Everything You Need to Know About Turkish Carpets and Rugs
Looking back to the history of carpet and rug weaving, it may be traced back to the Neolithic Age (BC 7000). Woven rugs and carpets are used not only to cover floors in homes but also to decorate them. The patterns woven on carpets and rugs communicate many things about society because the designs represent many things about culture: the way people live, dress, and even their faith.
Carpets and rugs are extremely important in Turkish culture. Turkic peoples have their origins in Central Asia. When Turkic tribes came to Anatolia, their nomadic culture and traditions merged with Anatolian civilization, resulting in a whole new synthesis.
As previously said, carpets and rugs represent the community’s everyday life and culture. As a result, major changes in the community are reflected in the patterns that are produced and woven. For example, following the introduction of Islam, numerous Islamic designs and themes were incorporated in carpets and rugs. Regional and ethnic variations may be seen in Turkish carpets. Carpets and rugs come in a variety of styles and designs.Turkish carpets and rugs, as one can see, represent the daily life of an Anatolian. It’s similar to sketching with needles and threads. Color, patterns, design, size, and even the dyes used for carpets and rugs are all significant considerations.
What is Kilim?
The rug, kilim in Turkish, denotes a pileless thread of various uses made by one of the numerous historical weaving methods. It is known as kilim in Turkish and is widely practiced in geographical areas such as Turkey (Anatolia), North Africa, the Balkans, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, and China.
What is Anatolian Rug?
The term “Anatolian rug” refers to rugs and carpets made in the Anatolian style. Geographically, Anatolia has been governed by the Ottoman Empire for a very long period, implying and demonstrating that Ottoman and therefore Islamic culture affected these items.
Anatolian carpets use design and patterns to express the region’s culture, ethnicity, and religious heritage. The Anatolian rug is highly important in world culture since it is the most ancient hub of human civilization, and therefore it demonstrates how many and diverse civilizations coexist in that region, which is unavoidably represented on the rugs and carpets.
Anatolian carpets are constructed of natural materials, which is a very distinct and important feature of them.
What are the Materials of an Anatolian Rug?
An essential feature of Anatolian rugs is that they are solely made of natural materials such as cotton, wool, silk, and occasionally camel and goat hair.Sheep wool is a popular material in Anatolian carpets due to its smooth texture, low cost, and durability. It also absorbs colors quite effectively. Wool, unlike cotton, does not become filthy or show stains.
Cotton is another popular material for Anatolian rug weaving. It is more durable than wool and is not readily deformed. Silk is the most complex and costly material used in Anatolian carpets. It is extremely brittle and resistant to mechanical stress.
Goat and camel hair: Goat and camel hair are used in Anatolian carpets, although nomadic tribes and villages favor it. Goat and camel hair is a sturdy material to weave, and because of its thick structure, it retains warmth, making it popular among nomads and villages.
Types of Carpets and Kilims in Turkey
Carpets differ in terms of their specializations, such as where they are manufactured, the materials used, features, patterns, and designs, and so on.
Anatolia: Anatolia has a very rich cultural heritage. Almost every city has its own distinct and distinct flair. Turkish or Gordes knot is utilized in the overall pattern of carpets termed Anatolian style.
Bergama: Bergama is a tiny district in the Turkish city of Izmir. It is located on the Aegean Side. Bergama is one of the oldest carpet weaving centers in the world. Green, blue, black, yellow, and pink is recognized to be dominating hues in the Bergama style. The motifs are typically plant-like or herbal.
Canakkale: Flat weaving is extremely prevalent in the Canakkale style, and wool is commonly used. The carpets’ primary hues are green, red, blue, and yellow.
Dosemealt: Dosemealt is a tiny district in Antalya where numerous nomads (known as yorks in Turkish) have lived for many years. They manufacture pure wool carpets with geometric patterns in dark green and red.
Gordes is a town located in western Turkey. Since the seventeenth century, Gordes has been renowned as a weaving hub. Gordes carpets are the most well-known and sought-after of all oriental carpets due to their unusual pattern. Gordes has a distinct knot style that influenced Ottoman Palace carpets. Gordes carpets are recognized by their bright red background with different colors of green, yellow, blue, and cream. It has exceptionally excellent weaving quality.
Hakkari: Another significant weaving hub in Turkey is Hakkari. Thirty primary themes are found in Hakkari kilims. The most popular designs are Her, Sumark, Samar, Halitbey, Gulhazar, Gulsarya, Gulgever, and Sine. Red or burgundy, dark blue, brown, black, and white is the five primary colors used in Hakkari kilims.
Hereke: Hereke is well-known for manufacturing the world’s best pure silk carpets. In the carpet literature, Hereke carpets are known by this term, and they have a special place among global carpets. They are sometimes referred to as “palace carpets.”
Isparta: Isparta is a significant rug and carpet production hub in Turkey, located in the southwest. Floral patterns are popular in Isparta carpets, as are Gordes and Shena knots.
Kayseri: The carpets are woven in Kayseri and its environs constitute the majority of Turkish carpet art. Kayseri is well-known as one of Turkey’s most prominent rug and carpet centers. Natural hues such as white, black, grey, and purple are commonly utilized. Typically, the grounds are crimson, blue, or deep blue. They employ geometric and floral designs, and all of the threads are madder-colored. The dominant colors on these rugs are navy blue, crimson, brown, and grey.
How is Turkish Carpet Weaving?
Carpet weaving employs a variety of techniques. Thread styles vary, and it transports the history between the strings.
Rug with Hand-Knotted Pile: A knotted-pile carpet has elevated surfaces, or piles, formed by the severed ends of knots woven between the warp and weft. The two major knots are the Gordes/Turkish knot and the Shena/Persian knot, which are seen on Anatolian and Persian carpets, respectively. A kilim is a flat or tapestry-woven carpet with no pile. The width and quantity of warp and weft threads, pile height, several knots utilized, and knot density all have an impact on the appearance of a pile carpet.
Slit Tapestry/Slitweave: The most common weaving technique used to make geometric and diagonally patterned kilims. The slit in the space between two blocks of color. It is made by returning the weft around the final warp in a color region and then returning the weft of the subsequent color around the adjacent warp.
Double interlocking and dovetailing: Dove-tailing (also known as shared warp or single interlock weave) refers to wefts from two separate color blocks that return (in opposing directions) around the same warp that defines the border between them. Wefts from neighboring color fields interlock with each other between the warp threads that run between them in the double interlocking technique.
Soumak/Sumak: This is the popular word for the weft wrapping method that is used to produce intricate and diverse motifs. Colored yarns are wrapped in mathematical patterns around the warps, allowing the weavers to create free-flowing intricate designs that form reliefs on the work’s surface. Because it is a difficult technique, it is frequently alternated with thin plain-weave ground wefts and is frequently employed for smaller works like purses, prayer sheets, and mats.
Brocading: Yoruk and Turkmen tribal weavers in Anatolia valued these challenging methods. They are the supplemental weft or extra-weft weaving techniques that allow weavers to add designs to the regular weft that keeps the warp thread together. They resemble an embroidered addition and generally result in a raised design.
Jijim/Jajim/Cicim: With the jijim weaving process, different colored threads are put on the reverse of the weave between the weft and warp threads. It is frequently used to embellish a plain-weave object or to produce little decorative patterns that might be dispersed or in series. The ground weave beneath shines through, giving the appearance of an embroidered design, and it is frequently used to fill negative space. Bristle wefts are frequently used to provide texture to bags, mats, and blankets.
Filikli and Tulu Tulu: Derived from the Turkish term ‘tuylu,’ which means ‘hairy,’ this method generates long-piled soft mats used by pastoralists in central Anatolia to give comfort and warmth during the hard winters. Extra wefts, manufactured from loosely spun yarn, are interwoven into a plain-weave kilim using a Turkish Knot, resulting in tufts of soft wool.
How is Turkish Carpet Dyed?
The fact that Turkish carpets and rugs are solely made of natural materials is the most essential feature. The dye for a carpet, rug, or thread is also produced from natural local resources. For long years, colors were produced naturally from plants, animals, and minerals.
The dying ingredient is heated with the wool and strings until the desired color is obtained. The quantity and quality of dyeing ingredients are critical. The temperature of the water and the length of time spent soaking must be properly planned.
What are Turkish Carpet Motifs?
Turkish rugs and carpets include several distinctive and distinguishing themes. A Turkish carpet may be identified by its unique patterns. Here are some of the most well-known people:
Muska ve Nazarlik (Amulet and Evil Eye): Some persons are said to have a power in their eyes that brings damage, injury, misfortune, and even death. Evil eyes are different things that lessen the effect of an evil look, therefore safeguarding those who possess them. The term “Muska” refers to a written charm/talisman that is said to have magical and religious power to protect the bearer from hazardous external forces. It’s a blue circle with an eye in the center.
Bird (Kus): The bird designs seen in Turkish carpets have a variety of meanings. While owls and ravens represent bad luck, doves, pigeons, and nightingales represent good luck. The bird represents pleasure, joy, and love. It represents power and strength. It is the imperial emblem of several Anatolian nations. The birds are also symbolic of heavenly messengers and long life. The Anka bird (Phoenix) battling the dragon represents spring.
Burdock (Pitrak): Burdock is a plant with burrs that clings to people’s clothing and animal fur. It is thought to have the ability to fend off the evil eye. However, because the phrase “like a burdock” implies “full of flowers,” this design is used on flour sacks as a symbol of wealth.
Chest (Sandik): This theme represents a young girl’s trousseau chest in general. Because the items in this chest will be utilized in the husband’s home, the young girl’s aspirations and hopes are represented in the pieces she has woven, knitted, and hat stitched.
Dragon (Ejderha): The dragon is a legendary monster with lion-like paws and a snake-like tail, as well as wings. The dragon is the ruler of the elements of air and water. The flight of the dragon and the phoenix is said to bring spring showers. The dragon, said to be a large snake, guards valuables and secret items, as well as the tree of life.
Ram’s Horn (Kocboynuzu): In Turkish carpets, a ram’s horn signifies production, valor, power, and masculinity. It is also worth noting that the weaver who employs this theme is assumed to be content.
Fertility (Bereket): A man and a woman are represented by the motifs hands-on-hips (‘elibelinde’) and ram’s horn (‘kocboynuzu’). The fertility pattern is made up of two ‘elibelinde’ motifs for the female and two ‘kocboynuzu’ motifs for the man. The eye motif in the composition’s center is utilized to safeguard the family from the evil eye.
Which Cultures Influenced Turkish Carpets?
Turkish carpets and rugs are influenced by the nomadic culture of Turkic tribes that moved from Central Asia, Islamic culture, and the Anatolian-Ottoman Empire. There are numerous symbols and traits associated with these subcultures.
What Makes Turkish Carpets so Special?
Turkish carpets are particularly unique and hence costly for a variety of reasons. One of them might be naturalness. Originally, these carpets were handcrafted rather than machine-made. Because they are weaved by hand, they take a long time to make.
Another explanation might be the cultural themes. It has a historical past that is reflected in its design. These carpets and rugs are considered part of Turkey’s cultural heritage.
What is the Difference Between Carpets, Rugs, and Prayer Mats?
The distinction between carpet, rug, and prayer mat is critical. Carpets are known as hali in Turkish and are commonly found on home floors and corridors. They are thicker and larger than rugs, although rugs are considerably thinner and flat-woven. Prayer mats, on the other hand, are tiny, rectangular mats designed specifically for worship. Prayer mats are exclusively used for prayers, and they are often found in mosques.
What are The Regions of Turkey Famous for Making Carpets?
Kayseri, Dosemealt (Antalya), Bergama (Izmir), Konya, Kars, Hereke, and Hakkari are only a few of Turkey’s renowned carpet and rug producing centers.
What You Need to Know When Buying Turkish Carpets and Rugs
If you wish to buy Turkish carpets and rugs, you need to be aware of a few key points. You might consider the following characteristics:
Price: Because of its naturalness, Turkish rugs and carpets are quite costly. You may barter and negotiate, but be cautious of phony carpets.
Turkish carpets are produced using high-quality materials. It is critical to understand that some materials are more precious than others. Wool and silk, for example, are more costly than cotton and wool.
Turkish carpets are classified into four types: Hali, Kilim, Cicim, and Sumak. The Hali is the thicker of the three, but they are all flatweaves with no knots. They’re frequently utilized as wall hangings and tiny carpets.