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.



The purpose of this paper is to analyse sustainability of hand-woven carpets in Turkey connection with problems and solution proposals in relation to standards and market issues.

The interaction between changing social conditions and technological improvements, due to the arrival of the industrial revolution in Turkey, has influenced the production of hand-woven carpets. The option of purchasing machine-woven carpets in the domestic market has recently increased makedly. These carpets have various colours and designs, and they are cheap. Still, the interest of consumers in hand-woven carpets does continue to some extent. Collectors and investors also have a sustained interest in high quality Turkish hand-woven carpets.

Today, the whole world is heading towards a single model of production and consumption as a consequence of globalization. Indigenous cultural artifacts are gaining importance and the protection of these values is essential, not only in tems of Turkish cultural identity, but also for the whole world as well. Even more than for other handicrafted products, hand-woven carpets are the best known and most highly valued elements of the Turkish cultural heritage.

The hand-woven carpet is a product whose cultural and aesthetic elements are powerful. It should be aesthetically in harmony with individual taste and the specific environment where it is placed. Design in carpet-making is and always has been related to the manufacturing of a product that must have physical properties appropriate for use on a mass scale, that possesses artistic value, for which appropriate technical means have been used,so that a highly marketable product will result in terms of its appearance and quality. The nature of mass consumption in hand-woven Turkish carpets continously varies in terms of the environment, population structure, income level, education, culture, life principles and aesthetic values. Therefore the sustainability of Turkish handwoven carpets must rely on achieving level of quality compatible with changing and developing life conditions, without destroying their authentic structure, and introducing them to the market at a quality level that can compete, given the conditions of the free market economy.