Exquisite Turkish silk carpets requires skill, patience and foresight. The delicately hand-woven carpets of Antalya are considered priceless by those who appreciate fine craftsmanship
ISTANBUL — Embroideredwith Ottoman patterns, hand-made silk carpets woven in Amasya for more than 40 years attract foreign tourists to Istanbul's Grand Bazaar. The carpets are woven by trainees in silk carpet weaving courses under the leadership of the Amasya Public Education Center and the Evening Art School.
Residing in the 52-household village of Sarıyar, young female villagers earn a living weaving carpets and preparing wedding chests; in this way they are able to help their families. Almost 50 silk carpets are woven per year and some of them are taken abroad by tourists looking to add a little Turkish aesthetic to their homes.
Trainer Tutku Akbaba (45) explained that two trainees working on one carpet loom will finish a carpet in three months. "I have woven silk carpets for almost 40 years. Currently we have 24 trainees, most of whom learned weaving from their mothers.
There are some other trainees working at home," said Akbaba.
The carpet looms and silk-wool mixed threads are brought from Kayseri.The carpets are on sale abroad and in different shops at the Grand Bazaar. "We mostly prefer Turkish-Ottoman patterns along with plant and animal figures. I am happy to see that foreign tourists are interested in our products... Our carpets are priceless,"Akbaba said.
One carpet with 845 knots can be completed in two or three months by two people. Based on their dimensions and patterns, the carpets cost between TL 5,000 and 10,000.
A trainee, Sevilay Kurt (22), has woven carpets for 10 years with great enthusiasm. "I do like woven carpets. I contribute to my family's budget while buying stuff for my dowry. Weaving carpets is enjoyable. I learned how to weave in one year," Kurt said.She earns nearly TL 2,000 from one hand-made carpet and has time to continue her education at the Open University.
Another trainee, 21-year-old Yeşim Karagöz, attended the course with her sister Lale Karagöz for seven years. She experienced some difficulties at first, however can now weave carpets blindfolded. Married with one child, Leyla Çulha (28) has also woven carpets for 11 years.
"When we talk about Sarıyar, the first thing that comes to mind is silk carpets. Previously, the number of trainers was more than 30 people.
When they are married, however, our group's number diminishes," said Karagöz. Four sisters of the Karagöz family are interested in weaving. The sisters bought a car and tractor with their earnings; they even established a barn. "I recommend carpet weaving to
anyone," Lale Karagöz affirmed.