Turkish carpets and Kilims are world famous because of their quality, designs and workmanship and can still be bought relatively cheaply in Turkey. A Kilim or a rug without pile, is flat woven; a Cicim is a Kilim with additional designs stitched onto it; while Sumak technique, confined in Turkey to saddlebags, involves wrapping extra threads around the warp.
Special attention must be paid when shopping for any kind of Kilim or carpet. The older the carpet gets, the more valuable it becomes. Since older, handmade, natural-dyed rugs are getting rarer all the time, genuine collector's items are often salvaged from deteriorated larger works, and more or less skilfully repaired.
A hand-woven carpet will show its pattern clearly on the reverse, unlike a machine-made one. Hand-spun yarn can be identified by the fringe, which is unevenly twisted, tight and ravelled to the ends. If you can find a real natural dyed carpet esp. in pastel colours, do not neglect to haggle and try to decrease the price less than the salesman's first Price. Most shops accept credit cards and some of them can even deliver it to y°ur home address within 6 weeks. Some have COD (Cash On Delivery) system, you can pay a small deposit like 20% of the total price and pay the balance when you receive the carpet back home.
Turkish carpets are made of silk, wool or cotton. There is also a combination of wool and cotton. Silk can NOT be mixed with others because silk is the strongest fiber in the world and cuts the other material while making the knots. There are two cities in Turkey popular for silk production; Bursa and Kayseri. If you are planning to purchase a Turkish silk carpet, be very careful because some shops sell Chinese silk carpets as labour is cheaper there.
The best carpet is the one which talks to you and the one which you will be pleased to have for your life. The oldest hand made carpet in the world was found in Siberia. It is on display in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.
Double-knotted Turkish carpets have an average life span of 80 -100 years. Kilims have a life span of 30 to 50 years. Carpets, which are older than 100 years, are antiques. If you purchase a carpet, ask the dealer to prepare both a FATURA (invoice) recording the exact price- also necessary to satisfy customs- and a declaration stating that the item is not an antiquity. Ask him to prepare 2 copies of fatura(invoice)for you.You will be returned the VAT amount of this carpet when you hand a copy of it to the bank officer in the airport before you fly home.
Turkish carpets carry a wide range of symbols. For many centuries' Anatolian women have been expressing their wishes, fears, interests and love through the artistic medium of carpets. There are numerous motifs changing from region to region: Geometric designs, the tree of life, the central medal¬lion design, prayer niches in prayer carpets.
You can recognise camel footprint, scorpions, spiders and tobacco leaves which all have different meanings. There are carpet weavers associations all over Turkey and there are experienced carpet experts who can speak different languages in them. You don't have to buy, just ask your guide where the nearest one is and get detailed information.and maybe buy one?