The finest wool comes from lambs. This wool has a shine that ca not be replicated the luster is still obvious after the processing from wool to the completed carpet. The wool of sheep is also used and the quality of the wool is dependent upon the heath of the sheep. It is imperative that the animals are well nourished to ensure quality wool. The sheep are cleaned in streams before they are sheared. The wool is sheared from the sheep in the spring when the animal is in peak condition. Treatment of the wool is also paramount in providing quality wool is cleaned in the purest water before being spun both mechanically and by hand. The wool used in Turkish carpets is cultivated in Turkey.
The longest lasting, hardest wearing carpets are wool on wool.
Cotton is also cultivated in Turkey. Cotton is harvested in autumn and graded for quality. Cotton is then cleaned and mechanically spun. After spinning the cotton is dyed – usually by chemical methods- occasionally by natural methods in kettles with root dyes. Cotton dyes very successfully. When cotton is used as the warp threads in a carpet it is usually not dyed, but left in its natural state. Cotton is used in kilims and other flat weaved pieces as the warp threads and occasionally as the weft weave or embroidery.
Wool on cotton is also hard wearing.
It is believed the original silk worms were smuggled into Turkey from China (5 AD). Silk is produced from the cocoons which are softened in boiling water. The thread from the dismantled cocoon can range from 800 to 1200 meters. Approximately 25 cocoons are spliced to form a single thread. The thread is then twisted, washed and dyed. Bursa is the area of silk production. There are two regions in Turkey that produce silk carpets : Hereke and Kayseri. Silk carpets are of the highest quality and are renowned as the “magic” carpets of Turkey.
The Double Knotted Technique (Gördes knot) is used on silk carpets. Turkish silk carpets have the highest amount of knots per square centimeter. The number of knots per square centimeter is usually 64 or 81 although a quality carpet may have 144 or 196 knots per square centimeter. Silk thread is also used for embroidery.
Warp and weft
Pieces can be created with many variations of warp and weft. For example the warp threads on a loom could be cotton and the knots of weft of the carpet may be wool.
Some variations are :
Wool on Wool
Wool on Cotton
Cotton on Cotton
Silk on Silk
Silk on Cotton
Silk Floss is an unnatural fibre used to imitate silk pieces. It easily retains dye and can therefore support a wide range of colors. Its strength is equivalent to other materials.
There are two forms of dyes natural and chemical.
With natural dyes it is often impossible to produce particular colors which is why, over the centuries carpet regions have been denoted by their dyes colors in their pieces. The colors relate to the local environment (i.e. plant life soil and insects).
An indicator of the natural dyes process is the uneven color of pieces. It is usual to get light and dark areas due to different batches of dye and also due to the saturation of the material. Chemical dyes are more effective and uneven color does not occur. Chemical dyes also eliminate the color boundaries enabling and dye color. A piece with chemical dyes will be prone to fading.
Care and cleaning
Your carpet requires certain care. Your carpet will over a period of time collect dust, it is advisable to regularly vacuum your carpet. It is also advisable to turn your carpet over for a few days and walk on it to loosen the dust that has collected at the base of the knots before vacuuming it. Wiping your carpet once a year with one bucket of water and a glass of vinegar will refresh the color.
The greatest enemy of a carpet is damp.
Approximately every two years your carpet may require cleaning, it is advisable to have your carpet professionally cleaned. Your carpet should never be left damp, or left in a damp environment. If you are not using your carpet store in a dry place wrapped in newspaper. Do not put your carpet in direct sunlight.
Take care not to rub the carpet in the reverse direction of the knots.
Dry the stain well and then vacuum clean.
Sponge with alcohol.
Damp sponge with an alcohol and wrater mixture.
Red wine :
Clean with white wine, and sponge with water.
Lightly sponge with warm water.
Pet urine :
Sponge while the stain is damp, leave to dry, later, wipe with white wine vinegar.
Never use hot water, firstly sponge then wipe with cold salty water.
Never use hot water. Sponge with ammonia and water mixture.
Coffee, Tea :
Glycerin mixed with egg yolk spread
Sponge with warm water..