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Materials

Oriental carpets use the natural fibers such as wool, cotton and silk. Only exception to this rule is the occasional use of gold and silver or other threads used for pure silk and workshops carpets. In addition to wool, cotton and silk, goat and camel hair also used for the carpets and kilims.

Natural fibers are used for rugs. Wool, cotton and silk are the main materials. Sometimes gold or silver treads are partly used for silk rugs. Also tribal people use camel and goat hair.  Wool is most common and most durable material and it is easy to work with. However, the quality and also price of the of the wool change  so much. Good wool needs softness with strength and springiness. Best wool comes from lamb between 8 and 14 months and especially those living in cold highlands. Especially the wool coming from the flanks and shoulders is fine wool. The wool is first washed and carded. The fibers are then spun to form the yarn.

 Cotton

The cotton is only used for the foundations of the carpets. Only in Kayseri in Turkey, mercerized cotton is used for the pile of Kayseri rugs and marketed as silk and cotton combinations. As a foundation material, the wool has some advantages. It is strong and doesn't loose its form and suitable material for fine weaving.

 Silk  

The natural silk produced by the larva of a species of silkworm. It was native to China but brought over to Anatolia. Fine silk comes from China and Caspian Sea area. Caspian Sea region produces the rahst silk, considered as very fine silk.

As to Turkish Silk, it is produced mostly in Bursa, the first capital of Ottoman Empire. Bursa was a major city on the silk road and silk trade has been always so lively in the cocoon Han. Silk either used alone or with another material. As a material, silk has some limitations. First of all, it is more valuable than other carpets because of hard workmanship. It can be used as wall hanging and for floor covering. When it is folded, you might have traces of folding. Silk is also used for foundation material. It is strong and keeps its shape and can be spun into very fine strands.  In the recent years, Turkish master weavers have broken world record for finest pure silk rugs of the world. They managed to put more than 5000 knots per square inch.  

 

 
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