Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Eye Candy - Turkish Carpets

Wool, cotton and silk ready to be woven into a masterpiece
We were on our way to Pamukkale when the guide asked if we wished to take a detour to a carpet factory. Though some tourists felt such stopover has devilish intention but no one can dig into our pockets unless we lost our senses. In consensus, we opted for the visit, craving to learn something new for the day.   

Working diligently on her piece
Alighting our vehicle, we were ushered by one of the factory staff to the weaving room. Here, we watched how the young Turkish ladies working on their pieces diligently and attentively. Nothing distracts them. They were working on several materials of wool, cotton and silk and the vibrant colored materials were neatly weaved into carpets which may take few months to few years depending on the size and the complexity of the design.

Next, we were taken to the silk room where a worker demonstrated how the strands of silk threads  are spun from the silkworm cocoons. Surprisingly, the thin strands of silk are very strong  indeed and the next stage is to dye them according to the required colors. 

Strands of silk thread from the cocoons
Now comes the finale... and we were brought to a huge room with beautiful carpets wall to wall; and the man started sprawling several carpets on the floor to attract our attention.  Like fools, we crawled on the carpets to feel the softness of the wool and silk hand-made carpets. Let’s just enjoy the beauty and not think of the price at the moment. As usual cups of apple tea are served as a gesture of hospitality which is pretty much common in this culture.

While the weaver’s salary may not be that much even by Turkish standard, the owner would definitely make a fat profit of pricing the merchandise in USD. Prices can range from US $3,000 to $25,000 and obviously they are not within our budget. Some of us bought a few pieces from Goreme and Konya for the price of US $1800 per piece and they had no intention of getting any here. 

I’m not getting one as that will make my old pedigree feline happier to stretch her manicure routine indulgence while I will be looking at her with tears in my eyes. Although the man made all efforts to entice us into buying the merchandise, he never succeeded. We appreciated his kindness and effort, much so when we were shown the replicate of the oldest carpet in the world which they claimed to have paid for the copyright.  That's an awesome piece.

Sprawling session
The weaving equipment
Weaving silk-on-silk piece
Silk worm cocoons
Silk threads 

Interesting design
The walls are covered with carpets

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