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Kula is a county of the province of Manisa in the Western Anatolia Region. Carpet weaving started to become widespread in Kula towards the end of the 17th Century (1) and continued its development during the 18th-19th and 20th Centuries according to the rugs depicted in resources and displayed in collections at İstanbul Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts,  Istanbul Faundations Carpet Museum and various museums in foreign countries (2).

Kula is one of the centres that continued the tradition of the Ottoman Period – Crawn Rugs of the 16th Century also in the 18th and 19th Centuries in Anatolia.

Rugs and carpets woven in this area are mostly dominated by the tradition of crawn rugs in terms of pattern and colour. These rugs had been exported until the end of 19th Century to Europe from the Izmir Harbour under the trademark of Smyrna (Izmir) rugs by British merchants.

Today, Gölde, Sandal, Ayvatlar, Emre, Başibüyük, Kalinharman, Nalincibitrak, Ahizeren and Ibrahim Ağa villages of Kula, as well as the country Centrum, are the main places of carpet weaving and all such rugs are referred to as 'Kula rugs'.

The materials of modern Kula carpets are wool and cotton.

Today, there are both rugs woven in whole of wool and rugs with cotton warps and wefts and woollen knots. In the area, wool is span on spindles and winding wheels.

Rugs custom woven in households offer traditional colours of the 20th Century, while rugs woven at factories and workshops are dominated by pastel shades of all colours.

Rugs woven by the public for their own use are mostly in yellow, blue, black, green and white. These colours are obtained from mixtures of natural and synthetic dyes, for which the public uses cones, boş plant, sage bushes, onionskin and heather collected around the area.

Modern Kula rugs are made up of different sections from the outer frame to the centre. These are 'golangeç', 'etlik', 'su', 'ayetlik' and 'bucak'. Each of these sections is ornamented with different patterns and rugs are named accordingly.

Rugs woven today are floor rugs, kelle rugs (smaller than floor rug), hall rugs, bitmez-bucakli rugs and prayer rugs.

In general, rugs larger than 6 m² are 'floor rugs', while rugs smaller than this measure are referred to as 'kelle rugs'. Both are ornamented with traditional Kula patterns.

In works known today as ‘kömürcü Kula’, the base is surrounded by a frame and a plant-in-vase pattern covers the rug surface.

In works known today as ‘manzarali Kula’ (scenic Kula), the rug base is surrounded with a border and filled with a scenery. Depictions placed on top of each other present trees and houses in between. In some works, there are depictions of ships over houses (3).

Moreover, ‘vase Kula’ and ‘snake Kula’ are pattern samples that survived to our modern day.

Except for floor and kelle rugs, all rugs sustain their pattern features of the first half of the 20th Century. Most samples are custom-woven upon the requests of ordering companies. Most of these are simple ornaments based on imagination. Among these, old Kula carpet weaving is observed to have started to lose its traditional features in materials, colours and patterns.

Despite all these, Kula is still one of the most important carpet centres of Anatolia.    



Source: B.Deniz, Türk halı Sanatı IV, Kula Halıları, BBB Y.11 S.43
     Elvan Anmaç, Kula Halılarının Kompozisyon Özellikleri ve Kullanılan Motifler, Erdem AKM Yayınları, S.28, Ankara 1999
(1) Kula Carpet weaving history, see.
     O.Aslanapa, Turkish Art and Architecture,London, 1971, New York,1972
     O.Aslanapa-Y.Durul, Selçuklu halıları, İstanbul 1973
     Walter A.Hawley, Oriental Rugs Antique and Modern, London 1925
(2) Museum, collection and examples from sources, see.
     Turkish Rugs The Rachel B.Stevens Memorial Collection, With an Introduction by Joseph V.Mc.Mullan, Textile Museum, Washington D.C.1968
     F.Spuhler, Islamic Carpets and Textiles in Keir Collection, London 1978 c.no.38
     E.Gans-Ruedin, Le Tapis de L’Ameteur, Freibourg,1975
     J.I.Maritz, Le Tapis Turc, Freibourg,1976 
(3) For 18th Manzaralı Kula (scenic Kula) carpets, see.
     R.Arık, ‘Turkish Landscape Carpets’ Halı, The International Journal of Oriental Carpets and TextilesVol 1 no 2,1978
     R.Arık, Manzaralı Halılar, II Uluslar arası Türk Folklor Kongresi Bildirileri Ank.1983
     O.Ropers, Morgenlıandısche Teppiche,Berlin,1978

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