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Turkish Carpets–Heirloom Investments

Thinking of ways to avoid buyer’s remorse after investing in a precious heirloom, a Turkish carpet? Ranking high on the list of souvenirs to buy before leaving Turkey include rugs, carpets and kilims showcased in one of the top spots. Tourists in Turkey often find themselves staring at exotic window displays on busy streets or walking into boutique outlets and specialist shops serving copious cups of tea– as carpet after carpet are rolled out before them. So, if you are planning to go through the same ritual and invest in traditional rugs, handmade bags and so forth ….. then take a pause and read on. These simple but effective hints and tips will make your heirloom investments all the more worthwhile.

The expensive price of Turkish carpets and rugs warrant the need of diligent after care and effective means of retaining their color and looks alike. I most cases, the wool used in the nation lasts for a lifetime -making your investments long lasting and more value oriented in every sense of the word. Each of these carpets is neatly handmade by the local Turkish populace, who has been handed down the art by other generations of their family. The motifs and colors of these exquisite under feet accessories are specific to each region and ensure that they possess tell-tale “fingerprints” of the heritage story and humble beginnings. (image by Pat and Pam)

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Respected and reputed for their traditional handmade carpets, the regions of Canakkale, Kayseri and Milas in central Anatolia have years of expertise and experience in carpet making behind them. The crown in the industry is however donned by the Hereke town, located on the outskirts of Istanbul. The skilled craftsmen of this township are known for elaborate, silk carpets-which are indeed worthy of your buy.

Traditionally made by using or wool or pure silk, Turkish carpets have always been a collector’s dream. However, all buyers and investors do not end up with happy tales to tell. With technology enabling more and more copycats, there is a growing market for machine-made versions of these carpets. Found in all places -from the factories of China to Turkish shops in downtown locations, it is indeed difficult to differentiate these remakes from their original counterparts. Before investing, it is good to remind yourself of these tips that tell the difference between authentic Turkish carpets and impressive fakes.

  • Original carpets are traditionally made by using the knotted pile style, so look at the back of the carpet-it should be in total alignment with design and colors used on the front.
  • Vegetable dyes and pure earth-tones are used in authentic Turkish carpets. To spot any presence of chemical dyes, separate a section of your selected carpet with two fingers and assess the wool color applied–from top to bottom. If there is a difference in tone, then the presence of chemical dyes or poor workmanship can be expected.
  • A professional salesman who is knowledgeable about this traditional trade will be able to provide answers to all your questions. You may like to ask about the meanings of motifs, the nature of dyes used the origin of the carpet and the background history of the craftsmen of a particular village or town manufacturing the same.

(image by Vasi Vasut)

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So, are you ready to invest you good money in a Turkish carpet-the right way!

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Feature image Robert Slade

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