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Kutnu, Alaca and Meydaniye Weaving

In the Kutnu, Alaca and Meydaniye works produced in Gaziantep in the South-Eastern Anatolia Region, warp yarns are processed with such techniques as tearing, dyeing and Mezekçilik (Binding) (binding).
Then, these yarns are passed through sley (gücü) wires and prepared for weaving via the drawing-in (tahar) process.

These operations performed before weaving are common embroidery techniques for each weaving type (kutnu, alaca and meydaniye).

Kutnu Weaving

The kutnu fabrics woven in Gaziantep are yollu (striped) with cotton wefts and silken warps with coloured stripes.

Kutnu works are woven with both consecutive bright and opaque colours and with floral motifs. Kutnu works are mostly solid-coloured and in yellow.

Some are presented with differences in the thickness of individual stripes. The feature distinguishing Baghdad and Damascus kutnu works is this difference in thickness and colour.

Moreover, kutnu works are also named according to their area of origin such as 'Şehr-i Kutnu' (Baghdad work), 'Damask Kutnu', 'Damask Bağdadi', 'Damask Toplu' and 'Keşan Kutnu'.

Colours are most skilfully used in kutnu works. The dominant colour is yellow with secondary colours of red, black, white and crème.

These works were first produced in the area by people migrating from Syria in the 1900s.

While they were woven only on whipped benches, today, the production is sustained more on jacquard and dobby looms.

Kutnu weavings are presented with linear effects in different colours appearing on the fabric. These are flat, finely striped or indented effects. 

Kalem is the local term used for the longitudinal yollu stripes in different colours created on the surfaces of kutnu weavings by 70-100 warp wires.

Sizi is the finely striped section of the weaving produced with the bezayağı technique and used at the beginning and the end of each kalem.
To attract more attention, black and white colours are generally used in these sections.
Sizi sections are made up of 3-4 and 5 warp wires and are always placed with the teething texture. 

Teething (dişeme) is the knitting obtained by extending the bezayağı work with a repeat size of 6 wefts and 8-12 warp wires in the direction of either the warp or the weft.
This type of weaving is more flexible than normal bezayağı weavings. This term is used to define longitudinal texture effects produced with yellow or black warp wires, providing an indented appearance, located between the kalem texture and the bands patterned with flowers. 

There are 3 types of kutnu fabrics woven with an average width of 63 cm and 3800-4000 warp yarns, namely 'plain', 'floral' and 'bound batik'.  

Plain Kutnu

Plain kutnu comprises weavings produced with 7 frames by using only the satin weaving (atlas) technique. The plain kutnu varieties still woven today are hindiye and kemha. These are woven on jacquard and dobby looms. 

Floral Kutnu

Floral kutnu is woven on whipped looms with jacquard and dobby fittings and 18-19 frames by using the rips binding technique on the floral textures and dişeme on the base produced with the satin knitting technique.
2 of these frames are used for both sizi and border weaving, 2 for dişeme weaving, 8 for floral weaving and 7 for kalem weaving in the satin (atlas) binding style.

Mercan (coral), çiçekli (floral), şahiyye, floral kerasi, floral-cherry ful, floral-red ful, floral furş are among the surviving examples. Only in kerase-style kutnu works, the 8 frames used for floral patterns are also used in the dişeme weaving. 

Jig Batik Kutnu

Jig batik kutnu is produced by dyeing the warp yarns by ikat binding technique.
These works are woven with the satin (atlas) weaving technique and mostly with dişeme. 11 frames in total are used for the weaving. 2 of these frames are used for the border, 7 for satin weaving and 2 for the dişeme weaving.

Today, there are such varieties as   jig furş, jig methap, cherry darica, purple darica, yellow darica, black darica, zencirli jig, yellow cup and nacreus jig.

Alaca Dokuması

Alaca weaving is produced with 6 frames by using the bezayağı knitting technique. In Alaca works, longitudinal, linear effects in various colours are created on the surface with warp yarns.

While wefts are in white in kutnu works, wefts used in alaca works are yarns dyed in dark blue and brown.

Alaca works are rarely woven with white yarns. In addition to solid works, these fabrics are also produced in compositions coloured with fine and thick linear effects in the direction of the warp, sometimes enriched with dişeme texture lines.

Although Alaca weaving does not have varieties as rich as kutnu weavings, there are produced under the following names: pajama-striped, silver-dark blue striped, new line, plain helaliye, indented, three-stripe meştane and şalşapik.


With a higher number of varieties than Alaca works, meydaniye weavings are woven on 6 frames with the bezayağı technique like Alaca works. However, the features distinguishing these two types from one another are the denser use of yarns in meydaniye works with a density range between 56 and 68 in the warp direction according to individual varieties and the yollu and striped patterns used in different compositions in alaca works.

In the area, varieties of meydaniye are locally referred to with different names according to colours and stripes, namely 'fine kalem', r'ed fine kalem', 'şalşapik', 'purple osmaniye', 'pajama-striped', 'kürdiye rahvanci', 'jig meydaniye' and 'dark blue fine kalem'.



Source: İsmail Öztürk-Esra Kavcı  Dokumaya Giriş’ morfil Yayınları 2007

Zahide İmer, Gaziantep Yöresinde Üretilen Kutnu, Alaca ve Meydaniye Kumaşların Bazı Teknolojik Özellikleri, Ankara,2001

Şerife Sezgin, Geleneksel Dokumalarımızdan Kutnu Kumaşları Ve Günümüzde Gaziantep’te Dokunan Kutnular, T.T.K. Basımevi,HAGEM, Ankara 1994

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