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ABOUT THE creators


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.

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. 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. Rugs were very important in a girl’s dowry (an amount of property 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.

"The girls in love made the most beautiful designs and colorful rugs" Esma continues. "We were able to reflect our feelings". 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 helping in the household and working on the land.
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 17 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 her designs and worked alone on all kinds of rugs. She wove her rugs in addition to all her daily activities such as housework, cooking and raising children.
Zehra is 44 years old. She learned bits and pieces about weaving a rug as a young girl, but she never did it by herself. Zehra 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 and the houses of landlords.

My grandmother was such a woman. She designed a lot of rugs, also for their own use and her daughters’ dowry. Some of her designs were like art."
"I myself have never woven rugs. When i grew up, more girls went to school, so was i. 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 parents were saving the dowry together for their daugthers. A week before the wedding, all the objects that were made by hand or bought beforehand, were 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 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."