Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Presented at Textile Society of America 11th Biennial Symposium: Textiles as Cultural Expressions, September 4-7, 2008, Honolulu, Hawai'i. Copyright © 2008 Kimberly Hart


DOBAG, a carpet weaving cooperative in western Turkey, founded in the 1980’s, is famous for revitalizing natural dyes in new-production textiles of “indigenous” design for export. It is also known for its work in sustaining women’s artistic production and helping villagers remain in rural regions, rather than migrate to urban centers. This paper considers the complex network of individuals who came together in the history of the founding of the cooperative. In 2003, the director, Ahmet Çinar, and in 2007, one of the founders, Josephine Powell, died. As a result, I have been rethinking the collaborative efforts of expatriate and native culture brokers. Through individual agency, the idea of a local “heritage” was manifested in a culture product, which self-consciously packaged and framed localness for the global market in textiles. The intersection of “insider” and “outsider” is a synergistic and productive location for interpreting the past, and inventing antiques of the future, while making art a socially transformative object, put into action through consumption.