Hereke History

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 don’t 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, didn’t 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 carpets.

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