Ultimate Guide to Ladik Rugs

The Origin of Ladik Carpets

Ladik is a town connected to Konya- Sarayonu. It is an important center of carpet weaving art. Ladik hand carpet weaving first started in the 13th century. When the Seljuk State dominated Konya and its region, carpet masters from Isparta brought hand-made carpets to Ladik with them. At that time, the people produced local carpets and only met their own needs. After some time, in the 17th century, although the Ottoman Empire was at a period of stagnation in terms of politics and economy, there was an improvement in carpet weaving. Hence, the Ladik carpets have become widespread since the end of the 17th century.

In the past, the source of income of the local people was Ladik hand-woven carpet weaving, agriculture, and animal husbandry. However, today Ladik hand-woven carpets have lost their mark as a source of income. Even sadder, history will disappear when the Ladik Carpets which are present today wear off. 

Carpet weavers in Ladik District have decided to turn their steps to the open workshops to provide social security and earn more money with the opening of textile workshops. Hence, the weaving of Ladik Carpet officially ended in 2008. As a result, many merchants who have hundreds of stalls and make money from this business have closed their shutters.

The Common Materials Found and Used in Ladik Carpets

Ladik carpet, which stands out with its visuality and quality, was woven with its unique colors and motifs, using woolen threads, weaving looms until 13 years ago. Ladik carpet, which consists of 200 thousand knots in each square meter, comes second in Turkey after Hereke carpet in terms of quality. 

The weavers would spin the threads themselves with a tool called "kirmen" and dye them (only weft threads) with root dyes. However, carpets woven in this way could not go beyond being roughly woven carpets.

How is It Weaved?

One Ladik hand-made carpet is completed in about one and a half months. One, three, or five workers weave these carpets, depending on the height of the carpet. Workers lined up parallel to the carpet, side by side, on the bench to perform the same task. Each worker is responsible for the section of 100-110 centimeters. Next, the pre-prepared warp threads are placed on the handloom. The worker completes the process bypassing the weft thread through the warp threads using the spindle while remaining faithful to the pattern and density. 

The feathering of wool threads, which is one of the essential parts, is done with a small tool with an iron grid called a tambourine. Pattern reports for the worker to apply the design are included in the tambourine in the seating areas and the scissors for the first shearing on the carpet. Finally, the woven part is wrapped on the bottom so that the worker can work efficiently. Thus, a carpet is completed in 45 days.

The Materials That Are Commonly Used

Ladik carpets were woven on Istar (also called loom in the locality) looms. The looms used in the last period of the carpet were large-size, modern looms. In addition, iron workbenches were also used. From the 17th century till the 20th century, the weft, warp, and loop threads are wool. It can be understood from the samples that are present in the museums that they were hand-spun since the warps are worn out. 

Lately, 100% cotton yarn is used in the warp, and 100% wool material is used in the weft yarn. The wool yarn consists of 40% New Zealand wool fiber, 40% Karaman fattening wool, and 20% merino wool. Weft yarns are purchased from Isparta Sumerbank Textile Factory. Dyes are chemicals. Ready dyed threads are given to the weaver.

The Origin of the Motifs and Patterns Found in Ladik Carpets

In general, Ladik carpet patterns are middle eastern patterns and do not belong to the Central Anatolia region. However, it is a fact that there is an interaction between the patterns that we cannot keep on writing without specifying it. Considering that the Ottoman Empire's dominance in Iran and Iraq for centuries affects the culture, language, tradition, customs, and traditions of the people there, the possibility that the patterns we think belong to them might belong to Anatolia, which cannot be underestimated. 

According to its patterns to be applied, a precise 40×50 frequency is used in Ladik carpets. The meaning of 40×50 density is that there are 40 loops in width per square decimeter and 50 rows in length per square decimeter. The pattern is applied by placing warp threads on the strength wires in this frequency. Approximately 2000 loops should fit on 10 cm2 in the tissue structure. This means that 2,000,000 loops per square meter.

The Knot Type in Ladik Carpets

  • Gordes (Turkish) Knot 

This knot shape is named after the Gordes district of Manisa, the carpet center of Anatolia. The Gordes knot is used in Turkish and Caucasian carpets and some Persian and English carpets. This knot type is formed by connecting each pair of carpet strands and removing the ends between the two strands. Due to the nature of the knots, geometric, angular, and stylized patterns are used more in carpets woven with this technique.

Carpets woven with Gordes (Turkish) knot are pretty durable. Even if the pile texture is spilled on the carpet, the pattern remains on the carpet surface with the same rug appearance. 

  • The Sine (Iranian) Knot 

This knot shape got its name because it was woven in Iran and Sine, west of Iran. The Sine knot is used in all Persian, Turkestan, Indian and Chinese carpets and some Turkish carpets.

In this type of knot, the loop thread is tied to the front or back warp strands. Next, the other end of the loop thread is passed from the back of the other strand to the front and is released. Since the end parts of the loop threads are closer to each other in the Sine knot technique, these carpets are softer and brighter colors. Detailed and floral patterns are easily used in carpets woven with Sine knots. However, since one end of these knots is let loose, these carpets are not as strong as carpets woven with Gordes knot.

  • Knot Tied on a Single Warp

This knot shape is the least used technique of all three. The weavers mostly used it in medieval European tapestries and Spain. In addition, some pieces of carpets found in the old cultural centers of East Turkestan were woven with this technique. The thread is knotted once around the warp, and its ends are brought up. One empty warp is left between the knots in the same row. The warp knotted in one row is left blank in the other row, and the remaining warp is tangled in the other row.

The Prayer and Other Types according to their Motifs

It is possible to group the Ladik rugs as prayer rug type and other types (side rug, pillow rug, floor rug, mat, etc.). Prayer rugs have either a single mihrab or three mihrabs. The mihrab arch can be either placed directly on the ground or carried by pillars. In examples with three mihrabs, the mihrab in the middle is broader and higher.

The verse section has been removed in the prayer rug examples. Instead, tulip branches have been placed side by side either on this part or on the soleplate. This motif is characteristic of Ladik carpets. Three borders usually surround the base. The middle is broad, and the others are narrow. Broken branches and flowers, zigzag, meandr, zencerek, are located in narrow belts, while ball tulip (unopened tulip) and blooming tulip motifs are arranged alternately on the wide border. In some publications, the ball tulip motif is called the Ladik rose.

Carnation or hyacinth motifs are also encountered in Ladik carpet samples. In some single-mihrab prayer rugs, a single or three oil lamp motifs hang down from the mihrab. On the soles, inverted tulip branches and a branch, large leaves, and a composition ending with a flower in the middle are seen in carpets of the Konya-Kavak region. This motif is placed on top of each other in Kavak carpets.

The local- village rugs or double rugs, are given to the girls, who are about to get married. One piece each by their parents and their spouse's family is presented. These carpets have three or four cores. Similar examples were made of Ladik type carpets in Sarayonu and the villages of the district, in the center of Konya and neighborhoods such as Kadinhani Ilgin.

In most of the 20th century, there were architectural ornaments similar to houses or mosques side by side on the short sides of the carpet samples. The date “H.1321” is found on a prayer rug piece with inventory number 822 registered in Konya Ethnography Museum. Also, Gregorian dates, Latin alphabet, and letters are found in some late examples of the 20th century, which could signify the name of the weaver. 

The Common Colors Used in Ladik Carpets

Typically, early examples of these carpets in our museums and private collections are red and blue. In addition, brown, green, and white (beige) are also predominantly used. On the mihrab base of the carpet, red or dark blue, yellow on the borders, and rarely green are seen. A cream (beige) colored base can be seen on the examined samples.

The wools are colored with madder and natural dyes. These colors in Ladik carpets are very bright. After the beginning of the 20th century, the use of yellow and green tones increased with the colors in the early examples. Hence, in today's carpets, 13 colors are dominant. Mainly the following colors and their tones are prevalent. 

The Dominating Colors According to The Pattern

  • black
  • red
  • brick red
  • dark green
  • dark blue
  • brown
  • beige

The Dominating Colors According to Demand

  • white
  • dark pink
  • light pink
  • light green
  • light blue
  • yellow 

Almond green has also been used in recent years. Brown can be seen on the outer and edge floors. Although black is one of the most dominant colors, it is rarely seen in local carpets.

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