Approximately 20,000 handwoven rugs and carpets collected from all over Türkiye have begun to be gathered for delivery to customers after undergoing restoration and cleaning and laying out in fields to dry for months in the southern province of Antalya.
The residents of the Döşemealtı district undertake the repair of a large number of precious traditional rugs and carpets from across the country during the period between June 20 and Sept. 10 ever year. After a meticulous restoration and maintenance process to revive the carpets that have faded, worn, and become soiled over time, they are laid out in the fields to dry completely, revealing their vibrant colors. As the fall approaches, the local community embarks on the “carpet harvest,” gathering these carpets to deliver them to their owners.
Among these products are rugs with a 100-year-old history and a value of 400,000 Turkish Liras. Initially, these items are repaired and then immersed in sterile pools to rid them of any microbes. After being sanitized and washed, the handwoven rugs and carpets are laid out in the “carpet field,”covering an 80-acre area. Turning them over and back at specific intervals under the sun ensures proper moisture and heat absorption, enhancing the tonal richness of the colors.
Once they have been purified from microbes and their colors have settled, they are carefully folded and gathered by the workers. These rugs are then loaded onto tractors to meet their owners.
“This field is never left idle. We sow and harvest in the winter, and in the summer, we take care of our carpets. This land provides us with a livelihood in every way,” said Hasan Topkara, one of those involved in the carpet restoration process.
Rugs are an integral part of Turkish culture, a tradition that dates back to the 11th century when Turks migrated to the Anatolian region. Turkish rugs not only hold cultural value but also have significant economic importance, drawing increasing interest from foreigners in recent years.
Türkiye also aims to take over the market leadership in the carpet industry from India in handmade rugs, which was once one of the most purchased Turkish products by tourists.
Ahmet Hayri Diler, the head of the Istanbul Carpet Exporters’ Association (İHİB), earlier stated that they intend to launch a project to revive handmade carpet production.
By selecting pilot areas in regions where carpet weaving is still alive, they aim to create teams consisting of designers, marketers, and experts in materials, yarns, and dyes, Diler said.