” said Lisa Mikels, Slifer Designs showroom manager. “The color, quality and designs are spectacular. We expect a large turnout.”

Since 1973, Opie has been dedicated to giving back as he works with Afghan weavers, many of whom are master women weavers who work at home, near their children and are able to earn steady wages. To lay the foundation for his Afghan Rug Project he visited both Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif in 2014. Opie believes rug making can play a key role in helping build bridges and unite the world — one thread at a time.

For more information, contact the Slifer Designs showroom at 970-926-8200.