Red in early Toros pieces
In all four mentioned pieces an obvious feature is a very strong red, which is not dark but "fluorescent-vivid", and has a remarkable impact when viewed in the right light. It "works" even in diffuse day-light, exposed to a northern window as it has happened in the Essen exhbition.
It is obtained by a careful but thoroughly mordanting using alum and suitable auxilliaries and using a very high amount of good madder: only a cerain fraction of the dye-stuffs in the madder forms dye lakes on and in the fiber then. It is not an unusual high concentration of the "normal" madder lake with alum.
Except from within these pieces I (M.B.) have seen it once with a very early saf kilim fragment from the Northern slope of the Toros (the Hinterland of Ayranci), which is now in a private collection in the USA. We had mounted it on a special handwoven fabric (using hand-spun wool, which we dyed black for this special purpose, in 1988 (if I remember it right).
Rhamnus petiolaris - Yellows
Rhamnus petiolaris (Turkish: Cehri) is a shrub that occurs in some parts of Central Anatolia. In earlier times it was cultivated. This has ceased today. The dye material are the unripe green berries or the full ripe black berries.
It contains a lot of dye stuff - 30% of the wool weight with a good sample quality is the upmost amount which is useful. As a straight decoction it results in a brilliant open yellow of very poor light fastness. The dyes in this kilim have either been made with black Cehri or the dyers have used special pre-treatments of the green berries or applied fermentation techniques. Some old people in Cehri areas that we had interviewed and who had worked as professional dyers when they were young had forgotten how it was done (we believed them, in this case, as their memory was not very "healthy" on related details as well).
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