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ABOUT THE MAKERS

Rugs WITH A STORY

Each rug is unique and has its own story. Unfortunately we are not able to find all the stories of these carpets from the village or the region where they were made. Fortunately, we did find a number of weavers who were willing to share their stories with us. Below are some of these beautiful and interesting stories.

We love these stories and we will try to find more of them which we will gladly share with you.

ESMA (71): LOVE IN THE DESIGNS AND COLORS

Esma is 71 years old and lives in Denizli, in southwest Turkey. The city has 387,000 inhabitants and is surrounded by high mountains. Denizli has traditionally been a trading city, located on the trade route between east and west. In addition to the beautiful carpets, the local chicken breed, the Denizli-Kraaier, is very familiar. The city of Denizli is located in Pamukkale, a natural phenomenon with stunning white terraces and pools filled with warm, calcareous water.

Esma was 16 years old when she learned to weave rugs from her mother. These were important in a girl’s dowry (an amount of property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their marriage).
"If a girl had not made her own carpet yet, she was not ready to get married" says Esma. Weaving a rug stood for competence and maturity in her village.

Besides her mother her friends also helped with weaving. And of course Esma helped her friends with their dowry. This was done in addition to any other functions the girls had, like school, helping in the household and working on the land.

Esma smiles as she tells about her favorite rug. This she made when she met her husband and fell in love. Within days she designed the most beautiful patterns in a rich palette of colors and wove a rug.


GÜLÜZAR (58): INCREASING CONFIDENCE

Gülüzar is 58 years old and lives in a village in Isparta, about 130 km north of Antalya. Isparta is a small city with 150,000 inhabitants. Besides the production of rosewater, the manufacture of carpets here is the main economic activity.

Gülüzar wove her first rug when she was 14 years old. She learned weaving from her mother and grandmother. That is very common in this part of Turkey.

The craftsmanship is passed from mother to daughter. In this area, women make rugs not only for their own dowry or for personal use, but also to contribute to the household financially.

In the beginning Gülüzar was weaving the rugs with other girls, but as the years progressed, her confidence grew. She created the best designs and worked alone on all kinds of rugs, from very small to large rugs. She wove her rugs in addition to all her daily activities such as housework, cooking and raising children.


ZEHRA (42): PROUD OF GRANDMA'S RUGS

Zehra is 42 years old. She learned bits and pieces about weaving a rug as a young girl, but she never did it by herself. "I was rather at school." But she proudly talks about her grandmother Sehriban.

"Grandma was a great talent, a true craftswoman. In her village most woman could weave a rug, but some women were so exceptional that they made the rugs for the local authorities (gemeente) and the houses of landlords. My grandmother was such a woman. She made artworks (kunstwerken). Besides the small rugs for their own use and her daughters’ dowry rugs, she designed and wove the largest rugs."
"Once she has worked with four other women on a rug in front of a palace. This rug was approximately 4 meters wide and 6 meters long and it took them a few months."


AYTEN (40): SYMBOLS OF LONG AGO

"I myself have never woven rugs, but I tell this story for all Turkish girls who made rugs for their dowry.

Decades ago, in Turkey, few people had enough money to furnish their home at one time. So, over the years they were saving their dowry together. A week before the wedding it (all the objects that were made or bought beforehand) was displayed. In some parts of Turkey this is still happening.

The bride set up a room with all the nice things she made or bought to use in her own home. Girls and their mothers were busy for months weaving carpets for this dowry. Besides the rugs, also some crocheted throws and embroidered tablecloths, kitchen utensils and some home appliances were displayed.
Because the rugs were intended for their own use, the girls made the most beautiful rugs. For this, they used the best materials and the most beautiful colors and they designed the most beautiful symbolic patterns.

Love, children, welfare, health: all kinds of joyful feelings and wishes of these girls can be seen in the patterns they wove. Through the symbols in the rugs they brought to the outside the feeling of being in love, or the dream of starting their own family.

The rugs with their unique symbolism are of great value, especially as hand weaving of carpets happens less and less these days. A handmade rug is a real collector's item. ‘A work of art where you find the feeling of the girl who made it."



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