History of Turkish Carpets
Turkish carpets are among the most sought after household items, all over the world. Their rich colors, warm tones, and extraordinary patterns with traditional motifs have contributed to the status that Turkish carpets have maintained since the 13th century, when they were discovered and praised by the famous explorer Marco Polo. No one knows precisely when and where the technique of weaving first started, but in general it’s thought to have originated in Central Asia. Nomadic tribes used flatweave techniques to make their tents which protected themselves from the elements, and kilims to cover their earthen floors. As nomadic tribes spread across western Asia, they shared their weaving techniques with the people they met. Over time, the art of weaving improved and many useful items started to be made, such as saddle bags, camel bags, and cradles. Pile carpets probably appeared later, in imitation of animal pelts, by adding pile to the basic flatweave kilims.
"Kilim" is a Turkish word that refers to the way something is made. A kilim is always a flatweave fabric, consisting of interlacing warps and wefts. The rectangular panels are traditionally used by tribal people in many different ways, for example as floor spreads to seat guests, tent hangings, dust covers, wrapping for bread, and eating mats for guests. Kilim fabric also has been used for clothing and storage bags. In Anatolian tribal life the kilim is not only a multipurpose artefact of great utilitarian value but also an object of artistry, and a way for the women to express their thoughts and dreams.
Pile Carpets & Rugs
Two types of knot are used in pile carpet weaving. The first type is the Turkish knot (double knot) technique. In Central Anatolia, first the front then the rear double warp is wrapped around with the thread; in Western Anatolia, the reverse procedure is carried out. These two types do not differ in quality. The second type is the Persian Knot (single knot) technique. This takes its name from the fact it was first used in Western Iran. In this knot, the thread is only tied to the front part of the double warp, then passed behind the other warp and tightened by pushing downwards.
The Importance of Natural Dyes
All dyes, with the possible exception of chrome (chemical) dyes, have a tendency to fade with time and the prevailing ambient conditions. What is so attractive in the antique carpet, is that its natural colors tend to be modified with the years and, for instance, what seems to be a solid blue at the first superficial glance will, upon closer and careful scrutiny, reveal many nuances and shades of blue! This is what gives the textile its "surface interest" and makes it come alive. The finest of new carpets with the best chrome dyes can never achieve this miracle! The colors of the antique rug also have a glow, called patina, which beggars description. Only the experience of inspecting many of these antique rugs in person can grant one the necessary appreciation of this phenomenon.
Motifs & Their Meanings
In a culture where women are often restricted to their houses, carpets become a place to express their feelings and dreams. Every motif, handed down over generations, is carefully woven into the carpets. Part of the joy of looking at carpets is decoding the heartful messages woven into them. For example, marriage and fertility motifs include hands on hips, based on the Mother Goddess, which is usually used only when the weaver has given birth to a boy to express the pride of the mother. A ram's horn expresses fertility, heroism and power. Running water motifs express the wish for life to continue smoothly. Weaving a scorpion or wolf into a carpet is believed to keep real scorpions and wolves away, for protection of life and livelihood. These are just some examples - there are many more!
Ceramics & Turkish Textile
Ceramics also have a significant role in Anatolian Art History. As of 2018 we began collecting various hand-crafted and hand-painted ceramics and tiles, plus a variety of textiles such as bed covers, table cloths and bags etc.