TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Weavers and the Organization of Weaving
Author  :  R. John Howe
Date  :  03-28-2000 on 07:01 p.m.
Dear folks - I would be interested in hearing our hostess talk a little about the weavers and the organization of weaving nowadays. Patterns no doubt vary quite widely but I'd be interested in hearing her describe such things as: 1. Who are the usual weavers? She says "young." Are they usually male or female or both? 2. Do the weavers also spin the wool they use to weave? Do they dye it? If not how are these operations performed and by whom? 3. Is the use of natural dyes markedly more expensive nowadays than that of synthetic dyes? I know some dealers who are very suspicious of dyes in rugs from producers claiming to be using only natural dyes. They say that the prices being charged are too low to permit the use of natural dyes. What is your experience in this regard? 4. How are looms acquired? Do weaving families build their own? I have heard that the Turkish government sometimes supplies looms to villagers. Or do producers often provide looms? 5. Is the weaving usually done in the home or are there workshops and factories in Turkey? 6. How does a producer maintain a given level of quality in the weaving? Thanks, R. John Howe

Subject  :  RE:Weavers and the Organization of Weaving
Author  :  Stephen Louw
Date  :  04-02-2000 on 07:30 a.m.
I think John has asked some very important questions. To his second question, "do the weavers also spin the wool," I would like to ask for your input on the type of wool used. I have little knowledge of or contact with Turkish woolen weavings, but have seen a number of recent high-end Iranian rugs. My impression of the latter is that the dyes etc. have improved enermously, but much of the wool, especially that used by some of the specialist family producers, is quite hard. (Which is not, of course, to say it is inferior.) What is the case in Turkey?

Subject  :  RE:Weavers and the Organization of Weaving
Author  :  Irwin Kirsch
Date  :  04-04-2000 on 08:49 p.m.
ikirsch@att.net Six months ago, we spent a day in a weaving village on the outskirts of Karapinar, in Central Anatolia. The entire village was family related and weaving, done only by the women, was the major source of outside revenue. The village farming was a cooperative effort. One man was in charge of the natural dyeing, although we did not see this activity. They were primarily copying "old" Turkish, Caucasian designs, and had a store in Central Anatolia (6 hours away by car). They also did a good business by creating new rugs from customer demand of old designs. While we were there we saw them weaving a large rug for a castle in England. The foundation of all their production was wool. It appeared that all their looms were home made, but I could be mistaken. Conditions were dark and crowded. In the first room of the hut, two weavers worked side by side. In the room behind them, seven women were working side by side. We also saw individual looms in another house. While arriving in the village, we saw women carding the wool. We also saw another group spinning the wool and helped them form skeins and balls of wool. We were impressed by the quality of the new workmanship and were amazed how the women could sit, fairly cramped in a tight space, in dim light, for very long periods of time, and enjoying themselves thoroughly. It was a wonderful experience for us, considering the hospitality shown us and particularly partaking in the homemade food, and meeting the people. Fortunately, there was one person who could speak English. While we spent over a month eating our way through Turkey, with delightful cuisine, this food was second to none. Irwin Kirsch

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