Turkish Carpets And Kilims

The Oriental Carpets and The Turks

The carpet is a gift from the Turkish people to world civilisation. The knotted rug, the earliest samples of which have been found in Central Asia where the Turks used to live is an art form discovered, developed and presented to the world by the Turks.

In order to protect themselves from the cold of the Central Asian steppes where they used to live, the Turks invented the carpet using lamb's wool which was abundant, and finds from Central Asia prove this. Turks have taken this art form with them and spread it wherever they have traveled.

In the 1940s, when the Russian archaeologist Rudenko was excavating burial mounds at Pazirik in the foothills of the Altai Mountains in Siberia where Turkish people used to live, he discovered the earliest surviving carpet in the world in the fifth of the mounds. Dating from between the 3rd and 2nd Centuries BC, this carpet was woven using the Turkish knot and it is generally accepted that this carpet is attributed to the Asian Khuns.

Hand-Made Carpets and Kilims

The carpet is a woven textile which is produced by knotting coloured threads on the warp, compressed by the weft. Two types of knots are used in producing carpets: The Turkish (Gördes-symmetrical) knot is wrapped around two warps and the Persian (Sineasymmetric) knot around a single warp. The Gördes knot makes a carpet stronger, firmer and more durable, while the Sine knot allows the weaving of different patterns. The tighter the knots, the finer and stronger is the carpet.

Turkish carpets and kilims are in the most valuable collections of museums and collectors in the world. Today, world museums exhibit as their most important and valuable works of art the carpets woven in Anatolia, beginning from the Seljuk period and continuing with the Ottoman Empire.

Turkish carpets have had a vast influence on an extensive zone ranging from Central Asia to Europe. From the middle of the 15th century, carpets exported from Turkey were highly appreciated in Europe and Turkish carpets played a large role in the social life of Europe. These carpets are reflected widely in the paintings of the time and they are illustrated precisely. This interest, which grew and continued in the 16th and 17th centuries, especially during Renaissance period, is shown the existence of at least one or more Anatolian carpets in portraits of aristocrats, religious figures or other illustrations. Turkish carpets were so highly prized in Europe that they more often graced the table than the floor. Because Turkish carpets were highly esteemed, possession of a Turkish carpet was regarded as a status symbol. Hans Holbein, Lorenzo Lotto, Carlo Crivelli, Hans Memling, and Gentile Bellini are some of painters who used Turkish carpets in their paintings.

Anatolian carpets and kilims with their lively colours, motifs, patterns and superior quality, have a universal reputation. Natural dyes are used, and many families have kept their knowledge of which leaves, flowers, roots and vegetables would yield the most radiant colours.

What Is A Kilim?

Rugs are flat (pileless), un-knotted hand-woven textiles used as floor and wall coverings. In this context, knotted textiles are called carpets, and as is known, they may be handwoven or machine-made.

Kilim, a word of Turkish origin, is often applied in common usage both in Turkey and the world to all flatwoven (pileless) rugs, but actually it denotes only those flatwoven rugs which are made by a technique peculiar to kilims. In other words, rugs are classified according to the weaving technique and in Turkey, called as kilims, cicim, sumak, zili or sili, palaz and others. Unlike carpets, rugs are woven on a loom using vertical warps and horizontal wefts to weave the threads together much as any handmade fabric is woven. Neverthless, throughout the brochure, the word "kilim" (kelim) is used to denote all rugs.

Usually the warp (the length of kilim) is made of wool, and the weft (the width of kilim) of wool or cotton. The coloured threads are completely woven into the kilim like a basket, making it reversible. Although the face may be distinguished from the reverse, the difference is so slight that either side may be used.


Contact Informations

Tel.: +90 232 894 80 80
Fax: +90 232 894 83 31

Sultanköy Tur. Mağ. Tiç. A.Ş.
35920 Çamlık - Selçuk
Mail: mail[at]sultankoy.info