The making of Turkish carpets

Turkey and carpets.  We had the opportunity to get a peek behind the scenes of how carpets are made. (I hope I’ve got the many details of this process correct!)

How do we go from this……..                                                                                  to this?SilkWorm to carpet.jpgSilk worms (which are actually caterpillers, not worms) eat the leaves of mulberry trees and, in time (about 45 days), spin a cocoon aournd themselves using just one single thread.Goreme Carpet Shop_IMG_5485.jpgA closer look at the cocoons, the remains of the pupa inside the cocoon and the strands of silk harvested from the cocoon.Goreme Carpet Shop_IMG_5482.jpg

Goreme Carpet Shop_IMG_5481.jpgThe harvested cocoons are soaked in a vat of hot water to loosen the fibers.  Using a brush, such as this one, the cocoons are tamped down into the water to keep them moist. This brush also helps the workers separate the single fiber (thread) from the cocoon. The thread is then placed into a spinning machine which unravels the thread.  Goreme Carpet Shop_IMG_5480.jpgThen several threads are grouped together and respun - creating another thin yet incredibly stronger thread.Goreme Carpet Shop_IMG_5484.jpgThe threads are then dyed - natural means are preferred over synthetic dyes.  Natural dyes are derived from plant roots and flowers.Goreme Carpet Shop_IMG_5483.jpgCarpets can also made with wool or cotton such as in these photos.Goreme Carpet Shop_IMG_5474.jpgThere are carpet factories where women hand weave carpets - a very long and laborious task. There are also cooperatives whereby women are able to remain in their homes and weave.Goreme Carpet Shop_IMG_5472.jpg

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Next - a closer look at some of the gorgeous carpets made.

Friendly Planet - Best of Turkey tour

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Welcome to my travel photo blog. Photography has been a part of my life for a long time – back in the day the Pentax Super Program was always near at hand. But it wasn’t until I started travelling around the world that photography became a vehicle for me to show others about the absolutely amazing and complex world we live in. My hope is to share with you glimpses of what I’ve seen. Enjoy!