Supported by the Turkish Cultural Foundation (TFC), the Vehbi Koç Ankara Studies Research Center (VEKAM) is hosting an exhibition that explores the history of Ankara sof fabric. The exhibition will open on May 12 at the Rahmi M. Koç Museum in Ankara and will remain on display until Sept. 16.
Curated by VEKAM Director Filiz Yenişehirlioğlu and Gözde Çerçioğlu Yücel, the exhibition will present sof and mohair textiles from the collections of the Ankara Ethnographical Museum, Sadberk Hanim Museum and Topkapi Palace Museum.
It will also host an original painting on loan from the Rijksmuseum in Holland titled "Ankara Landscape." The painting is considered one of the leading depictions of Ankara dating to the 18th century and will be on exhibit for the first time in Turkey.
Woven with yarn spun from the mohair of the Ankara goat, sof fabric once held an important commercial and social place in the cultural heritage of Ankara, but has largely been forgotten.
The exhibition will showcase the trade's history dating back to the 16th century when it grew into a hallmark of Ankara's textile production and international commerce and was traded in Europe's leading countries of the time, including the Republic of Venice, Holland, Great Britain and Poland.
Vanishing into oblivion in the 19th century, efforts are underway to bring the textile tradition back to Ankara. The exhibition will also explore these efforts.
The TCF Cultural Heritage Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory (DATU) also contributed to the exhibition by providing valuable knowledge about natural dyes and the mohair dyeing process. The DATU provided mohair dyed with 10 different natural dyes to the exhibition and prepared a video presenting the dyeing process. Samples from the DATU Natural Dyes Collection will also be on display in the exhibition.
The exhibition is further supported by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the Ankara Chamber of Commerce, the embassy of the Netherlands, Ströer Kentvizyon, Türk Traktör and UNESCO.
Founded in 2000 by Yalçın Ayaslı and Serpil Ayaslı, the Turkish Cultural Foundation is a U.S. tax-exempt public charitable organization with offices in Boston, Washington and Istanbul. Financed through a trust established by the Ayaslı family and private donations, the mission of the TFC is to support the preservation and promotion of Turkish culture and heritage worldwide.