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Pomak Hand Weaving

Pomak Turks emigrated from Bulgaria and settled in the mountainous areas of the County of Biga of the Province of Çanakkale and kept their culture, language, traditions and handicrafts such as weaving alive in their new settlements.

Pomak hand weavings, produced generally with brightly coloured striped-checkered patterns in synthetic yarns in the bezayağı technique, are used in various areas.

Since the workbench used is a two-sley (gücü) and two-footed non-whipped loom, weavings are produced only in the bezayağı technique and the woven works thus produced are utilized as ground cloths, garments and decorative covers on various objects.

Weavings are produced with sizes suitable for their specific uses mostly in such bright colours as red and pink with horizontal-vertical stripes and checkered patterns.

It is quite striking that Pomak Turks use wool and fleece specifically for dress fabrics and various covers and ground cloths.

In Pomak villages, cotton is both used as warp yarn and as weft yarn depending on the specificity of certain weavings.

In the area, weaving produced by applying goat hair on cotton or woollen warps are generally used as shepherd’s cloaks (kepenek) and ground cloths thanks to the heat isolation they provide. Woollen and aba-type fabrics are produced and dyed in black for use as garments, while coarse woollen works are used as ground cloths.

In recent years, weavings obtained with synthetic yarns are used as garments, covers and ground cloths, etc. In some of these weavings, cotton yarn is observed to be utilized as warp or in sections on coloured weft lines – due to its specific nature. Woollen weavings, on the other hand, are produced on request and for specific needs.

Pomak hand weavings are produced with or without patterns and the patterned varieties include horizontal striped, vertical striped and geometric patterns such as triangle and rectangle obtained with the intersection of horizontal and vertical stripes.

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Vertical striped patterns can be patterns either created by the consecutive lining of vertical stripes of the same width at certain intervals or obtained by the consecutive lining of vertical stripes of different widths at certain intervals.

- Horizontal striped patterns are created by successive lining of horizontal stripes of the same width or different widths at certain intervals.

- Weavings with both horizontal and vertical stripes on the fabric are generally used for hall rugs, headscarves (karpa), loose robes and dress fabrics.

Checkered patterns in Pomak weavings are obtained by lining the weft yarns on the warp yarns in a predefined colour scheme.
A quite original appearance can be created by keeping the colours of weft yarns simple and applying a more complex colour scheme in warp yarns.
Checkered fabrics are generally used as ground cloth, pillow, saddlebag, apron and bed linen.

Although the width of Pomak hand weavings is 100 cm maximum, the width most commonly preferred is in the range of 40-75 cm.
The length of these weavings varies according to the area and specificity of use of the requested product.
Wide surfaces such as bed linens are created by connecting weaving parts of the same length and sewing them minutely together by hand.

Rarely produced in opaque colours, Pomak hand weavings are mostly coloured in numerous bright colours on both warp and weft yarns. The dominating colours are red and pink.
Some examples of this type of weaving are presented with purled yarns. 

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    Kapat
 

Source: Fatma Nur Başaran, Çanakkale ili Biga İlçesindeki Pomak El Dokumaları, Erdem, AKM Yayınları, S.28, Ankara 1999
              F.Y Kaya Yazıcıoğlu, Lif Teknolojisi, Ankara 1992,
              Emre Dölen ,Tekstil Tarihi, Marmara Ünv. Teknik Eğitim Fak. Yayınları,92/1
İstanbul 1992.

 
     
 
 
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