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Having shared a close relationship with the Byzantine Empire since the 12th Century, Seljuks provided a significant momentum to the already-developed Anatolian art of weaving.

Turkish fabric weaving gained new techniques and forms during its journey from Seljuks to the Ottoman period and the result was a fabric type woven with rich materials and patterns and high technique.

These fabrics were custom-woven with great finesse and care under the order of the Sultan and royal circles under the orders of the Palace firstly by textile workshops in Bursa and then by the Palace’s own workshops in Istanbul. These custom-woven fabrics are gathered under the title ‘crown textile’.

After the 15th Century, Turkish textile art developed in both artistic and technical terms in parallel with the rise of the Ottoman Empire by reason of various economic, commercial and societal reasons. Consequently, Turkish textile art reached a nearly unprecedented level and gained international appreciation.

Textile arts managed and controlled by the Ottoman Palace is a very complicated art form, because it required both physical power and great ability. The patterns drawn by the Palace’s own muralists were to be appropriately interpreted and applied by textile artists, which demanded a close material and spiritual relationship based on the collaboration of all technical staff (masters and apprentices).

Woven with golden and silver wires, silk fabrics had a very important place in the royal lifestyle and were regarded a treasure. These precious fabrics were significant not only for their daily use, but also in spiritual terms and gradually became symbols reflecting the power and ostentation of the empire.

The first connotation of Ottoman textile art is the silky fabric used for the Sultan’s clothing in greatly artistic compositions.

Most of the textile workshops in Istanbul were operated by courtiers. Being the only institutions with the permission to weave golden-silver wired fabrics, in such workshops, artists produced their works on the basis of the models prepared by the Palace’s own muralists. 

Since the state paid great attention to the trade of silk and silky fabrics for centuries, a relevant standard was formed on the basis of weft and warp count, weight and dyes of each fabric.

Silky fabrics woven in the Ottoman period are classified in six groups. These are kemha (brocade – velvet-like, napless, silky fabric), atlas (satins), golden-silver fabrics, flat-glossy fabrics, kutnu (mostly colour-striped, glossy fabric) and velvet.

Various examples of each of these fabrics can be found among the pieces of clothing preserved at Topkapı Palace Museum and other museums. 

In the 15th Century, the dominant motifs were rumi motifs that had also been extensively used in Seljuk arts. The main compositions were of motifs produced by the stylization of floral patterns like hexagons, rosebuds and hatayi, as well as cloud and animal figures.

In later periods, artists also used three-dotted patterns, tiger stripes, daggers, leaves and curved leaves and medallions.  

Featuring an attribute specific to Turkish fabrics, oval medallions were used in the 17th Century and decorated with floral compositions with a naturalistic approach.

Oval systems and vertically waved braches were used between the midst of the 16th Century and the first half of the 17th Century. Moreover, combined oval systems became the most popular design themes. Other commonly used motifs are moon and nested moon motifs, decorated fans, covers, hatayi in the form of sycamore leaves, tulips and octagonal floral medallion. 

Applications aimed at maintaining the high quality and continuity of Turkish fabrics started to weaken Century and fabric quality started to deteriorate for numerous reasons from the second half of the 17th.





Source: Oya Sipahioğlu, Bursa ve İstanbul’da dokunan ve Giyimde Kullanılan 17.yy Saray Kumaşlarının Yozlaşma Nedenleri, Y.Lisans Tezi, DEÜ Sosyal Bilimler Ens.,İzmir 1992

    Nevber Gürsu, Türk Dokumacılık Sanatı, Redhouse yayınevi, İstanbul, 1988

    Fahri Dalsar, Bursa’da ipekçilik, İÜ Yayınları, İstanbul 1960

    Tahsin Öz, Türk Kumaş ve Kadifeleri, I.Cilt, M.E.B. İstanbul 1946

    Halil Sahillioğlu, 17.yy.ortalarında Sırmakeşlik ve Altın Gümüş İşlemeli Kumaşlarımız, Belgelerle Türk Tarihi, S.16, 1969

    Kenan Özbel, Eski Türk Kumaşları, El SanatlarıIII, Klavuz Kitaplar XI

    Nurettin Yatman, Türk Kumaşları, Ankara halkevi Neşriyatı, No:27, Ankara 1945

    Bengi Çorum, Eski Bursa Kumaşları, Bursa Tekstil San. İşverenler Sendikası Dergisi, S.10, 1989

    Aydın Uğurlu, Osmanlı Yönetiminde Anadolu Dokuma Sanatı, İlgi, Y.21, S.51

    Fikret Altay, Kaftanlar, Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi3, Yapı Kredi Bankası Yayınları, I.Cilt

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