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The means of existence of the people of Gördes, a county of the province of Manisa in the Western Anatolian Region, are agriculture and carpet weaving.

Gördes rugs have continued to evolve from their widespread use in the 17th Century until today (1).

The Gördes rugs dated back to the 17th Century in museum catalogues and resources are only prayer rugs.

Based on the examples displayed at Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Faundations Carpet Museum, Konya Mevlana Museum, Londra Victoria and Albert Museum, West Berlin Museum of Turkish-Islamic Arts and Budapest Museum of Applied Arts (2), the development continued in the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries.

Lending its name to the knot technique of the Turkish Anatolian carpets, Gördes carpet weaving was first popularized in the 17th Century and became in a short time one of the famous carpet centres of Anatolia. Gördes rugs are one of the carpet groups that sustain the 16th Century Ottoman Palace Rugs in terms of colours and patterns in the history of Turkish carpet art.  

Gördes rugs are woven in cotton materials with the Turkish knot technique (Gördes knot). The colours are obtained with madders and natural dyes. The dominant colours are red, brown, yellow, blue, dark blue and white.

In Gördes, all-woollen carpets have 30x35, 30x50-55 knots in 10x10 cm. The pile height is 1 cm. ‘Coarse rugs’ with cotton warps and wefts and woollen knots have 12x18 or less knots. Their pile height is nearly 2 cm (3).

Today, prayer rugs, mattress rugs, hall rugs, floor rugs, pillow rugs, coarse rugs (long-pile and low-quality rugs) and Konya rugs are woven in Gördes. A Gördes rug is made of sections traditionally known as ‘side, ‘base’, ‘etlik’, ‘mirror’, ‘edge’ and ‘inner pattern’ from the outside in.

The rug base known colloquially as ‘inner pattern’ is generally bordered with single- or double-directional frontals (mihrap). The frontal either rises in the form of stairs or refined as an architectural arch. In most cases, a candle or a floral bouquet hangs from the frontal. This type of rugs is known as ‘droplight gördes’ (avizeli gördes) and their solid coloured versions are referred to as ‘pole rugs’ (direkli). Some pole rugs are ornamented with vine leaves on the base and known as ‘vine gördes’ (asmali gördes). Rugs ornamented with small flowers on the base are called ‘freckled gördes’ (çilli gördes). In double-frontal rugs, there is a small centre piece in the middle and the outer border of the rug is ornamented with traverse patterns. Known among the public as ‘girl gördes’ (kiz gördes), these rugs are woven by girls of marriage age as an addition to their dowries. In some rugs, the surrounding area of the centrepiece is ornamented with small dots. These are known as ‘fly gördes’ (sinekli gördes). Rugs without the fly patterns are also called ‘centrepiece gördes’ (göbekli gördes).

For more information on Gördes rugs, see...


Source: Bekir Deniz, Gördes Halıları, BBB Derg.Y. 12, S.45
(1)  Oldest Gordes carpets, see..
      J.F.Ballard, İllüstrated Cataloque of Ghiördes Rugs of The 17 th and 18 th Centuries From The Collection of Ballard ,St.Luis, 1916,
     C.T.D.May. ‘Ghiördes Prayer Rugs’, Bullington Magazine, C.39,1921
     O.Aslanapa-Y.Durul, Seçuklu Halıları, İst.1973
     F.Ü.Bilgin,’Eski Gördes Seccadeleri’,Manisa, 1983
     A.Hopf, Tapis d’orient,Paris,1961

(2) Gördes rugs in various museums and collections, see
     J.V.Mc.Mullan,Turkish Rugs,The Rackel B. Stevens Memorial Collection, Textile     Museum, Washington,D.C.1968
    Alte Anatolishe Teppich Aus Dem Museum Für Kunstgewerbe in Budapesest,Graz,1974
    F.Spuhler, İslamic Carpets and Textiles in The Keir Collection, London, 1978

(3) Quality of carpet, see
    G.Işıksaçan, ‘Batı Anadolu’nun Başlıca Halı Merkezlerinde İmal Edilen Halıların Desen ve  Kaliteleri Üzerine Araştırmalar’, İzmir,1964
    Türk Standartları Enstitüsü El Dokusu Türk Halıları, Ankara 1967

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