Many people come to Turkey and leave with a Turkish rug. Others come just to buy a Turkish rug. Lady Hiva and I went to a rug shop to learn about why these rugs are so sought after.
The star of the show the entire time we were there was, of course, Lucky! I took some photos but just from my phone, so excuse the blurriness (it’s embarrassing…hehe). As soon as we arrived in their little shop the men had fun entertaining him. The best part is that being in a rug shop there is not much that a little Dragon can do because it is wall to wall rugs. He enjoyed crawling all over the rugs they were displaying while we talked. One of the guys was obsessed with me getting him in a photo with Lucky as he made the rugs “fly like Aladdin.” Yeah, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that if he is not on Mickey’s Clubhouse or Sophia the First, Tau’aho has no idea who Aladdin is. (But he did like watching the rugs fly.
It was a learning experience. We learned that the rugs are created by hand by women all over the country. They said that rug dealers can tell where a rug comes from by looking at it. The pattern and the size are regional identifiers. The size because women make these rugs over the course of one year and the loom is in their home. Many homes in an area have the same size of rooms so the rugs are similar in size. Also there is usually one carpenter in a village that makes rug looms and he will only make them in one size for consistency.
The patterns of an area are passed down one generation of rug weavers to another. I thought it was interesting to see that the rugs with intricate flower arrangements that many people identify as a Turkish rug only come from two different areas. Other areas look more ‘tribal.’ Those are the rugs that I liked, the patterns were bold and clean. They reminded me of Native American patterns. Actually, now I think of it, that may be the reason I am drawn to them. Grandma White (my great-grandma who Tau’aho gets his middle name from) had several rugs weaved by Navahos on her floor. We used to spend hours on those rugs watching television or using the patterns as roads for our matchbox cars. The similarity must have struck a childhood chord.
I think that I may have frustrated the rug dealer too when I would see a rug I really liked and it was—every time—an Afghani rug! (Sorry, Turk rug dealers). I liked that the Afghani rugs had less busyness and they had bold colors in their designs.
Lucky must have had too much fun because he burped up some food and luckily I was holding him and all of it landed on my shirt—I don’t say I am lucky because I enjoy fermented formula smelling milk mixed with chewed food on all over my shirt. I was just glad it did not land on the $1,700 USD rug that the guy was showing Lady. That is not something that I wanted to test out the “you break it, you buy it rule!”
It was interesting to see the rugs and ask about styles and types. Which patterns of wool are better for wear and how silk rugs are SO SOFT, but you cannot clean them very well. So maybe before we leave we will jump on the tourist bandwagon and buy a rug too…until then we are perfectly fine with our government issued plain cream rugs.