Natural Dyes For Turkish Rugs And Kilims

Rug Dye, originally uploaded by Josh and Julie.

The weaving of kilim (flat-woven) and halı (pile) carpets is a centuries-old tradition throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, and Anatolian Turkey is no different. This picture is from the Anatolian Carpet Weaving Workshop in Göreme, a functioning workshop which is at the same time something more of tourist attraction. Still, this exact same scene can be found played out in villages across the country even now. I have Turkish friends who have run across this image and said, “Oh yes, we used to do that back when I was in the village.”

This website offers good information on the types of roots, nuts and berries that are used to make the natural dyes. Ten or twenty years ago artificial dyes had begun to overtake the natural methods, but fortunately people noticed that the plant dyes were higher quality and longer lasting, so the traditional ways have made a comeback.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi, ISO-200, f/4, 1/80 sec.

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