While going to Izmit, the center of Kocaeli,
which is a city adjacent to Istanbul, you can
see a small town under viaduct laying parallel
to Marmara Sea. If you dont know anything about
history and carpets, yon wili drive over the
roofs. However, this small town you are driving
over, is a place, which marked an era in world
carpet history. Under those small roofs and in
its famous carpet factory, masterworks of carpet
art, are built.
Factory in Hereke with its history dating back
to 1843, started carpet production in 1891. Upon
the instructions of Sultan Abdülmecit, it laid
the foundations of a tradition with
professionals brought from Sivas, Ladik and
Manisa. Experts, who were aware of the
significance of the need of producing unique
designs, didnt fail to accomplish that.
In l9th century, while the gleam of silk in
desks turned into carpet, the small town revived
and became an industrial center. in 1898, this
change brought German Emperor Wilhelm the Second
to Hereke. Emperor, who came to visit Sultan,
walked into the mansion which is seen in the oil
painting above, built for him on the carpet laid
down as soon as he stepped out of the train.
Hereke mansion, which was built in one day, is
an interesting structure.
Besides German Emperor,
the mansion welcomed many foreign visitors and
the founder of Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal
Atatürk. Carpets, fabrics, silk-woven products, ribbon
and bands produced in Hereke Factory received
many national and international awards. Hereke
products awarded in Paris in 1855, in London in
1862, Vienna in 1892, Lyon in 1894, Brussels in
1910 and in Torino in 1911, and became highly
sought for in the world.
Most of the compositions on Hereke carpets and
seccade, are medallion compositions.
Particularly, among big carpets produced to
cover rooms and halls of palaces, this
composition is popular. Anatolian concepts are
mostly used in carpets and traditional
workmanship was used in their production.
Naturalist flowers and foliage are common in
ornaments of silk carpets of Hereke. Pomegranate
flower, cow parsley, rose and others make the
carpet one beautiful flower garden. Life tree on
seccade represents immortality and heaven, while
pomegranate stands for power and richness. One
bouquet of lowers in mihrab, as can be seen in
Topkapy example, symbolizes irem gardens.
Flower bouquets in the corners is another
tendency of Hereke style. Colors are red, pink,
beige, light green, blue and dark blue in the
background, and black, yellow, plum and brown
inside the patterns. Bright colors and pastel
colors are in harmony on Hereke carpets.
While Hereke carpets are used in Yyldyz,
Dolmabahçe and Beylerbeyi Palaces in Istanbul,
one giant Hereke carpet is used in Justice
Palace of La Hey in Holland.
When tradition of Hereke is demanded all around
the world, similar weaving techniques are
adopted in several places and sold with name
Hereke. But none of them could achieve to match
the elegance and quality of Hereke carpets.
Because, thousands of years of Anatolian culture,
united with the enthusiasm, love and skill of
the weavers and produced the delicacy of Hereke