Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



From Creating Textiles: Makers, Methods, Markets. Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Inc. New York, NY, September 23–26, 1998 (Earleville, MD: Textile Society of America, Inc., 1999).


Copyright © 1998 by the author(s)


The functions of samplers in needlework, as records of patterns and educational exercises, are well known. But the uses of samplers in carpet weaving have not been subject to serious study. This paper based on a case study conducted in the region around the town of Taspinar in Central Anatolia, will describe the appearance of carpet samplers, the role they play in carpet weaving, how they serve the weavers, and why they are important to weavers.

The field research conducted in the village of Taspinar was a result of responsibility undertaken in early 1996 of documenting a small group (15) of carpets in The Textile Museum collection, which are donated to the museum in 1991 as Taspinar samplers. Before the research trip to Taspinar village in Turkey, It was struggle to find and to extract the right information on function and use of samplers in the books which the samplers from Anatolia receive only brief mention. Many questions on processes of weaving, design making and designing of oriental carpets by using samplers was left unanswered or never adequately addressed in the literature.

The village of Taspinar which gives its name to a specific style of carpet woven locally, is located on the southeast corner of the Central Anatolian plateau where the Eastern Anatolian mountain chains starts. Under the impressive presence of volcanic Hasandag, Taspinar spreads on the sides of two small hills. A main road divides the village in the middle. The location of the village is very close to the main historical commercial routes of Anatolia as well as well-known carpet weaving centers such as Aksaray, Nigde, Yahyali, A vanos and Kayseri where large quantities of workshop carpets are produced.