Carpet Weaving in Anatolia:


Wool Dyeing and Colours

Rug Weaving


Carpet production is considered a cultural tradition and art. Carpets and kilims are an integral part of everyday life in Turkey. Carpets and kilim have been used by nomadic tribes as floor coverings in their tents. They provided comfort, warmth as well as decor.

Turkish knotted carpets and flat-weaves occupy a very important place in our cultural heritage as ethnographic documents relating to the Turkish inhabitants of Anatolia in each succeeding epoch, like all other such historical documents, carpets and kilims clearly reflect the values of the period in which they were made.

Carpets, whether knotted or flat woven are among the best known art forms produced by the Turks from time immemorial. There are environmental, sociological, economic, and religious reasons for the widespread art of carpet weaving among the Turkish people from Central Asia to Turkey. Throughout the ages, the people of Anatolia have reflected their handiwork, their labours, and their assiduity as cultural and artistic sensitivity and love in the form of carpets, kilims, pillows, and tapestries.


Turkish rugs come in distinct styles, from different regions of Turkey. Important differentiators between the types include the materials, construction and the patterns.

The individual weaving forms and techniques to be found in the traditional Turkish hand-woven carpets, the significance and symbolism of the motifs and the dyes and colours employed, all reflect the socio-cultural and socio-economic values of the period in which they were produced.

In Anatolian carpets there exists an image and spirit, a richness of form and design, and a harmony of colour of the utmost brightness and liveliness. In general, ladies and young girls weave rugs and carpets in Anatolia. When we examine Anatolian carpets we understand that the young girls are not weaving them for the purpose of selling them and earning money. Nor is that the purpose of their mothers or fathers. As a form of education and as a preparation for motherhood, during the preparation of the marriage items which we refer to as the trousseau and while readying their embroideries, their tablecloths, their stockings, and their embroidered headdresses they direct their daughters towards the weaving of carpets which require more patience, more time, and more proficiency -that is more skill-than these. And the daughters do it willingly. It is a fact that Anatolia is rich in agricultural resources. For this reason, the people of Anatolia have not tended towards commercially inspired carpet making. They have adopted only the weaving of carpets and pillows as trousseaus, gifts, and as an artistic force. From the Sixteenth Century down to the last fifty years, they have presented their most beautiful examples of this.

Village women have woven carpets for family use. A daughter had a greater chance of marrying if she was a skilled weaver and would offer carpets as part of her dowry to her future husband. She would take great care in the dyeing and hand-spinning of wool and in the selection of designs and motifs, some of which were related to her daily life and tribal culture.

The Turkish carpets have colors, motifs, and patterns. No two carpets are the same; each one is a new creation. Traditionally unknown women have woven the carpets; this is one art form that is rarely appreciated as being the work of a known or a specific artist.


The Kilim is a truly remarkable tradition maintained by women of Anatolia for hundreds of generations, dating back nine thousand years. Turkish mothers and daughters maintained this mysterious tradition for the last thousand years as Turkish tribes settled in Anatolia and intermingled with the local population. The flat woven kilims and embroidered kilims which are used as blankets, curtains, and covers over sofas or as cushion covers.The textile fragments, weaving tools and dye materials yielded by archaeological excavations corroborate the theory that flat-weaves have been produced in Anatolia since the Neolithic period.

The oldest record of kilims comes from Catal Hoyuk Neolithic pottery circa 7000 BC, the oldest settlement ever to have been discovered. It is located south east of Konya in the middle of the Anatolian region. The excavations to date (only 3% of the town) not only found carbonized fabric but also fragments of kilims painted on the walls of the houses. The majority of them represent geometric and stylized forms that are similar or identical to other historical to contemporary designs.


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