Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Textile Narratives & Conversions: Proceedings of the 10th Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, October 11–14, Toronto, Ontario


Copyright 2006 by the author.



In Turkey, hand-made carpet-weaving is a widespread handicraft which many people are effectively busy with. It is also an important area in which unemployed labour can be put to use.

Carpet-making is a traditional craft that has been practised in Turkey since ancient times, and is still found in almost all regions today. Actually, in rural areas, many families still derive significant income from carpet-making.

The reasons why hand-woven carpet-making is crucial for Turkey can be listed as follows:

  • Because of the socio economic conditions that currently exist in Turkey the rate of unemployment needs to be reduced, particularly by making good use of the time left from agricultural work in the rural population. Members of farm families are frequently involved in handicrafts and carpet-making in their free time from agricultural work, in the winter time and in bad and rainy weather, and thus, earn some additional income. This is of great consequence for rural development.
  • Hand-woven carpet-making does not require much capital to start with. A loom with all the equipment can be obtained at a very low price. There are hardly any side expenses required. The equipment consists of a loom, a pair of scissors, a loom reed and a knife.
  • No large workshops or areas are needed to set up the loom. One corner of the home will be suitable for the work. Hand-woven carpet-making is traditionally practiced at home; workshop (atelier) production is less.
  • The raw material used in hand-woven carpet-making can be a problem as rough mixed fleeces obtained from the local varieties of sheep possess appropriate properties for handwoven carpet-making.
  • As hand-woven carpet-making is practiced traditionally, it is learned very quickly and conveyed to the younger generation.
  • Hand-woven carpet-making is an important source of foreign currency. It also has a great potential in terms of tourism in the country.