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Rug Glossary

In this post, you can find a brief glossary about rugs. These words are most used terms during classifing and describing a rug;

ABRASH Variation and striation of colors throughout the rug.

ANTIQUE Rugs over 60 years old.

BORDER A design that surrounds the field in an Oriental rug

CAUCASIAN Rugs were mainly woven in Azerbaijan, which is part of the Caucasus region.

CHEMICAL DYES Modern synthetic dyes used in rugs woven after 1935.

CHROME DYED Modern synthetic dyes.

COMBING Process for preparing wool’s in the same direction, before they are spun.

DOBAG A Turkish Acronym meaning Natural Dye Research and Development Project. In the late 1970s the government of Turkey began this program to improve the quality and profitability of the rug industry. The program reintroduced the use of natural dyes and traditional weaving methods.

FIELD The part of the rug lying between the border.

FLAT-WEAVE Describes a rug that has a flat pile which includes Dhurrie, Kilim and Soumak.

FRINGE Extension of the warp threads on two opposite sides of a rug.

INDIGO Any of various shrubs or herbs of the genus Indigofera in the pea family, having odd-pinnate leaves and usually red or purple flowers in axillary racemes. A blue dye obtained from these plants or produced synthetically.

KILIM A flat rug with no pile.

KNOT The process of wrapping yarn around the warps to form a pile is known as knotting. There are two basic types of knot commonly used in areas where rugs are woven. The symmetrical knot (also referred to as the Turkish knot or Gördes knot) is used in Turkey, the Caucasus, Northwestern Iran, and by some Turkmen groups. The asymmetrical knot (also referred as the Persian or Senneh knot) is used in most of Iran, in the majority of Turkmen rugs, and in China.

KNOT COUNT The number of knots per square inch or square decimeter describes the fineness of the rug. The total is obtained my multiplying the vertical by the horizontal knot count.

KNOTS PER SQUARE INCH Number of knots per square inch rates the knot quality.

LAYOUT The overall arrangement of motifs or objects woven into a rug.

LOOM Normally a wood structure that the carpet is woven on.

MIHRAB A niche design in the middle of a Muslim prayer rug, pointed toward Mecca during worship.

NATURAL DYES See vegetable dyes.

NAP Face of the rug where the knot ends are cut, normally made of wool or silk.

PILE The cut ends of the pile knots, which Project from the rug. Rugs without pile are known as the flat waves.

PLY The manner in which single strands of yarn are twisted together to form a thicker, stronger yarn. The ply is also described as either S or Z, but with rare exceptions the ply is in the opposite direction from the spin.

RE-FRINGE Repair fringe of rug using the selvedge or part of the rug.

RUNNER A very long and narrow rectangular carpet. They are used as coverings for hallways, stairways, and entrances. For this reason, they are also called Corridor rugs.

SAFFRON A corm-producing plant (Crocus sativus) native to the Old World, having purple or white flowers with orange stigmas

SELVAGE A woven edge finish formed either from the wefts as they turn back to recross the rug, or from additional yarns incorporated to protect the expose wefts.

SENNEH KNOT Persian knot

SIDING Edging on non-fringed sides of a rug.

SILK A fine lustrous fiber composed mainly of fibroin and produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons, especially the strong, elastic, fibrous secretion of silkworms used to make thread and fabric.

SOUMAK A flat-piled rug using a special weaving technique known as weft wrapping.

SPIN The manner in which fibers are twisted together to form a yarn. Yarns may be spun either clockwise or counter-clockwise, and they may be described as Z- or S- spun, depending upon whether the fibers are inclined in the direction of the diagonal stroke of the S or the Z.

VEGETABLE DYES Dyes derived from insects or from the earth, which includes madder root, indigo, milkweed, pomegranate, osage, cutch and cochineal.

WARP The threads that run from one end to the loom to the other, usually in the long dimension of the fabric, around which the pile knots are tied. The warps are held taut by the beams of the loom and, when cut, the loose warp ends from the fringe.

WEFT The threads that run across the width of the loom, perpendicular to the warps, with which they interlace. The weft is not attached directly to the loom. Each passage of the weft is referred to as a “shoot,” and there may be a number of shoots after each row of knots. The weft usually runs across short dimension of the fabric.

Posted July 1st, 2013.

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Floral Motifs In Tiles

Floral Pattern
Basic floral motifs
Tulip Patterns
Tulips are the distinctive characteristics of Iznik tiles
Iznik Tile Panel
Handpainted. Tulip and Carnation, includes 4 pieces.
Blue Floral Pattern
Floral patterns-motifs were especially favored for the decoration.
Iznik Tile from History
Tulip from Rustem Pasha Mosque.
Carnations at Tiles
At some patterns, carnations are the main flowers for patterns.

An important cultural center during the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent, the rural town of Iznik (ancient Nicea) nestles on a lakeside in Northwest Turkey. Here in the early 16th century an “Imperial ware,” now called Iznik, was made for the Istanbul court of the Ottoman Sultan–the richest, most powerful monarch in Europe. Originally inspired by Chinese pottery, Imperial ware was so exquisite that European collectors in the mid 19th century thought it came from Persia. Only in the 1920s did scholars accept that Iznik ceramics were Ottoman, giving due recognition at last to Turkish potters for some of the world´s most beautiful and striking designs. Iznik ware has survived to the present day in all its splendor. Iznik tiles adorn palaces and mosques; the largest collection of ceramic vessels is in the British Museum. Handpainted. Classical iznik Design

During the production process of  traditional Turkish ceramics, pattern selection is most important part of it. Most of the time, inspiration comes from the tile history.  Floral patterns-motifs were especially favored for the decoration of interiors in Ottoman architecture and the most important area of their application was wall tiles. Tiles manufactured in Iznik between the 16th and late 17th centuries embellished the walls of not only mosques and tombs but also of place buildings and daily used structures.

It is easy to see lots of successful applications of tiles at which flowers are dominant main pattern. At the pictures above, you can see those examples.

You can see related products at:Iznik Ceramic Tiles

Posted June 16th, 2013.

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Washing and Care of the Rugs

A dirty or stained carpet should be washed with soft soap, without delay, rinsed with clean water and dried. A Turkish carpet is made to last and, therefore, requires certain care. The worst enemy of a carpet is damp. Therefore, it should not be left in a damp environment over a long period. There is no harm in washing and immediately drying a carpet. However, it should not be laid on the floor before it is well dry, and it should never he kept damp on the floor.

Carpet naturally collects dust when laid on the floor for a long time. Therefore, it should frequently be vacuum cleaned. In spite of this, when laid on the floor over a long time, dust may collect at the bottom of its knots, and the carpet should be laid on the floor face down for several days in each year, walking on it frequently, pal1 to get rid of the accumulated dust. This action causes the dust accumulated at the bottom of the knots to fall off. Later the carpet should be laid face up again and vacuum cleaned.

Nomads use a more practical method. They lay the carpet face down on snow and cover it with a layer of snow. During this process the melting snow removes the accumulated dust like a filter and polishes the carpet.

Fading colors may be shined with vinegar: adding a glass of vinegar into a bucket of water, the pile of carpet is wiped with a sponge in the direction of the weave, and the carpets is left to dry. As a result, the carpet regains its shine.

As removing stains may not always be easy, carpet needs good care. A specialist should be consulted for stubborn stains. The following points should be remembered for good carpet care:

During cleaning refrain from rubbing the carpet knots in the reverse direction. Take care not to wet the whole carpet. Never use any chemicals, including ammonia, to clean silk carpets.


ANY ALCOHOLIC DRINK: Lightly wet with warm water and use 90 % alcohol to clean

MUD: Dry well and vacuum clean.

CHOCOLATE: Use a sponge damped with ammonia to wipe.

SWEETS: Lightly wipe with warm water.

INK: Damp sponge with a mixture of water, soap and alcohol, and wipe. Take care to prevent the cleaning mixture from dripping down to the reverse of the carpet.

FRUIT: Damp sponge with a mixture containing 3 parts white vinegar or lemon juice and 1 part ammonia, and wipe.

EGG: Never use hot water. Wipe with an ammonia and water mixture, failing that, use an alcohol and water mixture.

BLOOD: Never use hot water. After cleaning the stain well with a damp sponge, wipe with cold salty water. If unsuccessful, wipe again with pure white wine. If the stain is dry, brush it and clean with water containing a small amount of ammonia.


PET URINE: Wipe with a sponge while the stain is damp, and leave to dry. Later wipe with white wine vinegar. If unsuccessful, wipe again with a mixture of 3 parts alcohol and 1 part ammonia.

RED WINE: Clean with white wine, wipe with water.

These instructions are to be used as a reference only. EnjoyIstanbul.com is not responsible for any damage, fading, and or changes in your rugs or carpets due to following these instructions. Please call a professional for assistance prior to using these instructions. By using this reference, it is understood that EnjoyIstanbul.com relinquishes all responsibility.

Also, please do not hesitate to ask us any further assistance for the care of your rugs via comments form below!

Posted June 2nd, 2013.

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Oriental Carpets’ Name

Rugs are named generally by the regions they are weave.

Regions in Anatolia


Bergama is a little town in northwest part of the country; here there are approximately eighty villages which weave Bergama carpets. This ancient city was one of the most powerful and richest region in Anatolia. The history of carpet waving in this region has a very old background. Bergama carpets have always been woven as wool on wool material combination while wefts are all red. Knotting density of these rugs is about 12 knots per square cm. and mostly come in three – four square meter sizes. Those woven in Canakkale are slightly larger. Motifs can be divided by two main groups: as Kozak type and Turkish type. Kozak type rugs have big geometrical designs, these ones remind Kozak – Gendje region rugs. In Turkish type usually designs are very floral and embroidered with leaves of the pine trees. They consist mainly of two colours, the dark reds and blues. In these rugs red color, which is used for dyeing the wool yarns, makes the pile less thick than the rest of the surface after a certain time, so blue motifs appear higher. The evil eyes that you see at the edges give them an exceptionally unusual appearance.


These carpets are made by Yoruk’s semi-nomadic tribes who leave near the ocean on the warm plains during the winter months. The villages are around Antalya, on the Mediterranean cost, are the main producing centers of this type of carpets are made with wool and dyes produced by the nomads themselves. The predominant colors are always bright red and dark blue, with a smaller amount of white. Distinctive patterns in the borders are the sheep’s eye and knife tip and the “hands on hips” motif, an age old symbol denoting female fertility which dates back to the time when the tribes worshipped mother goddesses. The field are usually are taken up by a large red double mihrab, edged in ram’s horn motif. Often the shape of the double mihrap is cut into by two triangles on either side. Ears of grain representing fertility and carnations are frequently seen. If there is a tree of life it’s generally made up of carnations, “the flowers of the people”. Some times one can see a strange motif, a stylized representation of the human figure which is used to guard against evil. The number of knots in these carpets is equal to 160,000 knots per square meter.


A wide variety of types of carpets are produced in Turkey with widely varying degrees of quality. For the discerning buyer or collector there are twelve recognized types of carpets, each type produced in different geographical districts and each having distinctive designs, colors and quality. They are easily noted. Once one learns to “read” or recognize the patterns or designs and colors associated with the geographical area in which produced. The finest contemporary and highest quality of silk and wool carpets currently made in Turkey are produced in town near Istanbul, called Hereke. The Hereke carpets are either woven in pure silk or cotton and wool. The pure silk carpet uses silk from Bursa. In wool and cotton carpets the warps and wefts are cotton and the best quality of wool is used for knots in the pile. The silk Hereke carpets have from 1.0 to 1.2 million knots per square meter. The knot density in the highest quality wool carpets is any where between 360,000 to 400,000 knots per square meter. In second quality wool carpets the knots are around 250,000 to 300,000 per square meter. The dominant colors in Hereke carpets are dark blue, cream and cinnamon and occasionally yellow and green are used. The traditional floral designs are common and each design has its own name, such as : Seljuk Star, Seven Mountain Flowers, Ploneise, 101 Flowers, and Tulip. The flowers in the design and the harmony of colors add warmth to a home.


Kars located near the Russian border in Turkey, produces carpets designed in the Caucasian style. The main motif used is the large cruciform. The quiet olive-green combined with a dull red-brown and lighter beige tones give the piece enormous warmth. The eight stylized trees of life in the corners are surrounded by a Caucasian calyx-and-leaf border and the guard stripes are called ‘running dogs.” The extremely valuable hand-spun mountain wool is used in the hand weaving and is especially prized by acknowledged buyers. Natural dyed wool is used with the dominate colors navy blue, red and cream. There are 200.000 knots per square meter in Kars carpet’s and for this reason Kars carpets are so noted fine works of art.


The town of Kayseri, situated in central Turkey, has been famous as a carpet making center for centuries. Carpets and Kilims of Kayseri are of various types. Silk carpets and wool ,natural wool (no dyes), and Bunyan carpets are the major categories produced. Kayseri carpets are woven both at the workshops and in the homes. Weavers usually buy yarn from shops and after finishing their carpet would sell it to the same shop in order to buy more yarn. The sizes, designs and number of knots are the same as Bunyan carpets, but the large sizes are rather rare. Cotton is used as warp and weft. These carpets are considered the masterpieces of Kayseri and as such are sought out by dealers to sell to the foreign trade. Kayseri carpets are woven entirely in silk as well and will have 600,000 to 700,000 knots per square meter. Bunyan carpets are often in floral designs of a typical Oriental carpet. The yarn is cotton and wool dyed with vegetable dyes, and about 120,000 to 150,000 knots per square meter. The Kayseri Bunyan carpets are made in different sizes; from pillow sizes of 62 by 100 cm. to the large 16 square meters carpet. Kayseri natural wool carpets have all the properties of Bunyan carpets except there are not as many colors used as in the Bunyan carpets. Colors of white, cream, light and dark brown and sometimes black are used in this types of carpets with the same number knots as in the Bunyan carpets.


Kozak carpets are woven by semi-nomadic shepherds who live in the highland regions of the Caucasus Mountains and their environment is reflected in their products. The distinctive designs in Kozak Carpets can be easily recognized. The warp and weft threads are wool with the weft threads always in red or brown colors. The wool pile in these carpets is fairly deep and the yarn used is always of excellent quality. The Kozak carpet has approximately 50 to 100 Turkish knots per square inch. The motifs used in these carpets are, formal, geometric, central medallion, repeated pattern and “Eagle.” True Kozak carpets are mostly antique pieces and were produced in the Caucasus Mountains. Currently a limited number of Kozak carpets are produced and are much prized by dealers.


Kula is the name of a town in Western Anatolia where these wool carpets are made. The village carpets of Kula are woven on a woolen warp and weft and for the most part have strong geometric designs. The colors are rich but soft with earth tones of rust, green, gold, and blue being common, however, the dominant colors are pastel. The most important characteristics of these carpets are that they are woven with 100% wool yarn and have varying patterns, colors and sizes. Kula carpets contain 160,000 knots per square meter. Along with all Kula patterns various Anatolian patterns are frequently seen in Kula carpet. Kula carpets resemble those of other Western Anatolian products like, Ushak and Gordes, with their wide borders restrained colors. They also tend to have a short and somewhat lusty pile. Borders usually consist of a number of stripes of about equal width decorated with little stars and flowers. The earliest patterns of Kula carpets were either geometrical or composed of highly stylised nomadic forms. In the last century Kula carpets often had richer and more imaginative floral designs. At the end of the 19th century they were exported to Europe by the thousands, often under the name of Ushak and Gordes carpets. The typical features were a light grey or cream background with floral patterns in pink and blue. Kula carpets which have furnished many homes are very elegant. They were particularly favored for the dining room and libraries.


Kulluce carpets are produced in a town between Afyon and Denizli. The people of this area are mostly Caucasian immigrants who have been weaving their geometric and Caucasian designs for years. Undyed natural color of shop wool used creates tones such as: Beige, dark brown, cream, light brown, black and grey. The number of knots in Kulluce carpets is approximately 140.000 to 160.000 per square meter. These carpets are made in workshops and they are very precise.


Ladik is a town located north of Konya in the hearth of Anatolia. The main sources of income in this area are animal husbandry, agriculture and carpet production. Konya and Ladik are the oldest carpet making centers in Turkey. Even during the 15th. center the art of carpet weaving flourished in Konya because it was the capital of the Seljuk Empire and a very important communication and political center. There are many notable at works in Konya and perhaps the most famous in the Green Mosque. From Arabia, Iran and other countries many artists came to Konya to practice their crafts. The surviving carpets of this era offer ample evidence of the Turkish character. During this same period carpet weaving skill spread from Konya to other parts of Anatolia. The colors in Ladik carpets are very vivid and well matched. After Kula carpets, Ladik carpets, with their 250,000 knots per square meter, are considered just as fine.


Milas is the center of a weaving area in Western Turkey near Izmir. It gives its name to all the carpets produced in the region. Those made in the immediate area of Milas are different in style to those made in the South-west Peninsula, around the center of Karaova. There are four sub-types which constitute the Milas family,’ the prayer carpet with the lozenge shaped niche, the bright red medallion Milas, the antique Milas which is woven in shades of red-brown and yellow and the Ada Milas which is quite restrained in design. The prayer rugs are the most important sub-type, with their unusual shaped Mihrab, elongated, terminating in a lozenge, representing the immortality of the soul. Carpets from no other region have Mihrabs in this shape. There are approximately 160.000 knots per square meter in the Milas carpets.
Milas colors mostly include earth shades of rust red, brick red, and tawny yellow and Brown, along with a characteristic subdued mauve. The range of major and minor border stripes is narrow, with the same elements remaining unchanged for the last 100 years more.
With its pastel colors, it is a quite decorative rug.


Taspinar is a small hamlet in the carpet weaving areas of the Nigde. Nigde is one of the main roads that cross the Taurus Mountains. Taspinar produces excellent carpet of a thick pile, knotted in high quality wool. They have a predominantly blue and red field enlivened by delicate motifs in lighter shades. The yarn is dyed with natural vegitable dyes by the Caucasian methods. Taspinar carpets are among the most beautiful of all Anatolian carpets. In the old Taspinar’s carpets the Persian influence can be seen which are plant figures and geometric designs used simultaneously. However, the rich colors and beautifully proportioned somewhat formal design prevent this unusual mixture from this pleasing the eye. Well cared for, old Taspinars have a wonderful silk like quality. As the lanolin in the wool rises to the surface it gives the pile a soft rich velvety sheen. New Taspinars are made in the same rich colors as old ones, but the designs are becoming more varied. Caucasian and nomadic pattern have become more regular in recent years. The knot density of Taspinar carpets are 140,000 per square meter.


Ushak is a small city located in west-central Anatolia. Since the 15Th century it has been an important carpet weaving center. Its importance comes from the revolutionary change on the design of the carpets. Normally most Anatolian carpets have classical tribal motifs which are generally geometric but on Ushak carpets it had shift to curvilinear and decorative motifs. This happened due to demand of Ottoman Palace. Unlike tribal carpet they were produced on workshops and special designers made the designs. That resulted on wider range of design and size. At the beginning, they were woven wool on wool foundation but as the sizes increased , wool on cotton foundation production started because on oversize carpets wool foundation is not strong enough.


These carpets, made in the vicinity of Kayseri are of a very fine quality and are considered very attractive. A rich red with indigo colored blue is used throughout the field with a border of brilliant shades of yellow and gold. This carpets are very popular, because of the traditional flawless workmanship of the Yahyali weavers. The main ornamental motif of a contemporary and antique Yahyali is the hexagon which is similar to those of the Yoruk carpets, but they are more linear in execution. A double hexagon encloses a light blue centerpiece. The hexagon may be single, double or triple. Most Yahyali carpets have these common characteristics. A main border with stylized flowers and an “old gold” ground, surrounded by two lesser borders with a dark blue ground. The main field is nearly always red, with a blue medallion and corner pieces, which have stepped edges. The warm color harmony and beautiful designs along with good quality make the Yahyali carpets one of the most popular carpets of Anatolia. The number of knots in Yahyali carpets are equal to the number of Milas carpets (140,000 knots per square meter).


Yagcibedir carpets are produced in the mountainous areas of the Aegean regions, in the nomad inhabited villages of Mazilar, Islamlar, Karakecili, Yenikoy, Karaoba and Kocaoba (the oba ending means ‘nomad tent”). According to the legend Yagcibedir was a butter seller from Kayseri who made excellent quality carpets to supplement his income. He shared his skills with the people of the villages he visited, so when they started to produce, they named their carpets after him. The warp, weft and knots are made of pure lamb’s wool, and the pile is clipped short to allow the pattern to be clearly seen. The dominant colors are dark indigo blue and rich madder red, sometimes with the inclusion of cream, brown, softer shades of red and pinks. As the carpets age they become more and more lovely, as the dark reds fade to a beautiful soft red-brown. The colors and patterns of Yagcibedir carpets have remained the same for countless generations. They are very distinctive and easy to recognize. The dark blue ground is patterned with geometric forms: stars, flowers, stylized birds and numerous stars of Suleyman.
The field is framed by a border of five or seven bands. The double ended prayer niche, which indicates that the weavers were Shi-ite Moslems, is very distinctive with an edge of three stepped lines, ending in a ram’s horn motif. These carpets are often the favorites of male carpet lovers, due to the masculine colors and simple geometric designs. The knots density in these carets are 160.000 per square meter.

Regions in Caucasus


The unique beauty and grandeur of Shakdag and Tufandag, the snow-capped peaks of spurts of the Greater Caucasus Range, spreading out into the Caspian…
The forests running right down to the golden sands of the Caspian shores the orchards spreading out beyond the horizon, the rich soil of the valleys, the Samur – Divinchinska lowland…
The country spreading westward of the Apsheron peninsula, from the ancient Shemakha up to the Derbent barrage, for centuries waging the struggle, repulsing the foreign invasions…
The legendary Derbent of Beireklers and Banuchichens, Dede Korkud and Fatali Khan… The beautiful country of Kuba is lying here. Sheer rocks, rapid mountain streams, multicolored valleys, all these gifts of Kuba were handed over in the wealth of their unique hues to the popular arts – i. e. carpet-making, poetry and metalwork(copper items).


Shirvan means high mountains, boundless forests, ancient strongholds, the voice whispering thousands of legends… The name Gyulistan, which means “flower garden” can be given not only to the capital of Shirvanshaks but to the whole Shirvan region. In truth , Shirvan is the flower garden of Azerbaijan. Not only Diri Baba and Djavanshir strongholds, but every cemetery keeps still unread stone pages of the chronicle of the history of our Motherland. From Kobystan preserving the traces of great art of our people for ten thousand years up the eyes of Shirvan, which are piercing the sky, through the Pirkuli observatory, along the old caravan route passing through ancient towns and villages disappeared in the past, up to now, as it was many centuries ago, numerous springs gust out from the rocks, like Goch-bulag, as an embodiment of the inexhaustible source of people’s inspirations. Home country of Djavanshir and Khagani Shirvani. Imadedin Nasimi, and Rasul Riza… In the daytime and at night one can hear the tapping sound of the copper-smiths of Lagich. The flowers give their colors Shemakha Kelagais, the crimson blood of the pomegranate is mingled with a pure song of the green trees, tipping out onto the silks of Shirvan, onto its carpets and articles of its jewelers.


Historians cannot give the exact age of the old Ganja. But about a thousand years ago Ganja was the largest town in Transcaucasia, its population being a half million people.
For many years old Ganja was the capital of Northern Azerbaijan. Now Ganja is one of the largest centers of culture and arts in this country. It carefully preserves the fine ancient architectural monuments of the past… The indelible traces of Ganja’s wisdom will live in the Ganja carpets forever.


Kazak occupies an honorable place in the economic and cultural life of the republic due the famous horses of the Dilboz stock and the flocks of sheep, the saz and poetry, the ashug (popular bards) and the carpets.
Every inch of the land is the history alive, and those who live on the land of Kazak now, the heirs of this history, preserve and further promote the creative work of people, thorough whose efforts Kazakh has acquired its frame.


On the plains of Karabagh the herds of horses are prancing, the stocks of Karabagh horses being world renown; on the Karabagh Mountains the flocks of famous sheep is indispensable in making carpet woolen yarn.
The carpets woven in Karabagh in the 16th-17th centuries are now on display in the Berlin Arts Museum, the New York Metropoliten Museum and other museums of the world, as many a time these carpets decorated the exhibitions of art works in Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Petersburg and Moscow.

You can see related products at: Oriental Carpets

Posted June 2nd, 2013.

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Musical Instruments

Ney, Reed Instrument
Zither, in Turksh "Kanun"
It is a stringed instrument played on the lap and the strings are stretched across the upper surface of a wooden box
Lute, in Turkish "Ud"
Lutes, also stringed instruments, have a sound box terminating in a neck
Lute, in Turkish "Ud"
The masters of the lute were revered by those interested in music
Ney, Reed Instrument
The ney is mostly used in mystic and religious music

The musical instruments used by Turks are of three main groups: stringed, wind and percussion instruments. Turkish musical instruments were produced by the master-apprentice method in the Ottoman period. Traditional Turkish music is monophonic. Even though many instruments are used, they all play the same melody. The music reflects different emotions, mainly unrequited love and when it is sad it may sound depressing, but when expressing joy, happiness or pleasure you will find yourself dancing to the rhythm. The main instruments used in Turkish music show a great diversity. In classical Turkish music the zither, tambur, lute, tef (tambourine), darbuka and ney (reed flute) are some of the instruments used, besides the well-known ones also used in the west, including the piano, violin, viola and clarinet.

The zither is called ‘kanun’ in Turkish. It is a stringed instrument played on the lap and the strings are stretched across the upper surface of a wooden box. Skilled craftsmen may use seven kinds of wood in making one zither. The upper surface is made of sycamore wood, the lower surface of pinewood, the bridge is of maple. The design on the sides and the upper surface is cut out of rose wood and white pine. The soundboard is completed by using calf leather giving the zither its rich resonance. The tuning pegs and the peg locks are made of hardwood, either rose or ebony. The small tuning levers or tuning keys, are called ‘mandal’. It is played with the help of a plectrum, one fastened to each index finger by an adjustable metal ring.

It would not be wrong to say that if a single instrument were to represent Turkish folk music it would have to be the baglama. The baglama was developed from another instrument called the kopuz, which is also used today. There are different kinds of baglama, like the çögür, cura, divan, tambura and kopuz. The kopuz, also a stringed instrument, was used in Central Asia by Turkish tribes about two thousand years ago and is mentioned in the tales of Dede Korkut (a sage, the mentor of the Turkish Oguz tribe who narrates moralistic epic tales to a chieftain of the tribes). We come across the belief among the shamanist Turks that a warrior with a kopuz at his waist was protected in battle from injury at enemy hands. Turkish strolling minstrels brought the baglama to Anatolia and in fact, everyone knew how to play this instrument. The baglama is so-to-say a friend of the minstrels who at certain times of the year gather at contests and song festivals. Accompanied by music, repartee between the contestants is sometimes satirical, sometimes filled with irony but never insulting and is fun to listen to.

Then we have the lute which is a little different to those seen in Europe. The lute is called ‘ud’ in Turkish. Lutes, also stringed instruments, have a sound box terminating in a neck which serves both as a handle and a device for extending the strings beyond the sound box. The masters of the lute were revered by those interested in music. Today there are various trends in Turkish pop music and the lute is one of the main instruments accompanying the soloist both in classical Turkish music, popular mainstream music and folk songs. In Turkey there are singers who use the lute, just as their counterparts in the West use the guitar.

There are also reed instruments pipes equipped with a double reed or with a single reed. To name a few, we can give the examples of the zurna, ney, and shepherd’s pipe. Among them the ney is mostly used in mystic and religious music. Drums and the zurna go together and are mostly used in folk music and they are an indispensable part of wedding or circumcision festivities. In Turkish music rhythm is of utmost importance. Therefore percussion instruments used for this purpose apart from drums, include ‘kudüm’ (small double drums used in mystic religious music) and the darbuka. Percussion instruments were first brought to Europe after being seen in the Mehterband of the Turkish army around the sixteenth century. At first only a king or high nobleman was allowed to have one. For many years drums were “aristocratic” instruments, primarily used with trumpets to sound fanfares as the king entered a theatre or throne room. The def (tambourine), is also a popular instrument used for rhythms. It is like a handheld frame that usually has rattles attached to the side. It is both struck and shaken and sometimes used by young ladies dancing to a melody, in addition to its place in the orchestra.

You can see related products at: Music & Instruments

Posted June 2nd, 2013.

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Turkish Coffee

From the days of the Ottoman Empire through to the present, coffee has played an important role in Turkish lifestyle and culture. The serving and drinking of coffee has had a profound effect on betrothal and gender customs, political and social interaction, prayer, and hospitality traditions throughout the centuries. Although many of the coffee rituals are not prevalent in today’s society, coffee has remained an integral part of Turkish culture. First brought to Istanbul in 1555 by two Syrian traders, coffee became known as the “milk of chess players and thinkers.” By the mid-17th century, Turkish coffee became part of elaborate ceremonies involving the Ottoman court. Coffee makers with the help of over forty assistants, ceremoniously prepared and served turkish_coffee_tea_spice_setcoffee for the sultan. Marriage customs and gender roles also became defined through coffee rituals. In ancient times, women received intensive training in the harem on the proper technique of preparing Turkish coffee. Prospective husbands would judge a woman’s merits based on the taste of her coffee. Even today, when a young man’s family calls to ask a girl’s parents for her hand in marriage, a formal coffee is served even in the most modern households. For both men and women, coffee has been at the center of political and social interaction. During the Ottoman period, women socialized with each other over coffee and sweets. Men socialized in coffee houses to discuss politics and to play backgammon. In the early 16th century, these coffee houses played host to a new form of satirical political and social criticism called “shadow theatre” in which puppets were the main characters. Over the years, Turkish coffee houses have become social institutions providing a place to meet and talk. Today, Turkish coffee houses continue their role in society as a meeting place for both the cultured citizen and the inquisitive traveler. Istanbul offers many new and delightful cafe-restaurants where friends and family meet to discuss topics of the day over a cup of traditional Turkish coffee. Derived from the Arabica bean, Turkish coffee is a very fine, powder-like grind. An aromatic spice called cardamom is sometimes added to the coffee while it is being ground. One can also boil whole seeds with the coffee and let them float to the top when served. Turkish coffee has various levels of sweetness ranging from bitter to very sweet. Because sugar is not added to the coffee after it is served, spoons are not needed. As the coffee begins to heat, it begins to foam. A rule of the Turkish coffee ceremony dictates that if the foam is absent from the surface of the coffee, the host loses face. Turkish coffee is served hot from a special coffee pot called a cezve. Tradition states that after the guest has consumed the coffee and the cup is turned upside down on the saucer and allowed to cool, the hostess then performs a fortune reading from the coffee grounds remaining in the cup. Rich in tradition and flavour, Turkish coffee remains a favourite today, not only in Turkey, but also among discriminating coffee drinkers around the world

You can see related products at: Turkish Coffee, Tea & Spice Sets

Posted June 1st, 2013.

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Copper Art

Turkish Copper Brazier
Turkish Copper Pitcher
Turkish Copper Tray
Turkish Copper Soup Pot
Turkish Copper Bucket
Sliced Turkish Copper Pitcher

Turkish metal artwork dates as early as the 2nd and 3rd century BC in central Asia. In Anatolia, the oldest existing Seljuk piece of metalwork is a silver tray with the inscription “Alp Arslan is the Greatest Sultan” and a silver candle stick dated 1137. Both pieces are at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Metal artwork reached its pinacle in the Ottoman Empire with the making of turkish-copper-ewer--1weaponry, such as swords, helmets, armour, dagger and knives. For domestic ware, copper or copper/zinc (tombac)was the material of choice although bronze, silver and gold were also used. A mass of copper would be beaten with a hammer (dogme) and turned into a slab, which would then be shaped by an artizan to the desired form. The choicest specimens of Seljuk and Ottoman metalwork can be seen at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art. Like the other branches of art, the Ottoman art of metal at the outset took over the Seljuk cultural heritage, with the result that it became a melting pot for a variety of trends as befits an empire that combined many lands and peoples. The widespread implementation in the 14th century of the art of repoussé, familiar to us from Seljuk metalwork, is one of the outstanding features of the period The 15th century, when the Ottomans embarked on the path towards becoming a world power, and the conquest of Istanbul in 1453 especially, constituted a turning point in the art of metal as in many other fields. With the conquest especially of the Balkan lands, which were rich in gold and silver, the Ottomans acquired metalworking artists who possessed not only the raw material resources but also a long-standing tradition. Mamluk influence is observed in the oil lamps in the shape of hexagonal pyramids in a group of works typical of the period. The countless examples of such lamps, decorated with openwork, repoussé and intaglio and adorned with rumî and hatayî motifs, that have survived to our day show that they were produced abundantly in the second half of the 15th century. Candlesticks also occupy an important place among the metal work of this period. Among the Ottoman metal work that has survived to our day, a plethora of objects dating to the period of Sultan Bayezid II stand out. Although Bayezid II’s passion for valuable objects has been viewed by historians as prodigal, its impact on art was positive, and it is a fact that the creation of new works was a compelling force in the encouragement and patronage of artists. The Ehli Hiref or craftsmen’s organization, which served as a school for every branch of Ottoman art, was established in this period. Subsumed under it were the coppersmiths (‘kazganciyan’), who made metal objects; the goldsmiths (‘zergeran’), who produced jewelry of all kinds including gold; the gold inlayers (‘kûftgeran’ or ‘zernisan’), who produced gold inlay and other decorations, and the ‘hakkâk’ who cut and set precious stones. All these divisions of the Ehli Hiref had a role to play due to the great diversity of decorative techniques employed in the art of metalwork. As a result of the cooperation and work of the masters who brought diverse traditions and concepts of art to Istanbul from various parts of the Empire following the conquest of Tabriz and Egypt in particular, the Ottoman art of metal was purged of manifest influences in the mid-16th century and found its own unique style.

A number of decorative techniques were generally employed on the decorative objects made in this century including intaglio, repoussé, filigree, chasing, niello, embossing and metal plating. But the group that best represents the overall character of the period is without doubt that of the metal objects known as ‘murassa’ (studded with precious stones). It became fashionable in this period to embed precious stones in metal surfaces such as swords, daggers, book covers, slabs of emerald, natural crystal and even porcelain by using the technique of stone inlay. In contrast turkish-copper-decanter--1with the ostentatious style of the 16th century, there are also plain examples which stand out simply for their harmonious proportions and fine workmanship. Flowers also begin to appear alongside the classical 16th century styles in the decorative motifs of the 17th century. Emerging under Western influence, these are composed of floral motifs worked in Turkish style. Besides the traditional motifs such as the plaited frieze, tree of life, Seal of Solomon and fish observed on copper objects of the period decorated mostly using the intaglio technique, naturalistic designs such as tulips and pomegranate blossoms, familiar from silver objects of the period, are also encountered. The Ottoman art of metalwork, which is observed to have remained bound, in part at least, to the traditional forms at the beginning of the 18th century, continued the naturalistic style of the 17th century as well. Besides the western-oriented quest for form and motif, there was also a tendency to maintain the classical tradition. Late 18th century and 19th century metalwork in contrast appears to reflect entirely western taste. The classical Ottoman shapes and motifs of the 16th and 17th centuries eventually gave way to Baroque and Rococo forms and designs imported from Europe. The Ottoman art of metal, which was attempting to emulate Western products in this period, is observed to have been particularly successful in the technique of intaglio, of which it created fine examples in pieces such as the coffee sets, ewers, trays, jugs and mirrors that were so popular during the period. When examining the ‘Turkish Rococo’ products of the Ottoman art of metal, we see a transformation in taste. Pearls and cut diamonds supplant colored stones such as the ruby, emerald and garnet of the classical period in jewelry and inlaid work, and enamelling also becomes popular. Similarly, embossing with a mould replaces the more demanding technique of repoussé using a graver, which requires skill. As for the floral compositions, which are still used, these now take the form of sumptuous baskets with enormous bows and garlands made in keeping with contemporary fashions. The changing political and economic fortunes of the 19th century Ottoman world naturally affected Ottoman art as well. The gradual weakening of the Ehli Hiref organization in the palace and its complete disappearance in the 19th century spelled the end of the brilliant evolution of Ottoman art. As the state, with increasing frequency, sent the gold, silver and even copper objects in the Treasury to the Mint to be melted down, the extant specimens of the Ottoman art of metal, which had been based on the recycling of materials for re-use, began more and more to belie the richness cited in the sources. The objects that were able to be preserved in the Palace Treasury and other extant specimens, most of which survive only because they were donated to tombs and mosques.

You can see related products at: Turkish Copper & Bras

Posted June 1st, 2013.

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Turkish Music

The goblet drum is a single head membranophone with a goblet shaped body
The body is wooden. It has its bow associated.
Student Oud
The Oud is a pear-shaped stringed instrument
Basic Kanoun
Wood Engraving Kanun Musical String Instrument
G Clarinet
The body is made of plain metal.

Turkey—rich in musical heritage—has developed this art in two areas, Turkish classical and Turkish folk music. When describing Turkish music today it is generally said that Ottoman Joombush 1composers availed themselves of the rich musical heritage found in the cultural centers of the Abbasid and the Timurogullari, where Turkish, Araband Iranian musicians performed and created music known as Ottoman court music. This music was based on mode and human voices. The mode and musical instruments of Turkish music can be found in all middle-east countries. However, with the passing of time, there have been changes in the mode from region to region. Although written sources indicate 600 modes, only 212 have survived to our day. These can be divided as follows: Simple modes Combined modes Modes with changing pitch Through the centuries many instruments have been used in Turkish music, such as the ud, tanbur, kemence, ney, kanun, kudum, bendir, def, halile, lavta, santur, rebap, musikar, cenk and sinelkeman. The various types of Turkish music differing in modes and pitch include tunes and spirituals and are classified as kar, murabba beste, agir semai, yuruk semai, sarki, pesrev, saz semai, taksim, gazel, ilahi and kaside. Turkish music is also graded under the four headings below: Oud Darbuka Non-religious music (with or without words)Military music Mosque music Islamic mystic music The history of Turkish music, especially in regard to melodic variations, can be divided into four periods. The first is the formation which goes back to the years 1360-1453, when the Turks adopted Islam. After the conquest of Istanbul, but prior to the period of classical music, Ottoman music was influenced by Byzantine music, mainly in the years 1640-1712. The greatest proponents of the Ottoman style after the exemplary classical music created by Itri were Ebubekir Aga, Tab’i Mustafa Efendi, Kucuk Mehmet Aga, Sadulla Aga, Padisha III Selim and Ismail Dede Efendi. The period from 1955 onwards has been designated as the reform period. Kanun Saz Intended reforms in the field of music during the Republican period led to debates on the subjects of European, Turkish, polyphonic and monophonic music. During this period composers who were noted for their work included Refik Fersan, Cevdet Cagla, Sadettin Kaynak, Selahattin Pinar, Suphi Ziya Ozbekkan, Lem’i Atli, Rauf Yekta, Suphi Ezgi, Huseyin Saadettin Arel and others.Currently, three groups represent Turkish music. The first group favors polyphonic music. The second group prefers an individual Tambourine 1interpretation of classical music. Numbered among this group were the Nevzat Atlig chorus, Bekir Sidki Sezgin, Meral Ugurlu, Niyzi Sayin, Necdet Yasar, Ihsan Ozgen, Erol Deran, Cinucen Tanrikorur and others. The third group preserves traditional ties coupledwith high quality and includes Yalcin Tura, Mutlu Torun, Ruhi Ayangil and others of the “new wave.” Turkish music is a product of Turkish thoughts and feelings and of migrations and changing geographical positions. It expresses the changes in the ways of life of the Turkish people throughout history. Ballads and songs are especially important. Turkish folk music encompasses all natural and communal events. It branches out into “Kirik Hava” and “Uzun Hava” and makes use of wind, string, and rhythm instruments. From 1926 onwards various state enterprises have conducted research into Turkish folk music.

In 1826, Sultan Mahmut II attempted to modernize the Turkish Army and organize a military band similar to the bands of western armies, and in 1828 the Imperial Band was founded.After the proclamation of the Republic, the orchestra was renamed the Riyaseti Cumhur Musiki Heyeti, and in 1958 it was again renamed the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, its current title. The Music Teachers Academy was opened in 1924 and the Ankara State Conservatory in 1936. Today there are conservatories in both Istanbul and Izmir. The flow of pop music from the west has also influenced Turkey, and since the 1960′s Turkey has followed world trends and produced artists in this field of music.

You can see related products at: Musical Instruments

Posted June 1st, 2013.

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Turkish Delight – Lokum

Turkish Delight With Almond
Luxury Turkish Delight With Hazelnut
Pasha Turkish Delight Pistachio
Petite Turkish Delight With Pistachio

Lokum has been produced at first in Turkey in the XVII century and an English traveller has brought it to Europe, where it became well known as Turkish Delight. Also at the present time Turkish Delight is one of the delicious and most popular special characteristic sweet.

Turkish delight or Lokum is a family of confections based on a gel of starch and sugar. Premium varieties consist largely of chopped dates, pistachios and hazelnuts or walnuts bound by the gel; the cheapest are mostly gel, generally flavored with rosewater, mastic, or lemon. The confection is often packaged and eaten in small cubes dusted with icing sugar, copra, or powdered cream of Tartar, to prevent clinging. Other common types include such flavors as cinnamon and mint. In the production process, soapwort may be used as an emulsifying additive.

You can see the related pruducts at: Turkish Delight

Posted May 31st, 2013.

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Turkish Evil Eyes

Turkish Evil Eye - Keychain
Keycains with colourfull evel eyes
Star Paper Weight
Made from glass with evel eye pattern
Square Paper Weight
Some of the daily tools are also designed with evel eyes
Turkish Evil Eye
Bracelet, Glass Wall Hanging, Small Shoes

In Turkey, wherever you look, you’ll meet plenty of eyes looking at you. Glass evil eye beads. It is common in the Turkish culture to give a gift of a blue nazar Boncugu (nazar boncuk) or the evil eye bead as it is more widely known. People hang a small evil eye amulet from the rear view mirror of their car, keep several small evil eye beads or evil eye charms on hand to give to guests, hang an evil eye near their door in the home or office. Glass evil eyes are worn, in the form of jewelry; evil eye bracelet, evil eye necklace, evil eye anklet, gold or silver evil eye charms and evil eye pendant, evil eye earring – ring and blue evil eye talisman… Here it is a real evil eye bead paradise.

You can see related products at: Evil Eye Ornaments

Posted May 30th, 2013.

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