Rugs and kilims have been made in Turkey for millennia. The best known types are Bergama, Hereke, Milas, Konya and Ushak. Hand-knotting still thrives, though carpet factories have been in business in Turkey since the 19th century. There is a preference for natural dyes, though chemical ones are used in the factories. Our Turkish rugs are all hand-knotted and use natural vegetable and mineral dyes.
Yagibedir (also: yagci bedir) are hand-knotted by the descendants of Yagci Bedir nomads in the Sindirgi region, around the city of Balikesir in Turkey. The symbols used in the designs are intricate and signify all that is important in the life of a nomad. The rugs are made from 100% local wool and are double knotted with the ghiordes double knots. The source of the natural dyes used is a closely guarded secret but use minerals from the local White and Sky mountains as well plant material like redroot, oregano, poplar, walnut, onionskin and pomegranate. A regional proverb says that Yagibedir rugs take their water from seven rivers, their colours from seven mountains and their secrets from their seven ancestors.
Hereke Rugs are only produced in Hereke, a coastal town in Turkey, 60km from Istanbul using silk, wool, cotton and sometimes gold or silver threads. In 1841 the Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid the First gathered the best carpet weavers in his Ottoman Empire in Hereke, where they began producing high quality rugs and large carpets with unique patterns. With the end of the Ottoman Empire the production of Hereke carpets was restricted until the middle of the 20th century when some master-weavers began to produce carpets in the tradition of those made for the Sultan. Typically Hereke carpets are very large carpets and are made with wool on cotton, camel hair on cotton, silk on cotton as well as silk on silk, which are knotted in small sizes.
Kars come from the Kars province in Eastern Turkey. Kars is the centre of Azeri culture in Turkey and it also has a significant Kurdish population. Early in the 19th century there was a large Armenian population who moved into the Caucasus when the Christian Russians took control. It was roughly in the period from 1870 to 1914 that many Moslem Azeri moved into the Kars area. Kars is a collection point for village rugs which are often called Kars Kazaks. They tend to look like Kazak rugs woven in the more subdued palette of eastern Turkey.
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