Turkish rugs were probably the first to be introduced to Europe, as early as the 16th century. The result was that all hand-knotted carpets were called “Turkey Carpets”, no matter where they were woven.
Turkey is the name now given to the carpet-making region that was once known as Anatolia. Carpets from Turkey were probably brought into Europe via Venice in the 16th and 17th centuries. There are portraits of several famous 16th-century personalities, including King Henry VIII, standing on carpets that are painted in such detail as to be recognised as Turkish in origin. Enough Turkish carpets have survived from the 15th century onwards to give a good idea of their history, and the layers of rugs, donated by the local weavers to Turkish mosques, constitute a wonderful archive of weaving over the centuries.
Turkish rugs of recent times fall into two main groups. These are the large hard-wearing, coarsely knotted carpets made in factories, primarily for export to the West, and the smaller rugs and kilims, many being prayer rugs, that were made on domestic looms. Turkey is the largest and most consistent supplier of kilims to the West. Workshop carpets derive their design from Turkish, Caucasian, Persian and diverse sources, and many of them are known by the collective name of Smyrna (now Izmir) carpets, while others take their names from the places of manufacture, such as Adkhisar, Demirci, Ghiordes, Hereke, Kayseri, sivas, Sparta, and Ushak.
Since the late 1970’s, the Turkish authorities and kilim producers have joined forces to restructure their weaving industry, so that it now combines traditional weaving standards and motifs with modern production and marketing techniques. In some cases, the weavers have been encouraged to return to using traditional dyes and materials and to form their own marketing cooperatives. The result has been a real improvement in the quality of the rugs being woven in the region, and the weavers are able to produce reasonably priced carpets while earning more than when they were working for a contractor.
If you have a Turkish rug that needs washing or hand knotted repairs or restoration. Please contact RugWash on 3375 9896 for assistance in maintaining your beautiful rug.