Turkish Pile Rugs

GUIDE TO NORTH EASTERN TURKISH PILE RUGS
The KARS-KAGIZMAN-ERZURUM district north of Lake VAN KARS
GUIDE TO NORTH EASTERN TURKISH PILE RUGS
Çıldır Ardahan Terekeme Rug identified by Sonny Berntsson from Passion of Persia

Not far from the Soviet and Iran frontiers lies Kars the capital of the large Kars province north of Lake Van in the farthest north east end of Turkey. This area is inhabited by a mixed population of Kurds, Turkish (Caucasian Terekeme and Azerbaijani Turks) and until +/-1920 by Armenians

History:
Following Zipper & Fritzsche: “Kars takes its name from the Turkish-Bulgarian tribe of the Karzak. In the 9th and 10th centuries AD Kars was the capital of an Armenian principality. It belonged to Turkey until 1878, then to Russia until 1917, in 1918 to Trans-Caucasia, in the following two years to Armenia and in 1921 it became again part of Turkey.”

KAGIZMAN

Kagizman lies South of Kars

ERZURUM

Erzurum lies east of Kars. As only a few old kilims, in prayer patterns with a yellow, brown and green dominating palette, are now labeled Erzurum, it will not be discuss here.

History:
Following Zipper & Fritzsche: “ In 1333 the Arab traveler Ibn Batula gave the town the name Arz-er-Rum (town of the East Romans). Until the beginning of this century Erzurum was settled by Armenians.”

KARS – KAZAK (Kurdish – Kazak)

Design:
The major production around Kars is of rough tribal type assumed to be Kurdish. The proximity of the Caucasus explains the often use of Caucasian design in this area and the Kars Kazak label. This label would be used in preference
to Kurdish Kazak because as says:

Eagleton “ .. This overlooks the fact that many of them, particularly
those closest to Caucasian prototypes are woven by the Caucasian Terekeme”
Experience is needed to differentiate certain Terekeme Turkish rugs from the Kurdish ones. For the interested reader Eagleton gives some clues to differentiate them: “ The Terekeme's rugs have lighter colors and less use of natural dark brown wool. From the back, the knotting is usually clearer and more regular …less use of plaited end finishes“

The Kars Kazaks rugs can be separated from the Caucasian Kazaks because of their subdued dyes and the extensive use of rugged dark brown wool, and in the typical Kurdish ones the plaited and braiding ends. Goat hair is sometimes used in the foundation, in particular for the weft.

Kars Kazaks Characteristics:

Date: many rugs carry Western dates in large block numerals

Dimension: many runners and long rugs, sometimes crooked

Design: large medallions often in the form of Memling güls or large Caucasian designs

Knots: symmetric

Density: 4-6 x 4-6

Foundation: rugged brown natural wool – sometimes goat hair or natural light brown or gray wool.

Pile: often lacks luster (died brown wool)

Colours: subdued natural colors or synthetic fading dyes often misapplied, which contributes to the failure of colors.

Warps: Z2S, no depression, flat back

Wefts: Z2S 2-4 shoots

Handle: heavy and floppy

Selvedges: wrapped warp pairs spanned

Ends: plainweave skirts and sometimes braided fringes

Kagizman Characteristics:

Dimension: smaller then Kars, many dozars and kellegis format

Knots: symmetric

Design : Most refine in appearance with small geometric designs. The patterns are more Kurdish and less Caucasian in character.

Type of design : small Holbein patterns, lattice of small Memling güls, waving bands …

Density: 4-6 x 4-6

Foundation: brown natural wool – sometimes goat hair or natural light brown or gray wool.

Colours: bright and lustrous colors

Warps: Z2S, no depression, flat back

Wefts: Z2S 2-4 shoots

Handle: floppy

Selvedges: wrapped warp pairs spanned - sometimes color bands

Ends: plaited ends braided warp fringes

Source of information's: Kurdish Rugs – William Eagleton
Turkish Oriental rugs Volume 4 – K. Zipper & C. Fritzsche
Antike Anatolische Teppiche from Austrian Collections published by the society Vienna 1983
GUIDE TO NORTH EASTERN TURKISH PILE RUGS
KARS KAZAK RUG
Age: turn of the 20th century

Dimensions: 192 cm X 100 cm (6'4'' x 3'3”)

Knots: thick wool – Symmetric –

Density: coarsely woven H 20/10 cm V 26/10cm 520/dm² (H5”/V6” 33/p.s.i

Warps: thick loosely twisted natural gray and tan wool, Z2S

Wefts: thick loosely twisted dark brown wool, Z2S, 2 shoots

Handle: floppy

Selvedges: flat selvedges of five cords (thick 1-1-1-1-2 warps) wrapped
with dark brown wool

Ends: most damages, 2,5 cm (1”) plain weave of dark brown wool with small decorating bands of medium brown and 2,5 cm (1”) cross braided fringes. Colours: natural, white, gold yellow, light medium and dark brown, black, madder red, navy blue, medium bluish green.
GUIDE TO NORTH EASTERN TURKISH PILE RUGS
Comments:
This rug show a Caucasian design with a row of five large medallions in the form of Memling Guls (containing eight point stars) on a madder red fields and wide borders.

One main border with cross motifs, two minor borders with the medachyl design on a white ground and three small minor borders of bars.

The Caucasian design, the gray and tan warps, the dark brown wefts, the plaited and braiding ends point to a Kurdish rug from the Kars area.
GUIDE TO NORTH EASTERN TURKISH PILE RUGS
KAGIZMAN
Eastern Anatolia rug - KURDISH

Age: last quarter 20th century.

Dimensions: 275 cm X 92 cm; 9' X 3'

Pile: soft wool, height 8 mm (where not worn)

Knots: symmetric, H 27/10cm V 26/10cm 702/dm²; V 10' H 10' 100/psi.

Warps: wool, dark and medium natural brown, 2 yarns, loosely Z twisted, S spun, Z2S

Wefts: wool, medium natural brown, Z2S, 2 or 3 shoots ; 10 last cm. mauve colored wool (look at the close up of the back).

Selvages: 2 cords of two warps, wrapped with selvage weft and overcast with wool in bands of color. At some place the bands are of two colors to give a tooth edging or a barber pole effect.

Ends: bottom: missing; top: 1 cm plain weave end + 3 cm braided fringes. (look at the close up of the front and the back of the top end)

Color: except for the, perhaps chemical, mauve colored wefts at the bottom of the rug all the colors are natural and lustrous. Cochineal red, apricot, aubergine, pink, marine blue, azure, different shade of green from very light to medium bluish green, light yellow, white, heavily corroded brown.
GUIDE TO NORTH EASTERN TURKISH PILE RUGS
Comments:
The pictures haven't the quality I would want so the colors can better appreciate on the close up.

This rug is without doubts a Kurdish Eastern Anatolian rug. The structure points to the Kars - Kagizman area. To take notice the use of cochineal red, apricot and pink that was common in this area and the nice aubergine shade in some boteh (look at the close up of the rug).

I tentatively label this rug a Kagizman on the basis of the structure, the
design (small crowded boteh with a Kurdish look) and the use of lustrous and bright colors in place of subdued colors more often found in Kars rugs.
GUIDE TO NORTH EASTERN TURKISH PILE RUGS