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The Hereke carpet in the Ambassador's Hall in Dolmabahçe Palace is about 120m² large
Silk on silk Hereke carpet
0.6 m2, 32 x 32 knots/cm2; 13 years of work

Hereke carpets are only produced in Hereke, a coastal town in Turkey, 60 km from Istanbul. The materials used are silk, a combination of wool and cotton and sometimes gold or silver threads.

The Ottoman sultan, Abdülmecid I founded the Hereke Imperial Manufacture in 1841 to produce all the textiles for his Dolmabahçe Palace on the Bosphorus. He gathered the best artists and carpet weavers of the former Ottoman Empire in Hereke, where they began producing high quality rugs and large carpets with unique patterns.

After completing work on the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Ottoman sultans used to give Hereke carpets as gifts to selected visiting royalties, noblemen and statesmen. It was not until 1890 that some traders in Istanbul were allowed to sell some of the pieces made at Hereke. With the end of the Ottoman Empire the production of Hereke carpets was restricted until the middle of the 20th century when some master-weavers in Hereke began once more to produce the carpets in continuation of the tradition of the Ottoman palace carpets.

As of 1920, Hereke was home to a carpet making school which was ran by the state. Both Muslim and Christian women and children attended classes.[1]

Hereke carpets typically are very large, palace sized carpets, and are made with wool on cotton, camel hair on cotton, silk on cotton as well as silk on silk, which are knotted in small sizes. The precision of their double knots (Turkish or Ghiordes knots), which allows the clear display of patterns, together with the colour combinations and the harmonious patterns have made them highly collectible. Today, Hereke carpets and rugs are still made with the traditional patterns of the Ottoman sultan, Abdülmecid I, as well as both traditional Anatolian and contemporary figurative patterns.


  • M. Kenan Kaya, Yaşar Yılmaz, Sara Boynak, Vahide Gezgör. Hereke Silk Carpets and Fabrics in the National Palaces Collection. TBMM, Istanbul.
  • Oktay Aslanapa, Ayşe Fazlıoğlu. The Last Loop of the Knot; Ottoman Court Carpets. TBMM, Istanbul, 2006.
  • Uğur Ayyıldız. Hereke and Kayseri: Pure silk Turkish carpets. NET Turizm Ticaret ve Sanayi A.S (1983). ASIN B0007B1NHG
  • Önder Küçükerman. The rugs and textiles of Hereke: A documentary account of the history of Hereke : court workshop to model factory. Sümerbank Genel Müdürlüğü (1987). ASIN B0007BYPCQ


  1. ^ Prothero, G.W. (1920). Anatolia. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 109. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Hereke carpets at Wikimedia Commons

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hereke_carpet — Please support Wikipedia.
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7 news items

Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura
Tue, 17 Nov 2015 07:56:15 -0800

The unfortunate circumstance only aided Chinese efforts to tap into the centuries-old Hereke carpet industry. According to Turkish newspaper The Hurriyet Daily News, the Chinese have taken over 90 percent of the local Hereke market, which constitutes ...

Today's Zaman

Today's Zaman
Tue, 28 Dec 2010 14:07:19 -0800

The Hereke Carpet and Silk Weaving Factory, which was established in 1843, continues to produce beautiful, timeless work, just as it did during the Ottoman era. Carpets that adorn the floors of palaces are made new by the hands of masters here, and ...

Hurriyet Daily News

Hurriyet Daily News
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:02:19 -0700

Dresses used in the palace, toys from Dürrüşehvar Sultan and the products of the Hereke Carpet and Weaving Factory that were used in the palace, are among the most attractive items in the museum. It is also possible to see specially produced silver ...

Hurriyet Daily News

Hurriyet Daily News
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:35:18 -0800

AA photo. A historical Ottoman carpet has been restored by a team of 10 in the Central Anatolian province of Aksaray's Sultanhanı district, considered the world's largest carpet restoration center. The restoration of the 120-square-meter Hereke carpet ...

Today's Zaman (press release) (blog)

Today's Zaman (press release) (blog)
Sat, 13 Dec 2014 16:22:30 -0800

... wine from gem-encrusted goblets. It's all decorated in the rather overblown baroque style then in vogue as the sultans tried to westernize the empire but it's hard not to be impressed by the largest Hereke carpet ever woven which adorns the ...
Financial Times
Mon, 03 Aug 2009 10:31:01 -0700

For the untrained buyer, knowing the difference between an ornate Chinese- made carpet and a genuine Iranian carpet or a Turkish renowned Hereke carpet is often difficult. One sure sign is price. A Chinese copy of an Iranian silk carpet could be sold ...

Balkanalysis.com (blog)

Balkanalysis.com (blog)
Thu, 06 Jul 2006 17:43:58 -0700

They come from the town of Hereke, located near Istanbul, which has a 115-year tradition. Set up originally to satisfy the aesthetic desires of Ottoman sultans and visiting heads of state, the Hereke carpet works are still producing exquisite silk-on ...

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