Erdoğan ILDIZ

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            The designs on handmade carpets are much like proverbs, that is, a result of cultural accumulations through the years. Every design and colour in a carpet has a special interpretation. If the salesman is well informed about these designs and their interpretations he is able to make the carpet more attractive and more interesting for the potential customer. Many customers themselves will be interested in knowing the language of the carpet.

            The culture of carpets has its rich origin in the Nomadic Turkish nations. Before man learned to write, he expressed his feelings and thoughts by using figures and symbols.  These efforts eventually led to writing. Designs that were originally drawn on walls were then embroidered onto carpets which became a permanent part of households.

            During the passage of time  the input by various cultures led to the rich variety of design’s seen in today’s carpet weaving.

            These Nomadic Turks originated from the Middle Asia and their tribes spread to China, India, Afghanistan, Persia, the Arabian World, Andalusia in Spain, over Russia to the Caucasus, over Anatolia to Europe and, according to one hypothesis to America. Always they carried their art and culture with them and traces of the Nomadic Turks can be seen in Aztek art, in Ying and Yang of China and in the tulips of the Seljuks.

            In the designs, traces of Shamanism, Buddhism, Zorastrianism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam can be seen. The distinction between Shiism and Sunnism and the artistic trends of various eras can also be felt.

            Furthermore, the colours used to make up the designs are important. The colours displayed in the carpet are characteristics of the region of its origin The weaver expresses her feelings through certain colours. For example, red symbolizes love, green desire, blue nobility, black mourning, yellow soil and abundance.

            Throughout the world designs generally have the same meaning and although some small differences exist the designs can generally be interpreted as follows :      









PLANTS                                PLANT                                  COLOUR

                                               PART                                     OBTAINED


-Madder                                root                                        red

-Madder                                fruit                                        purple

-Grapevine                            leaf                                         yellow-green

-Saffron                                  leaf                                         yellow

-Pomegranate                        skin                                        bright yellow-dark brown

-Spurge                                  branch-leaf                            yellow-brown-green


-Tumeric                                root                                        yellow

-Garden thyme                      leaf                                         beige-gray-light green

-Daisy                                    flower                                     bright yellow-brown

-Dyer’s weed                         root-fruit                                khaki-yellow-biege cinnamon

-Terebinth berry                    root-skin                                yellow

-Walnut                                  root-skin-leaf                         brown

-Straw                                    stem                                       yellow

-Broom                                   flower                                     yellow

-Sea sumac                            branch-leaf                            yellow

-Indıgo                                   leaf                                         dark blue




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