Turkish rugs are legendary for their quality. From kilim to handknotted, they're remarkably well-made, especially when handwoven, like those we curate. Known for their intricate patterns and tight, sturdy weaves, what began as a homemade, everyday comfort ultimately became a robust industry, embodying a profound artistic expression of Turkey's culture.
Anatolia, a large part of present day Turkey, was inahbited by many ancient civilizations, and was once a site of gathering for nomadic peoples from across modern day Asia. Turks, Armenians, Caucasians and Kurds each brought traditional designs, all of which informed and ultimately defined the style and appearance of vintage Turkish rugs. This fertile meeting and mixing of cultures created the rich visual language of Turkish rugs. The earliest existing Turkish rugs were found in Konya, Beysehir and Fostate, and date back to 1243. Some of these Turkish rugs were nearly 20 feet long. The discovery of the Turkish rug knotting techniques and design language can be seen as the first footsteps of Turkish culture. The Turkish word for rug is "Halı", which derives from the root word ‘Kali’, meaning to stay, to persist, or to keep. Turkish rugs are meant to stay, persist, and to be kept, passed on from one generation to another. But though they are precious, Turkish rugs at their origin were utilitarian items. For Turkish nomadic tribes, rugs were an everyday practicality with many uses: for sitting upon, for keeping the floors of their tents warm, for praying on the floor or decorating their walls. Over time Turkish rugs became revered as works of art, and held up as valuable, tangible expressions of Turkish culture. These early nomadic tribes were referred to as ‘Yaylacı Türkler’ which translates to "mountain Turks’. The yarn that was used for Turkish rugs across Asia came from sheep and goats, whose herds were tended by these mountain-dwelling Turkish nomads. Today, despite a noticeable decrease due to the machine rug industry, in many regions of Turkey the production and preservation of Turkish rugs continues, especially in Anatolia: Konya, Kayseri, Sivas and Kırşehir, Isparta, Fethiye, Balikesir, Usak, Bergama, Kula, Milas, Canakkale, as well as Kars and Erzurum.
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