Thursday, April 26, 2012

Turkish rugs are the place to be (on)

The James F.Ballard late 16th Century Bursa Prayer Rug. Ottoman Period
 A couple of weeks ago I found myself in Turkey. That makes it sound like an accident. It wasn’t. It was totally on purpose. We went for one week to Istanbul. And the bit around Gallipoli.

Istanbul is famous for its leather work. But I don’t like leather work so instead I’m going to talk about Turkish rugs. Istanbul has many rug shops, and many men standing outside the rug shops attempting to coax people inside to buy rugs. Perplexingly these men kept offering me “student prices”. I’m not a student. I can only assume that I was dressed so scruffily that they concluded I had to be a student. I also wasn’t offered any shoe shines by the hundreds of shoe shine men because of my falling-apart converses. I feel almost guilty.

I don’t actually have any of my own photos of rugs. I kept seeing beautiful examples but I was too afraid to take pictures. I’m such a coward. But I knew if I whipped out my camera then the rugmen would use the opportunity to scale up their attempts to sell me rugs. And then I would buy rugs. Probably plural amounts. Because I am weak. And I really can’t afford even one rug. Plus, I don’t have anywhere to put rugs. So I didn’t take pictures. Instead all pictures are from Wikipedia.

Turkish rugs consist of repeated patterns, often flowers or geometric shapes.

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul
More correct would be to call them 'carpets' rather than rugs. I have rugs in my head because that's what the people who wanted to sell them to me were calling them. Probably because a 'rug' seems more like a suitable souvenir than a 'carpet'.

They were all very beautiful.

More can be read on the history of Turkish carpets here.

A Turkish women using a loom to make carpet
They are often woven by hand, which is amazing.

I do find myself slightly regretting not having impulse bought one. Oh well. There's always a chance of another trip to Turkey.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...