On our last trip to Turkey, our excursion included a stop at a carpet shop in Turkey where a small amount of time was spent before our shopping opportunity to tell us of how much work went into the handmade rugs and carpets. If they are truly handmade, I have no doubts and certainly the fine knots and techniques they use to deliver a much more intricate design than I did are extremely time consuming and tedious. We will be in several ports in Turkey on our Black Sea cruise and I'm sure we will again get more shopping opportunities on our excursions so I thought I would look into their manufacture a little closer.
The weaving dates back to the early nomadic times when tents were woven from goat's hair. Apparently the goat's hair would mat down covering any small holes and would make the tents waterproof. Eventually they wove floor coverings for their tents too. Today while goat's hair is still used in some rugs today, other materials such as silk, sheep's wool and cotton are prevalent.
There are two basic knots used in the rug making, Persian and Turkish. There is no easy way to describe the difference in words but you can see them in pictures if you go to United Carpet Service.com. Thankfully I was taught the Turkish knot. The Persian knot looks a bit more complicated.
Perhaps the more dramatic part of the excursion to a Turkish rug shop is the way they display their wares. Rolled rugs and carpets were carried in on shoulders and then with a flick of the hands and arms, the product was instantly laid on the floor in front of you. Carpet after carpet of beautiful colors and designs unveiled before us any one of which we were assured could be sent directly to our homes by the time we returned. My only question was do they fly there on their own?