Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Textile Society of America 9th Biennial Symposium, (2004).


Presented at “Appropriation • Acculturation • Transformation,” Textile Society of America 9th Biennial Symposium, Oakland, California, October 7-9, 2004. Copyright 2004 Textile Society of America.


West Anatolia is a region that holds diverse precincts of carpet weaving in terms of colour, motif and composition features the carpets display throughout history. The carpet weaving tradition of West Anatolia till the middle of the 19th century had continued as a home industry which was manufactured by the villagers. The weaving style followed a sample rug called “örneklik” (a sampler with many motifs on it); the weaver was selecting the type of design she wanted to use. It was not the custom to draw the design of the carpet on a design paper.

Together with the increase in carpet exportation to Europe and America, there had occured a distinct disparity particularly in the colour, motif and composition styles of these traditional carpets. Following this, in some regions, the carpets were being manufactured according to the patterns brought from Europe. Furthermore, English carpet traders opened a Design Office in Izmir. So it was inevitable for the native weavers who were producing for English firms to use design papers; this also introduced a technical change that affected the character of traditional design.

The emphasis of this research is on displaying the disparity and diversity in West Anatolian traditional carpets as from the end of 19th century from the aspect of the change in colour, motif and composition styles. The visual samples for this research are held in private collections of families living in and around Izmir; they have not been previously published.