Hereke rugs represent the ultimate in finesse and delicacy within the antique Turkish rug production of the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Inspired by the court carpets of Safavid Iran and Ottoman Turkey, the workshops maintained a gold standard of design and weaving technique, above all in their silk rugs, which truly preserved the opulent splendor of the classical past. They are very decorative antique rugs suited well for today’s design market.Centuries later, the town of Hereke still has a flawless reputation for producing elegant, high-quality carpets.
In the mid-1800’s, Sultan Abdulmecid of the Ottoman Empire established an imperial manufactory in the town of Hereke. He recruited the best weavers and artists in the land to produce fine carpets, including several that are still displayed in Turkey’s Dolmabahce Palace. The fine antique carpets of Hereke feature more curvilinear and Persian influenced patterns than other Turkish carpets. However, they continue to use the symmetric Ghiordes knot, but it is used in a double-knot configuration. This construction technique produces highly durable rugs with well-defined patterns. Designed to embody the level of imperial elegance that an Ottoman sultan would expect, Hereke carpets are traditionally made with a combination of silk, cotton and wool.
The extravagant materials and curvilinear patterns are often accented with shimmering gold and metallic silver threads. Hereke rugs are known for both small art carpets and opulent palace-sized rugs. Unlike earlier Turkish rugs that were produced in other cities, antique rugs fromHereke willingly accept Safavid Persian influences and occasionally mimic Persia’s most famous patterns. Antique Hereke rugs are elegant, distinguished and enduring design pieces. It’s estimated that even smaller rugs have taken weavers one year to complete. These magnificent rugs use the finest materials and the most exquisite patterns. Their familiar Persianate designs, Kufic accents, medallions and prayer-rug formats represent the elegant style and exceptional quality that imperial powers sponsored and popularized.
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