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Circle (Çember) Weaving / Boyabat

Even though the number of benches is decreasing, there are still centres known to produce hand-woven fabrics with local and specific characters, one of which is the county of Boyabat of Sinop.

In this area, the art of weaving has been shaped according to needs, traditions, customs and habits and is sustained today as ‘circle weaving’.

Circle is fine type of cotton weaving with a size of approximately 1 m² ornamented with motifs created with coloured yarns and surrounded on the borders with dark red bands.

Used by the local women as headscarves, these weavings have been adopted to modern conditions with the efforts to keep the local culture alive.

The knitting technique applied for circle weavings is bezayağı.
Motifs appearing on the woven surface are produced, in fact, on the back of the weaving by connecting external weft yarns of different colours and thicknesses with the warp yarns again in the bezayağı design.
With this feature, circle weavings bear the characteristics of ‘patterned fabrics with additional wefts’. 

In the Boyabat circle, the order of the base, wefts and patterning wefts are is 2:2.
Fine base wefts bound between patterning wefts almost disappear, thereby ensuring a unity in motifs.

In cascaded motifs resembling chain motifs, on the other hand, the number of base wefts passing through lines of patterning wefts may be as many as eight.
In chain motifs, transition from motif to motif is provided with short skips in the direction of the warps, while in scattered motifs repeated at intervals, the yarn is cut off at the end of the motif.
The repetition of motifs used abundantly and at short intervals in identical sizes and intervals is ensured by counting the warp yarns one by one. 

This motif production technique applied on Boyabat circles has been frequently used for cloths and handkerchiefs (peşkir) in various areas of Anatolia.

For the purpose of attaining the correct size with a narrow breath at the width allowed by the weaving loom, weavings produced in two identical planes from each composition are laterally connected and sewn at borderless long edges.

Loosely woven, Boyabat circles have a weft density higher than the warp density due to the abundant use of motifs on the surface. 

As is the case in all traditional products, Boyabat circles attract due attention with their local motifs and patterns.
The most commonly used motifs are 'seal', 'double chain', 'büyük demirkirat' and 'single chain'.

In Boyabat circles, the naturally-coloured white base is ornamented with motifs applied with coloured yarns.
While almost all colours are used, the most common colours are yellow, black, white, pink, dark red, green and dark blue.
Moreover, even though the products are presented with the same motifs and compositions, the use of the same or different colours in various compositions ensure their diversity and originality. 

In circle weaving, a simple-type, wholly wooden high hand weaving looms usually made of pine and known locally as işlik are used in general. 

Two types of yarns are used in Boyabat circles, namely cotton and synthetic.
The characteristic yarns are naturally-coloured white cotton yarn in weft and warp; dark red yarns on the borders, characterising the Boyabat circle; and dark red-coloured cotton yarns known as ‘makam ipi’ in weft and warp.
On the other hand, coloured synthetic (Orlon) yarns are used for motifs.   



DEÜ GSF , Yöresel Dokuma Araştırmaları II / Melis Apaydın / İzmir, 2009

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