Carpets

HISTORY OF CARPET

Carpet is one of the most original creations of handicraft industry. Apart from Pazırık carpet, which is thought to be woven in Asia in the 3rd century B.C., the ones which Sir Aurel Stein found in eastern Turkistan between 1906-1908 are the oldest knot-carpets

As Oktay Aslanapa states these carpets are in England now. He continues that Lc Cog found the other pieces in a dome-room of a temple in Kızıl during the excavations in Turfan region in 1913. These carpets generally show a characteristic with black stripes on a red base. These middle Asian carpets, which have rough knots, were produced between the 3rd and 6th centuries A.D. But, it seems that the hanging tips of long wool knots were cut so that the design could be seen clearly. This shows on advanced technique and a long period of progress.

In Anatolia, the oldest carpets which were woven with Gordes-Turk knotting technique and which could reach in our time were produced in the reign of Anatolian Seljuks in the 13th century.

Only 18 of these carpets (Seljuk carpets or Konya carpets) survive now. In that century are used geometrical designs and plant figures to express the power of a big creator and the aesthetic characteristic of the era.

In the 14th century, besides geometrical designs, there used stylised animal figures to adorn the carpets. The existence of the original carpets in the definition of carpet on the paintings of European painters shows that there began a new era in Turkish art of carpet waving.

During the second half of the 15th century, carpets with abstract plant motifs are used and, at the same time the animal figures disappeared. These carpets were first seen on the painting of Italian painters and they were mistakenly known and called “Holbein” (a German painter) in the carpet literature. In this century, in terms of color, design, material and technique many unique itself and traditional carpet centers were founded, namely, Ladik, Kula, Milas, Gordes and Kayseri, which are also the best known places with their carpets. On these carpets, mostly Turkish motifs and adorning patterns which show Turkish taste of life could be seen.

The richest era of Turkish art of carpet waving is the 16th century. In this period, while the geometrical design of the 15th century were still being used, also the special plant and medallion motifs were used to enrich and adorn the carpets.

Turkish carpet-art, with its strong technique and motifs which are derived from a great tradition, stood against the retrogression that started in the 18th century, and continued to progress with the help of plain but charming style of folk art till the end of the 19th century.

Now throughout Anatolia, especially in western and middle Anatolia, many private foundations try and attempt to maintain this traditional art of carpet waving.