Sunday, January 4, 2015

Anatolian Carpets - Istanbul

I told my guide Mehmet Tetik (  I was interested in carpets. I so enjoyed the carpet I brought back from Baku, Azerbaijan that I thought I’d like to consider getting another. They’re easy to travel with. I’ll never forget the sitar I tried to bring back from India. The gourd base broke in transit teaching me to really consider what travels well.  Though I love souvenir mugs from places I’ve been, I’ve lost some of these in transit as well.
Mehmet took me to Anatolian Carpets in the Grand Bazaar.  It was evident the english speaking manager and Mehmet were friends from way back.  I enjoyed them both and the tea ceremony which is part of the carpet sales ritual.  Turkish carpets in wool and silk were what I was interested in.  The tighter the weave, silk more the wool, the age of the carpet, whether it was made for a dowry or commercially, all entered into the quality and cost of a carpet.  I was shown a lot. Even ones that were done with camels hair.  Each was explained, the region and history of the individual carpet till sure enough there was the one I wanted.  Silk and wool so it could go on the floor and be durable but also just the colours and design and size  I wanted.  Silk alone was clearly more expensive and the ones I saw seemed more suited for hanging.  I wanted the joy of walking on my carpet.Then of course the barter and just the right price followed.  He would have shipped it home for me but packaged it just so with it’s individual certificate and invoice, that I thought it seemed easier to take with me.  Because we had more walking around to do he had it sent round to my hotel.  A lovely transaction.  A delightful experience.  Truly beautiful carpets.

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