Rug weaving is one of the oldest arts. Early humans used animal skins to protect their bodies from external factors. They learned to weave first with animal hides and leather, then with plant stems and fibers. The art of weaving, which originated from the use of plant stems, has persisted to the present day through the weaving of materials like wool and cotton.
Since the obtained fibers were not long, they were unsuitable for weaving. Making yarn by adding vegetable or animal fibers to each other has been an important invention in terms of giving the opportunity to make weavings of the desired length. The oldest known rug is the “Pazirik” Rug, woven in Central Asia between the 5th and 3rd centuries BC and named after the region where it was woven.
It was the Turks who found and developed “Kirkitli” weavings. Rugs and other weavings with “Kirkit” spread to the world with the migration of Turks from Central Asia. These rugs, which have survived to the present day, are still being woven.
A Look at the Traditional Tools and Techniques Used in Rug-Making
Rug weaving creates a labor in all its steps. First, the wool is sheared from the sheep and washed well. Wool is first combed by women with wool combs. Then it is wrapped in a wool comb.
Then the women sitting on the floor put the wooden part of the comb under their right leg. They take the wool with both hands, comb it and pull it to clean and sift everything inside the wool. The scanned part is put separately, and the remaining part is called garbage and the room is put in a separate place. Continuing like this, the scanning process is finished. This is one of the most difficult parts of rug weaving.
Before starting the rug, 10-15 cm long rug weaving is done. So that the rug does not come off. The dyed shackle threads are made into balls and placed in a sieve, and the tip is brought over the thuja to the area touching the rug.
The yarns, whose strength is taken, form a pair, one on the top and the other on the bottom. These pairs are called loops. Wool and thread in the left hand, knife in the right hand, a loop is taken with the right hand and the gap is opened between them, the woolen thread is wrapped around the thread on the left side.
Then passed from the front to the back of the thread on the right side and passed through the loop and knotted. The loop is firmly placed on the bottom of the weaving and two rows of sackcloth are woven.
The 1st row is the normal thread and the 2nd row is tightened to the bottom of the loops with a kilt. Two rows of woven rugs are sheared with scissors and the rug level is smoothed. Continuing like this, the rug is finished according to the pattern. The 10-15 cm long sackcloth (rug) weaving, which was woven at the beginning, is made again. And the rug is cut. The sackcloth woven part is folded and sewn so that it does not come off.
The Role of Women in the Turkish Rug-Making Industry
Traditional Turkish rug is woven by women. Although they vary slightly according to the region they touch, motifs become the common language of women's feelings, thoughts, hopes and dreams. The Anatolian woman describes her desire to marry earrings and a dowry chest, her happiness with her loved one with a star, her love with “Ying Yang”, her devotion to her love with “Bukağı”, her reproach with back-to-back ram horns, protection from the evil eye with a veil, eye, amulet, and her hand on her waist.
Preserving the Art of Rug-Making: Challenges and Opportunities
Although hand woven rug seems to be easy to weave, it is quite difficult. Because each stitch is carefully woven one by one. For this reason, the rug is completed in exactly 1-2 years. However, the finishing time is usually equivalent to the size of the rug.
Due to this hand-woven rugs also carrying a great labor. However, many people can ask how to understand hand rugs? Although it seems difficult, you can understand it very easily. Knots on the back is one way to understand hand and machine-made rug. Hand-woven rugs are made by tying knots in each loop.
But due to machine-made rug is woven automatically, there are no knots For this if you want to buy a hand-woven rug, first thing you should look is knots. If you see knot marks like straight strip lines, that rug is a machine-made rug. However, if the intermittent knots appear prominently asymmetrically, that rug is a hand-woven rug.
Another answer to your question of how to understand a hand-woven rug is the method of distinguishing based on the patterns on the rug.
In machine-woven rugs, the patterns are typically uniform and evenly spaced due to the automatic processing of the design. On the other hand, hand-woven rugs will inevitably display some variations in the patterns, regardless of the weaver's level of expertise.
If you see the patterns do not appear in complete symmetry but asymmetrical in between, you can be sure that that rug is a hand-woven rug.