Oriental Rugs Today, Turkish Rugs

Turkish Rugs: Buying Rugs in Turkey

01.30.08 | 197 Comments
Mosques in Istanbul
Photo by Christiaan Briggs.

Oriental Rugs Today: Chapter 4 Part 4

Of all the rug-weaving countries in the world, Turkey may be the most fun for travelers looking to buy. Rugs and carpets have been made there for centuries, so travelers find rugs of all ages in the Turkish bazaars and a huge assortment of them from thousands of villages. Many Turkish rugs are great-looking, too. Often they have a genuine tribal character, rarely looking stamped-out or stiff. Futhermore, Turkish rug merchants are engaging people who can make the whole process of buying a rug fun, and they are perfectly capable of shipping rugs internationally.

Given these attractions, travelers often buy rugs abroad that they wouldn’t have bought had they had an opportunity to try a rug at home on an approval basis. Travelers get caught up in the local aesthetic and admire rugs in Turkey, for instance, that don’t look so good to them at home. Of course that is not the fault of Turkish merchants.

But there is a more sinister side to the story. Nearly all the folks who show us rugs they have brought back from Turkey have been lied to by Turkish merchants in some respect. Most have been given an exaggerated notion of a rug’s age. Very often they have been told that a rug was woven with natural dyes when, in fact, it was not. Lately we have seen a number of cases in which Turkish rug dealers have sold tourists cheap rugs from other countries and passed them off as Turkish. Also common is the fake silk scam (see below).

Istanbul Panorama
The Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara, Istanbul. Photo by Bertil Videt.

Worst of all, sometimes people are sold rugs in Turkey for far more than they are worth — sometimes thousands of dollars more — and usually a buyer in that case has little recourse.

Most often, though, travelers buy nice rugs in Turkey for a third less than they would pay in the United States. They have been lied to about age and so on, but because the experience was fun, they tend to forgive.

Our advice? Buy rugs in Turkey and elsewhere abroad just as you would gamble. That is, have fun — but don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.

American tourists often return from Turkey with Kaiseri rugs made in central Anatolia. Local rug merchants represent them as silk rugs. In fact, they are made with mercerized cotton, a poor imitation. I have examined pile fibers from many Kaiseris in microscopes without finding one that is really silk. Those who have purchased ‘silk’ Kaiseris in Turkey, still in denial after hearing the bad news, sometimes produce receipts from Turkey that read, ‘Made from 100% pure art silk.’ Art silk? ‘Art’ turns out to be an abbreviation for ‘artificial’ (without the period). That is a refinement on the older version: 20 years ago, Kaiseri dealers told people they were made from ‘Turkish silk’, a euphemism for cotton. Before that it was called ‘German silk’. Having noted that, I should add that I have seen Kaiseris I like, cotton pile notwithstanding. Kaiseri weavers also make rugs with wool pile on a cotton foundation, though these are rarely imported into the U.S.

Elsewhere I have cautioned that Chinese and even Egyptian silk rugs are sometimes imported into Turkey and sold as Herekes, but I am hard pressed to tell you how you can be certain that you are buying a real one. I have read that all Herekes are Persian-knotted, and I have read that all but a very few are Turkish-knotted. The confusion is understandable: one must be blessed with extraordinary vision to even see knots this small. In my experience, most new Herekes are Turkish-knotted, and you can rest assured that a very fine, new, silk rug that is Turkish-knotted is neither a Chinese nor an Egyptian copy, since both kinds are Persian-knotted. Inscriptions (in Arabic script) are often woven into Herekes to identify them, but there are exceptions. Some Herekes are both very fine and uninscribed, so an inscription or lack of one is not a reliable guide to authenticity.

197 Comments

  • On 03.24.08 Linda Clement wrote:

    So how do you identify an honest rug dealer? I’m visiting Istanbul and expect hordes of dealers..how do you cull the list?

  • On 03.25.08 Richard wrote:

    I’m sorry to say that it is quite impossible without word-of-mouth to know which dealers are “honest,” and even then you may get had. Our advice is to buy abroad only for the experience of it. Set a price you are willing to spend for a piece that may or not be what the merchant tells you it is. Buy the piece for the fun of it. Try online blogs which may give you clues to what others have seen and experienced. Remember that textiles purchased in other countries will look very different than they do here, given the geographic location. Good luck!

  • On 06.02.08 Carole Dunn wrote:

    I live in Turkey. We have bought rugs both new and old from several different dealers in different cities. If you are a collector or very, very savvy about rugs, you can go to the rug dealers in New York and sometimes buy a fine rug or kilim cheaper than you will buy it here, but that requires a high level of expertise.

    For the average buyer, I suggest you buy the Hali Rug Guide that has a list of suggested sellers in Istanbul. This guide is published by Hali, the foremost rug publication in the world. The Guide was published in 1997 but the suggested price of $300 / square meter for new production is still valid, in fact, it is possible to get new production as low as $200 / square meters as rug dealers are hurting. No buyers.

    There is also a newer publication by Anthony Hazeldine, but it can only be ordered online through Hali (www.hali.com) and is quite expensive ($33).

  • On 06.02.08 Dave wrote:

    Thanks, Carole! While we’ve seen plenty of shoppers burned in Istanbul, that doesn’t mean there aren’t deals to be had. And it’s not like people don’t get overcharged in this country.

    For those of you considering buying rugs in Turkey, an authoritative guidebook would certainly be a sound investment. Here are more details about the books Carole mentioned:

    Istanbul: The Hali Rug Guide $30 at Amazon, $14 at the Hali bookshop.

    Turkey: The Rug Guide $42 Amazon, $33 Hali.

    The Hali Bookshop prices include shipping, but to order the books you’ll need to print an order form and send it in. I imagine folks in a hurry will spring for the price-inflated but more convenient Amazon marketplace option.

  • On 08.05.08 rob wrote:

    i am in selcuk near kusadasi and have been floating between a few merchants i have eyed off a silk kaiseri and the dealer wants a price of 1300 u.s. is this a fair price in your opinon as it is not aged and the design is of the tree of life,

    please advise.

  • On 08.05.08 rob wrote:

    one more point the carpet is the size of a prayer carpet i hope this helps you further

  • On 09.26.08 tex andrews wrote:

    i stumbled upon this blog while searching for books on oriental carpets, and that led here. while i am no expert on rug buying in turkey, i’m not a novice either, and so can offer the following tips:
    1. have knowledge, REAL knowledge, before you even attempt to buy, or even walk into a shop. once you demonstrate that you are not the average tourist, you won’t be treated like one. remember, these guys see a lot of dopes.
    2. instead of bragging about what knowledge you have, or awkwardly trying to demonstrate it, try asking for the unusual. my personal request was for bags &etc. from fetiyhe area—this simple request raised a lot of eyebrows, and got me shown a boatload of very cool and affordable stuff [all bags, of course]. it immediately separated me from the herd, and also in one instance got me into the warehouse of one of the arasta bazaar dealers, where i was shown some astounding stuff—absolute museum pieces—and with certain knowledge i wouldn’t be able to buy. they were just tickled to show someone the REALLY good stuff.
    3. in istanbul, i liked what i saw in the arasta bazaar best. selcuk has several dealers with good stuff, and we bought about $4Kusd from one. bergama also has several interesting dealers, as does kas [oddly enough---it's quite a tourist trap otherwise]. all of these guys had junk, too. so, again, one needs to separate from the pack.
    4. the best anatolian things from the best dealers will not be had at a bargain, and there will be little to no haggling. what are more negotiable are terms. anatolian stuff is pricey, now.
    5. bargain hunters should look for non-anatolian [classic] stuff, especially kurdish and uzbek stuff [the uzbek things will mostly be non-rug, non-pile, but really terrific]. the dealers get this stuff from the east. not turkish, but some good deals [although we are finding some terrific stuff on ebay, already in the states]. the exceptions i know of for anatolian wares would be bags and new bergama carpets. the bags may be semi antique and older. the bergama carpets are made in great quantities it seems, and everyone has a few. look at a lot of them and you will soon see which are the ones to buy. they are new, but very serviceable, everyday carpets that are “honest” for the most part.

  • On 10.01.08 Richard wrote:

    Some of that I agree with, Some I don’t. I don’t think you need to become that informed if you stick to a price you want to spend and buy what you like. The experience will be just as fun. Why not be the typical tourist? If you are a budding collector and are looking for something in particular then Tex is right, become informed.

  • On 10.23.08 Ahmad wrote:

    Hi,
    nice site. About the silk herekes: Most rugs sold as Herekes in turkey are chinese or egyptan reproductions (copies). And you are right about their (persian)knots. But the best copies (as always) come from china. Zhenping is one of the leading producers of double (turkish) knot silk rugs in hereke design. And turkey is the main export destination for Zhenping products. I know many rug dealers, who can not recognise these rugs as copies. I am a rug dealer in Germany, and we have the same problems with tourist bringing rugs to our shop they bought in turkey. I recommend to all buyers: Enjoy the trip to any oriental rug producing country. Spend a little money for a nice piece of oriental art. But if you seriously think of buying a good, valuable rug – better buy it at a well reputated dealer near your home.

  • On 10.26.08 Richard wrote:

    I’m with you Ahmad.

  • On 12.12.08 benjamin White Levin wrote:

    I am in instanbul. is there any way a circa 1910 10x12ish caucasian soumak, very pretty, minor repairs, should cost $12,000?

  • On 12.12.08 Richard wrote:

    Sure. Turn of the century piece with nice colors and an interesting design. could even be more if it’s the right piece. The question you have to ask yourself is… Is it the right piece? Carpet dealers have a bad reputation for a pretty good reason. my advice is buy what you like at a price you can afford discounting everything the carpet dealer is telling you.

  • On 12.12.08 Richard wrote:

    You could send me a picture too. Best of luck Benjamin.

  • On 12.20.08 ana wrote:

    i am going to turkey very soon.whats are the things i should look for before i buy a rug or a carpet?how do i know its not fake?

  • On 12.27.08 Sophie wrote:

    Hi, I am in Istanbul. Saw this silk on silk carpet, about 80cmx50cm for USD740, 8×7 knots per square metre. The design is tree of life. I am not sure whether it’s a good price or am I being conned. The shop keeper said it’s made in Iznik and he did honestly tell me that it’s a chemical dye rather than natural dye.

  • On 12.28.08 fahrettin wrote:

    the rug is from kayseri silk because there is no protucsion in iznic izmit could be but that mean hereke
    it should be 10bye10 ,not 7bye8 it should be kayseri pricing is not possible without seing the rug also change dpend whom you deal
    good luck

  • On 12.29.08 Sophie wrote:

    Hi, thanks for the reply. I bought the carpet. You are right, it’s made in Kayseri but the silk is produced in Brussa area according to the seller. He made me a final offer of USD430 which I thought is a good price. It’s 9×9 knots. I was wrong before, was very confused with all the numbers. It has been a very stressful experience, but I think the more shops we went to, the more we learnt about the carpets and the pricing. So, I think for anyone hoping to buy a carpet here, don’t rush, go to as many shops as you need to until you feel comfortable with the price. Also, don’t be pressured by the sellers, as a lot of them tend to turn very pushy after about an hour, trying to force you to buy something, it seems like a common tactic!

  • On 12.31.08 Josh wrote:

    Bought a prayer rug at Matis in Kusadasi. 3′ x 5′ (1m x 1.4m) x ~3-4mm thick. Supposedly silk on silk with 625 kpsi. Looks all correct but is there a simple way to tell modified cotton from real silk? I do have a friend who speaks Farsi and Arabic and found it strange to see a possible Persian signature on the rug. Any thoughts?

    Thank you all.

  • On 01.03.09 Mark wrote:

    Josh-
    Light your rug on fire- if it lights right up, it’s cotton, but if it “smolders” then it’s the real deal.

    You’re welcome.

  • On 02.07.09 Peter wrote:

    I’ve just returned from Istanbul, and I’ve got humped with a fake silk carpet. I did the burn test on the ends of the carpet, which seem to be real silk. After I returned home, and reading up the information about fake silk, I found out that mine is definitely fake. Damn it!
    But anyway, the carpet looks nice, even though it’s not what it’s supposed to be! Should have read more, before I bought.

  • On 02.12.09 chris wrote:

    is it safer and simpler to stick to wool carpets

  • On 03.22.09 Mıchelle Eagan wrote:

    Purchasıng a rug ın Istanbul was an awesome experıence ,we bought a 9.2×12.5 oushak for $7.000- plus shıppıng fees..´
    Sımılar rug ın medallıon rug store(palo alto,ca) was around 15,000- and ın mr smıths gallery was $12,500 ,my husband studıed rugs for many years,I purchased rugs ın u.s as well and my experıences told me buyıng a rug ın us ıs expensıve and ınsane .

  • On 03.25.09 Richard wrote:

    Michelle,
    I think the opposite is true for the layperson. It is my experience that people who buy rugs abroad often pay too much and are often sold carpets that are other than what is represented. I advise people to set a price before entering a carpet store abroad and sticking to that price. Buy what you like not because of what you are being told it is, but because you truly love it. Many carpet stores here in the states will negotiate on listed prices. These list prices may be double what you can actually buy the carpet for.

  • On 04.11.09 Patsy wrote:

    My parents went on a cruise to Istanbul. The cruise ship inventoried rugs bought by tourists as the tourist returned to the boat. Cruise ship collected their receipts so that they could get their “kick-back” from the rug dealer. here’s some advice, don’t go anywhere a cruise ship tells you to go for shopping. Everyone is in the tourism game for MONEY. Get off the beat and ask where to locals shop.

  • On 04.17.09 Cristy wrote:

    Hi my mom is currently in Istabul purchasing a rug made of camel hair. It is 4 x7 and is being offered to her at a price of about $440. Do you think this is a right amount to pay?

  • On 04.17.09 Anonymous wrote:

    I am having a terrible timetrying to figure out what kind of rug I have Ivey-Selkirk wants to come look at it and that is after they have seen tons of very good pics. They are saying the market is not good right now, and I am afraid they are all ready preparing to rip me off! I have a label on the back of mine and I cannot figure out what country it is from and I believe this rug has already been catalouged. I have repeatedly asked them and they avoid the question can anyone help, I will send pics!

  • On 04.17.09 Anonymous wrote:

    but I can only send pics through my email!

  • On 04.25.09 Richard J. Shehady wrote:

    Hi
    I am a rug dealer in Pittsburgh PA. I find it distriburing that so many people think that they will get a better deal in a Foreign country on rugs. Nothing is farther from the truth. Every rug in my store is hand selected by me for quality. The customer has an opportunity to take the rug home and see it in their light and for size. And most importantly, if there is a problem or dispute they can bring it back. I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell people that they threw away thousands of dollars by buying abroad. They are looking at rugs that cannot be sold in reputable stores in USA.

  • On 06.07.09 Carole Karr wrote:

    Yikes, is it true that there are government run stores in Turkey where the certificates of authenticty mean the rugs really are real even though the prices aren’t great? I hope so because I just bought a rug from one of these places in the Cappadocia/Kayseri area!

  • On 06.25.09 Bryon wrote:

    Many are are con-artists. hence, they build your CONfidence to trick and scam ignorant americans. The key is to educate yourself in all aspects of rugs before being lured into a time scam type of sales pitch. The more educated you are, the more difficult and dangerous you become to some of those scammers in Turkey. Ask tons of questions and look/analyze their response. then leave the store, to decipher what they said and verify info with an independent expert–you are spending thousands and do not want to buy something really much less. We would go to the local college in states before going to turkey and get advice on what to look for, what not to look for, and the tons of con-artistry that is prevalent in turkey.

  • On 06.27.09 Bryon wrote:

    Cruise ship “director” collecting receipts from the rug dealers for the kick-back. hah. That is not surprising. Many “tour” operators are there to help you part with your hard-earned monies. do NOT fall for it; most are fraudulent. These conartists (CONfidence-man, CONman) have honed their BS-ing skills for years and know how to act according to human behavior and dealing with uninformed, ignorant, or misinformed americans. shop where the locals shop, and ask loads of questions. do NOT fall for the overrpriced eateries, and the rip-off $3.00 soda cans.?!?! As in any country, do NOT shop in touristy areas; they are inhabited mostly by tourists in large caravans/buses who do not mind blowing tons of money on junk knick-knacks or severely overpaying on memento junk. Hold onto your wallet–travelling can leave you destitute if you are not savvy.

  • On 08.22.09 oscar wrote:

    I have been reading some of these messages above and
    very shocked with the comments have been made about the
    rug business in Turkey ..also amazed with another fact
    that how little people know about the rugs and the rug
    dealers .. let me give you a piece of advice , from what
    you are all focusing above , we need to finish MIT
    SCHOOL of TECHNOLOGY just to buy a little cell phone
    for your self ..there are rug dealers in the U.S.A
    who have been going out of business in the last 30 years
    but still trying to sell new persian rugs (they say
    they are persian rugs)which no persian goods are allowed
    to the U.S.A ,as an U.S. ambargo ..so if a turkish rug
    dealer is a liar, no others are better then the turkish
    ones ..and plus in TURKEY you know that you are getting
    at least a real handmade rug which is the most important truth anyway ..
    I wish all travellers have fun shopping for rugs in
    Turkey ….
    oscar

  • On 08.23.09 Ellen wrote:

    This has been very helpful information. I am leaving for Istanbul at the end of the week and have learned that many of the rugs that are being represented as Turkish are actually Indian reproductions of Turkish or Persian rugs. Very difficult to determine if authentic. The tightness and closeness of the knots which can be seen on the underside of the rug is one of the most important things to look at as well using a damp cloth to determine if it is natural dye. But at the end of the day, can you really tell whether the rug is authentic or not? I was also told that the girls who used to make the rugs in the rural areas, really don’t want to do it anymore and are becoming more educated and interested in other things. That may have been said as a ploy to raise the price of Turkish rugs and to make them more in demand. Are persian rugs finer in quality than Turkish? Thanks for your responses.

  • On 09.12.09 Richard wrote:

    Oscar,
    Let me first say that we here at Emmett Eiland’s, know many fair and honest Turkish rug dealers. We in no way want to appear to be casting aspersions on Turkish carpet dealers in general. That being said, many of the carpets that we see here in our store purchased abroad in Turkey are not what they were purported to be by the carpet dealer. I think the number is high because Turkey is really the only easily visited carpet producing country. It is also true that there are dishonest carpet dealers in every country. Unfortunately carpet dealers have a bad reputation for a very good reason.
    As to Persian rugs in the U.S., I am happy to inform you that the embargo ended about nine years ago as President Clinton left office. Just to emphasize that point, here it is again THE EMBARGO HAS BEEN OVER FOR 9 YEARS.
    As to your last point I hardly know how to respond. A dishonest rug dealer in any country is unacceptable. There is no lesser of any two lies. A lie is a lie.
    I encourage people to buy rugs abroad and especially in Turkey. My guidelines are as follows.
    1.Buy what you like because you like it, not because of what someone is telling you it is.
    2. Spend no more than you can afford. If the carpet is too much money walk away. It is our job as carpet dealers to show rugs. Don’t be made to feel guilty for the amount of work it takes to do that.
    3.There is no way for a layman to distinguish a natural dye from a synthetic one. We can all be fooled.
    4. Carpets DO NOT make good investments in general.

  • On 09.12.09 Richard wrote:

    Ellen,
    I have seen many rugs purchased in Turkey as Turkish, turn out to be from somewhere else. It’s impossible for a laymen to tell the difference. Knot count is not a defining criteria for quality. I would take many village carpets over most city carpets any day. As stated above there is no way for you to tell definitively if a carpet is naturally dyed. A damp cloth will not work and should not be trusted as an example.
    As to Persian versus Turkish rugs, there are good and bad from both country.
    It is true that due to globalization there are fewer women willing to weave. I fear for the art in all rug producing countries.
    Please refer to the guidelines in the last post for my recommendations on buying rugs abroad.

  • On 09.18.09 Louis wrote:

    Hey, don’t knock buying carpets from dealers recommended by the cruise lines. While it is most likely true that they do get a kick-back, cruise line companies like Princess offer a guarantee that the merchandise you purchase from one of their recommended stores is authentic or you get your money back. Just a little FYI.

  • On 09.19.09 Wayel wrote:

    I have recently visited Istanbul and spent days looking at carpets all over the city. Most dealers inflate the prices dramatically. On average, the price being quoted initially is 6-10 times the market price. Of course, if you only shop in Istanbul, your idea of usual and customary “market price” will be severely skewed upward. I have also found that the dealers will misrepresent the source and “value” of the rugs to make a sale. Finally, the tour operators, the cruise ships, and the entire tourist industry is concentrated on fooling American, Japanese, and Arab tourists into overpaying for rugs and other “local” handicrafts.

    I agree with Eiland’s guidelines. In my opinion, buy in the US, but maybe pick up a small “fun” rug in Istanbul for the experience of chatting it up with the rug merchants.

  • On 09.23.09 oscar wrote:

    Richard ,
    I could not agree more , perfect four rules to a
    good rug buying experience ..thank you also for a
    very valuable information about embargo ending
    finally ..
    but , there are two important facts when it comes
    to handmade rug business ,the Turkish rugs and the
    Persian rugs ..they are always the best in the world..
    thank you for your kind respond ..
    best wishes
    oscar

  • On 09.26.09 Max Selma wrote:

    I recently visited a very expensive shop in a three story building in the old city of Istanbul. It was not in the bazaar, but on the luxury shopping street. The rugs were new, the designs were original to the shop. They ran $130,000 for a 10′ x ’12 silk with about 375 knots psi. The rug had “Dirsin” or Nirsin,” I couldn’t make out the name exactly, woven into one edge of the rug. Does anyone know the name of this shop?

  • On 10.15.09 GFRG wrote:

    I’ve just been delivered a lovely 5 x 7 rug I purchased aa few weeks ago at the Galata Jewel rug co-operative (somewhere between Kusadasi and Ephesus, Turkey). I agree with other writers that visiting rug merchantss, and then buying without having done a lot of previous research, was “quite the experience – a bit emotional and daunting at times”. But, frankly, doing it will forever resonate with me as a very interesting rememberance of this fascinating country.

    As for the Galata folks, I live in Canada so my friedss and I had our rugs shipped. The delivery promise was within 6-8 weeks but it took just a little over 3 weeks. Yes, Galata was recommended by Princess Cruise Lines in their written materials to passengers, but neither Princess nor Galata had any way to know that we were with the cruise ship as we arrived there independent of Princess. Nor was there any of the collecting of receipts, etc. that some writers mention So I suggest folks take suggestions that Princess is taking “kickbacks”with a grain of salt. Anyway, who cares, if you buy something you love for what you feel is a fair price, and it is delivered in a fair and honest way, and Princess stands behind it – what’s to really complain about?

    As background, Galata promised to deliver our rugs for the prices negotiated on-site with no extra charges for shipping, duty, or taxes to the buyers. I must admit that I and my carpet-buying friends were a tad nervous about whether this would really “come to pass” and didn’t feel at ease until our rugs arrived. However, this co-operative was true to its word about all these aspects. There were no extra charges, and our rugs arrived early, better than promised, and in perfect condition.

    In addition, Galata provided us each a Certificate of Authenticity for our rugs – as a member of the Turkish Carpet Weavers Association. In those, they guaranteed that our pieces were 100% handmade – they did not say where the pieces originated (but that was not really an issue for us). They also detailed the kind (genre) of rugs we’d bought, the materials, the size, along with a serial number. These certificates were signed by 3 different people.

    I love my carpet, and it came home reliably just as promised. I’m not sure if I negotiated the price as well as I might have, but that doesn’t matter as it’s lovely and whatever I paid supported the weaving artist to some extent. My question is whether the merchants that supply these seemingly “legal” authentications are a hoax or are they part of a Turkish government arrangement that keeps some of the vendors “honest” in order to protect an important local industry? If there are these more “legitimate” sources, it could be helpful to your readers to know about this. On the other hand, if I was “taken in” by the fancy paperwork, well I was “had” but still have a nice rug, a lovely cuppa tea and a good memory.

  • On 11.04.09 Frank wrote:

    I bought mine in Cappadocia and have a written guarantee that should I ever want to return it (even in 10 years) I am welcome to do so. Email me for details at illini88@hotmail.com. I paid 2900 USD for a 6.5′ x 9.52′. My tour guide assured me one in season much like it sold for 4000 USD.

  • On 11.06.09 Gayle wrote:

    Matis is the name of the luxury shop in Istanbul near the Bazaar.

  • On 01.22.10 Daniel wrote:

    I brought a rug in Adana, Turkey around 1980-81 it is handmade and it a pictorial focused on a bridge and Mosque in Istanbul. Vivid blue and other colors. I was told something about this “rooster like character” on the edge means high quality. Any ideas on the character?

  • On 02.05.10 Mary L. Bowman wrote:

    I own a Turkish Kayseri Silk rug measuring 18 X 12 and would like to trade it for a smaller size of the same rug perhaps a 10 X 14 or so. s that possible? It is a beautiful black, burgundy, pale blue with medallion.

  • On 02.15.10 sooz2000 wrote:

    my experience was very similar to GFRG’s. i received my rug 2 weeks ago (earlier than i expected) and in perfect condition. i, too, was on a cruise when i visited via a tour group. from the time i purchased until i received it, i was nervous if i was going to receive it, if i would still love it (we had a limited time to purchase our carpets), etc. but now that i have it, i love it! i will probably have it appraised at some point to see what it is worth, but it is one of the coolest “souvenirs” that i purchased on my 2 week long trip and something i will have forever. regardless of the price, it was a really great experience and memory.

  • On 02.21.10 renee wrote:

    i purchased a small silk rug for 700 dollars at Matis in Istanbul. I also bought the most unusual bracelet there. it looks like a crouching panther and is composed of marcasite inlayed in silver. i payed 1000 dollars for it.i feel i spent a lot of money there, perhaps i could have done better in the usa, but the experience of shopping in Turkey was a bucket list experience. wouldnot trade it for anyhting

  • On 02.23.10 Mark wrote:

    Just started looking to buy.Browsed through a few stores in Australia (home), saw the $5000 rugs discounted down to $3000 then was offered further reductions as I left their shops.I end up buying 3 rugs off ebay at fraction of the price.Thats where you get the best value!

  • On 05.19.10 Mario Calaf Rios Pinot wrote:

    I remember a state run rug store and taking a rug I bought to them and they said it was great and the price ok. The people I bought the rug from gave me some papers I suppose authenticity. Thank you.

  • On 05.20.10 Claudia wrote:

    I have a Turkish Rug and I would like to know what it is worth. It says on the back 200X300 ? Not sure what to look for. Can someone help me?

  • On 05.20.10 Claudia wrote:

    I don’t want to sell it i just am wondering how to determine that. Thanks

  • On 05.22.10 Richard wrote:

    Claudia,
    Just send a photo to the E-mail above and we will take a look.

  • On 06.02.10 Jacob wrote:

    Hi Claudia,

    200 x 300 may mean 200 lines per foot and 300 lines/foot.

    200/12= 16.7 knots/inch; 300/12= 25 knots/inch; 16.7 x 25= 417 knots per square inch. However, ‘lines/foot’ usually refers to something made in China.

  • On 06.05.10 Baki wrote:

    Claudia,

    The numbers in the back represent the size of the rug. 200cm by 300cm, roughly 6’7″ x 9’10. Other than this information, the numbers in the back would not tell you anything. I hope this helps a little bit more.

  • On 06.06.10 paul wrote:

    just bought a silk rug 188cm x124cm from lions rugs and kilims art gallery istanbul address hudavendigar cad no6/a sirkeci-istanbul-turkiye has anyone any feedback on this shop.many thanks.

  • On 06.24.10 Chandra wrote:

    Picked up a rug from Gordes in Istanbul yesterday. Paid $4000,00 for it. Its a 9×11 Kazak wool rug on cotton. Has anyone ever sent a review on Gordes? Are they reputable store in Istanbul? Appreciate any feedback.

  • On 07.23.10 Phyllis wrote:

    Watch out for the handsome young men fishing for customers around the cisterns. I had NO intention of buying a carpet but the conversation before we got there was so interesting and tea so good that nothing else really mattered. No doubt we were taken.

  • On 08.01.10 Chuck wrote:

    Hi,
    my wife and I was in Turkey and bought a few carpets/rugs from Punto Rugs in Istanbul. Anyone here had any experience buying from them ?

    Thanks

  • On 08.07.10 V66Pony wrote:

    In June, I bought a nice runner rug (2.75′x10′) in Kusadasi, Turkey for what I thought was a fair price (and was assured that the rug was worth 3x the amount I paid for it back in the US), only to have the rug appraised back stateside for $500 *less* than I paid. ;-( Oh well, I still have the beautiful memories and I learned a lesson.

    -V66

  • On 08.11.10 Jim wrote:

    I was in turkey in february 2002. I bought a rug, a kilem, and a silk and wool. I sold my kilem and silk and wool. I got my money back on them. I cherish and would never sellmy 4 by 8 carpet. when I was in turkey at this time everything was very very cheap. The carpets were not though. The one point I want to make is that if you are traveling outside of Istanbul, buy your carpet there. Istanbul will be more expensive than other parts of the country. The Grand Bazaar is the most expensive. I bought my carpet in Urgup, in the center of turkey for $275. This carpet is worth $1000 easy here in new york. I would never ever sell this carpet as it is my only souveneer and I LOVE it. It looks very nice in my apartment. I highly recommend buying a turkish carpet while in turkey. It is a possesion you will keep forever.

  • On 08.12.10 Jim wrote:

    V66Pony…A good rule of thumb is to give a bid of 1/3 the asking price if you think the asking price is reasonable. The turks like to yell and scream at you when bargaining for a rug. Thats part of their game. They wanted 800 for the carpet I bought. I said I will give you 250. He yelled at me are you crazy do you think I am an idiot. That is to cheap. I said okay how is $275 and he said okay.
    That is the game they play. I have a beautiful and colorful yahilla carpet I bought in turkey in feb 2002. I paid 275 american dollars and love it. what is more important than the price you paid is how much you like it. If you overpaid but you love it thats what is important. I underpaid on two rugs I did not like and sold them for what I paid. I just want to get rid of two of them. The one I love i will keep forever. My 17 days I spent in Istanbul, Izmir, Capodoccia, and efes showed me the culture of bargaining and street hawking. It does not exist in the USA as much. The cabs will follow you down the road for a ride. The carpet seller will hide in the museum to try to sell you a carpet. Its part of their way of life. Bargain hard and next time dont be afraid to low ball a bid. they will bark but they will not bite!!!!!!

  • On 08.28.10 W bach wrote:

    I purchased a rug at Galata Kusadasi Turkey. The origin was Bilcik. Was this rug made in Afganistan ?

  • On 08.30.10 Richard wrote:

    You do sometimes find Afghan rugs sold as Turkish in Turkey. Without a photo it is impossible for us to tell.

  • On 09.16.10 Juliet wrote:

    I am currently in Gocek and have found a Sumak Rug 2.7 x 1.94 = 5.24m 80% silk on 20 % cotton. I have done some research and the pattern on the back looks pretty consistent, the rug has a waxy feel and no colour comes off when using a damp cloth. What price should I pay for this size rug and how do I know that this is real as opposed to some imitation made in China?

  • On 09.17.10 Jim wrote:

    Juliet,

    After chatting with an investor who was duped out of 10000 British pounds I would be very cautious with buying any carpet they say is silk. Most of the silk Herekes sold in turkey are fake, even with certificate of authenticity. The reproductions are made in china and look and feel identical to the hereke.

    I was in turkey in february 2002 and bought a very colorful wool Yayhali 4X7 for $275 dollars. They wait for the suckers to buy the sllk. That is were they make their most money. TO BE SAFE, BUY A WOOL CARPET ONLY.

    I have read for days on this and say your best and safest bet is to buy wool on wool. NEVER BUY SILK IN TURKEY. They are fake and very expensive. You will lose most of your money as the excellent reproductions made in china are hard to delineate from the Hereke. Only an expert can decide. Chinese silk are worth a fraction of a hereke and look the same!!!!!

    BUY WOOL. BE SAFE AND CONFIDENT YOU WILL GET A REAL CARPET. OF COURSE THEY WILL LIE ABOUT THE AGE OF THE CARPET, BUT AT LEAST YOU KNOW ITS GENUINE TURKISH CARPET.

    Google buying turkish carpets and click on Fake silk carpets.

    The gentlemen who was lied to and lost 10000 British pounds name is Chris Abrams. Email him and he will also tell you why NEVER TO BUY SILK IN TURKEY. Just wool.

  • On 09.17.10 Richard wrote:

    Juliet,
    It is impossible to say without seeing the piece. I know of no Chinese productions doing silk Soumaks. The piece is probably Azerbaijani and is likely silk on a cotton foundation. Don’t pay more than $40 per square foot for a piece like this.

  • On 09.20.10 Chris Abram wrote:

    I am the person who was cheated out of £10,000 buying a so called “Hereke” silk carpet from Saklikent Yolu Kadikoy near Fethiye. Yes I was gullible but now I want to make sure that the genuine international dealers in Turkish carpets and the travellers to Turkey are not “ripped off”with a Chines copy in the same way.
    This is the letter which I sent to the Turkish Director of Tourism in London,and which has generated no response. It would seem that the Turkish Government is assisting the sale of FAKE Turkish Carpets.
    I am retaining the carpet in it’s pristine condition as it is my intention to continue with this growing campaign to embarrass the fraudulant activity, which in the UK would mean a jail sentence.
    Kind regards
    Chris Abram

    Mr Irfan Onal
    Director of Tourism
    Turkish Culture and Tourism Office
    4th Floor
    29-30 St James’s Street,
    London, SW1A 1HB

    30th April 2010

    “Hereke” carpet
    Dear Mr Onal,
    Further to my discussion with your assistant this afternoon.

    On 22nd July 2003 I purchased a “Hereke” carpet at Saklikent Yolu Kadikoy which cost me £10,000. The receipts and sales invoice are attached.
    I then had to wait some time for it to arrive and, when it did, it did not have a Certificate of Authenticity with it. I then spent some time contacting the sales office trying to get this certificate.

    This made me rather suspicious and I asked London Auctioneers Bonhams and several other carpet experts to have a look at this “Hereke” carpet and they all said that it was not from Hereke. However at that time, one said they thought it was from Tabriz and the others said that this was a Chinese copy.

    When I did eventually receive the Certificate of Authenticity on the 19th September 2003 I sent an email doubting the authenticity of this carpet to Mr Ali Ding, Production Manager. I received no satisfaction.

    I then contacted Mr Kaan Kevser from Admana Ltd, London, and informed him that I was not getting any replies and that I wanted to return the carpet and get my £10,000 back. No response again and, as he was the person who I had paid the balance of over £6000 to and was supposed to be representing Saklikent Yolu Kadikoy, that I held him responsible.

    I also contacted Mr Nick Wrightsman, Managing Director, Tapestry Holidays, with whom I had travelled several times, and I know he tried to resolve the problem. All to no avail as Kadikoy took no notice.

    In 2006 I went over specifically to try and sort this out and took the Tapestry Holidays Representative with me to the factory. I was treated very politely by the Manager, I think his name was Mr Murat, and he promised me that it was genuine but that If I had any concerns he would arrange for it to be collected in England and my money returned. When I asked if I could bring the carpet back to Turkey he told me that I would be arrested if I tried to bring it through Customs. I am still waiting.

    I have had it wrapped in it’s packaging, only unrolled once to be photographed, and stored in a humidity and temperature controlled vault as I wanted to pass this on as a family heirloom to my then children.

    Recently I decided to sell this on ebay and I have had several very knowledgeable experts who have said that this is a Chinese copy. As they go into such detail as colour of the fringe thread, style of knot, colourings and many other fine details it bears out what my original experts said when I bought it.

    “Cinar production is in Kayseri, not Hereke. Cinar are signed Cinar on top and buttom of the rug in latin letters – this rug is not signed Cinar. They look totally different in color and design. Check http://www.cinarhali.com.tr/english.html.
    Again – from what I see from the pictures it is not turkish. Sheen, colors, surface and knotting looks like chinese 300l double knot Zhenping production. This certificate is not worth the paper it was written on – all chinese copies came with a certificate like this or equal. Zhenping makes one to one copies that are actually better in quality than many regular Hereke silk rugs.”

    As I was in the tourism industry for several decades I appreciate how embarrassing this could be, “Turkey still selling fake Chinese carpetsl”, but I am quite prepared to contact every travel company in Europe, and of course to use my many contacts in the media, to publicise what is going on in Turkey if Saklikent Yolu Kadikoy do not sort this out to my satisfaction.

    As this carpet is in an “as new condition” can you please try and resolve this matter amicably as no one in Turkey is interested. I would like my full £10,000 returned. Please note that the address I had at the time of purchase was 8 Thornbury Close, Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Wales but I am no longer living there.

    Kind regards

    R C Abram

  • On 09.29.10 Mike Porter wrote:

    Wife and I bought two rugs from Matis in Kusadasai two weeks ago. Both approx. 3 ft X 4ft. One is reportedly all silk and the other silk on cotton. Total price $8300. I’ve sent you and email with photos. Wondering if it is possible now to stop payment on Visa and back out of this deal. Anyone ever done that succesfully? Thanks.

  • On 10.05.10 sandy wrote:

    I went to Cinar near Grand Bazaar at Istanbul. They have lots of high quality silk pictorial rugs. I also saw lots of Cinar silk rugs at this website http://www.sentez.com.tr Maybe you can get some idea out of it. They have Hereke Cinar and Ist. Cinar. What are the differences…..?

  • On 10.05.10 sandy wrote:

    I saw the beautiful Noah’s Ark at the real shop, Cinar. and I saw that on the sentez website as well. The one shown at Cinar has sewn Cinar on top and bottom. The ones shown on Sentez has only one Cinar at the bottom only. Cinar told me the origin is Cinar but Sentez told me it is Hereke Cinar. Very confusing….

  • On 10.05.10 John wrote:

    We just returned from a cruise that stopped in four Turkish ports (Istanbul, Antalya, Iskenderun and Kasudasi – sp?). In every port, we were approached by many ‘Turkish’ carpet dealers; the most persuasive approach being in Istanbul – In spite of the pressure, we decided that it just didn’t make sense to buy a rug in Turkey for $2000-$4800 — when we know nothing about rugs.

    Having now reviewed this site, I see many of the ploys used to entice us — and am glad that we finally walked-away without a rug — Of course, later, we bought an expensive diamond in Kasudasi – and while I believe we got a good deal – we could easily have bought something else. My advise (for what it’s worth) — Enjoy your travels abroad, but, don’t shop with any less common sense and dilligence than you would excercise at home. At least at home, you have some recourse if you actually bought a “genuine, authentic fake” -

  • On 10.14.10 Marien wrote:

    I have bought 4 rugs in Turkey in the Istanbul area and I know nothing about rugs. I just picked the ones I liked. I enjoyed drinking Chai which you will be offered at most rug stores and enjoyed talking with the rug dealers. I looked in the US to see what the cost would be here for a certain size rug and offered a little less than that when bartering with the rug dealer. I did not spend any more than $600.00 for the most expensive rug and $300.00 for the least expensive and all of the rugs I bought were made from wool. As long as I liked the pattern and the colors I really did not care where it was made and I am happy with my choices and can’t wait to go again and buy another carpet!

  • On 10.15.10 Jim wrote:

    Marien,

    Owning a carpet is like owning a piece of artwork. If you like it that is the most important thing. 9 years ago when I was in turkey I bought 3 pieces. I sold two of them and got my money back. The one I like the most I will keep forever. A turkish carpet that you love is like a swiss watch. You will never get tired of it and it will last forever. I think if you are a good bargainer and do your research, you can get a good deal in turkey although I found Istanbul more expensive than other parts of turkey. I bought my carpets in Urgup. Its good you bought wool. They are probably genuine turkish carpets. The counterfeit are found more with the silk herekes.

  • On 10.15.10 Chloe wrote:

    We decided to go to MATIS shop in Istanbul in one of our shore excursions, it was a HUGE mistake.
    They completely mocked us with no shame whatsoever. We entered in the shop with no intention of buying anything, but the truth is that my husband and I were carried away by the beautiful carpets they showed us. After we had a look at them, they walked us in a seperate room, the sales man was very persistent and he was on about the silk beauty… about the opportunity of purchasing a silk rug…etc.
    We ended up buying 2 carpets, one made out of wool + cotton (5X3 aprox) and the other one made out of silk (that’s what we were told)size (3.25X2 aprox) we weren’t expertises on the matter, so after dealing for several minutes with the sales man, we realy thought we were buying a bargain, we paid £1700 for both of them.

    After a few weeks the carpets arrived at home, we were very excited, we inmediately checked the signature on the tag and then we spotted the word “mercerized” on the sik one… after reseaching online we found the meaning, we were and are very upset and we aso find this situation infuriating.
    I’ve tried to contact them, first they asked me for the contract number,I inmediaty replied with the information needed, since then we haven’t received anything at all and worse than that is that my emails to them come back as a failure notice.
    It’s truly unbeliavable, we thought that Matis was a serious company, keen on selling good quality products, but clearly is not the case.

    Next year we are cruising again…and one of the cities we stop by is Istanbul. I will make sure we are in the excursion to go to Matis again, once there I will definately have my say in front of everyone else, perhaps they might think twice before fooling people again.

    I’m also triying to find an online complaints service, so I can drop them a letter regarding this matter.

  • On 10.15.10 sandy wrote:

    What is mercerized? If this is fake silk, can you claim back your money thru your credit card? This is Fraud….

  • On 10.16.10 Chloe wrote:

    Hello Sandy,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Mercerized: Mercerization is a process applied to cotton yarns or fabrics which gives to the cotton fiber a silk-like luster, a somewhat greater strength than that of ordinary cotton, and a greater affinity for dyes. Mercerized cotton is at the present time a direct competitor of silk in a great number of ways, both as an imitation and as a substitute.

    It seems people are not successful when it comes to claim money for buying a fake carpet/rug. Every single day I’m still triying to get hold of them…

  • On 10.16.10 Toby wrote:

    i’m in istanbul at the moment and almost bought a silk rug that i liked – really glad i decided to think on it and do some research first. thanks to everyone that contributed to this page. to be honest even if it is chinese, since i liked it, i wouldn’t mind buying it anyway if it was represented and priced as such.

    matis looks like a disaster, they even post on the internet looking for chinese suppliera

  • On 10.17.10 Chloe wrote:

    I can’t believe how Matis can get away with it!!
    Word mouth is one of the most poweful tools for building a successful company, I don’t think they are aware of this! and to be honest I don’t even think they care…

  • On 10.17.10 Anonymous wrote:

    I would like to know what are Ozden carpets? Wool? Made in Turkey.

  • On 11.10.10 Bob B wrote:

    I bought a number of rugs from a dealer in Foca (Izmir) and brought them back to Edinburgh. No idea if they are what I was tld they were, but if I want to exchange them, the dealer is now visiting me in Scotland once a year! (Friends did exchange a rug recently). I do feel sometime s that I’m being haunted :)

  • On 12.06.10 Richard wrote:

    Just had a customer come into the store for an appraisal of a carpet she purchased in Turkey. She paid $11,000 for the silk carpet at a cruise recommended establishment. I appraised the piece for $4500 but noted that the carpet was in fact defective. The weaver of the piece dyed the warps and wefts probably to help retain design continuity. The dye applied to the warp and weft was bleeding into the pile of the carpet. If one is buying a silk or ivory field finely knotted carpet it is always a good idea to check for these marks on the back of the piece.

  • On 01.07.11 Kolya wrote:

    The naïvete evident in some of these posts is as touching as it is disturbing. I would no sooner purchase something as specialized as a handmade rug without direct consultation and assistance from a seasoned expert than I would purchase a financial product without the expertise of an investment banker or a racehorse without hiring an equine appraiser.
    It seems some of our traveling compatriots have a bit too much disposable income!

  • On 01.08.11 Jim wrote:

    Kolya, If you have been to turkey you would understand how the continual bombardment and sales pitches from everyone including the people that work in your hotel will wear out anyone. I finally purchased a carpet near my hotel because I got tired of the carpet salesmen hawking me for the two weeks I was in Istanbul. They are relentless. So alot of these purchases are done because of persuasion and not necessarily because of logic or want.

  • On 01.15.11 Zubeyde wrote:

    I read most of the comments here and your experiences really made me sad about my country. Turkish government still does nothing to properly market the rich cultural heritage of Anatolia. There is hardly any control over the rug market. There is no governmental plan to develop geographical patents such as Ushak (Oushak) carpets, Hereke, Ghiordes, Sivas carpets and to protect these cultural values. Most of the carpet sellers just behave according to their short term earnings, and treat the tourists as a source of easy money, they sell Chinese products as Turkish carpets and just try to make money as much as possible. And the most pathetic part of this scene is no governmental body is controlling them, there is no legal regulations over the handmade carpet industry. Hence the real producers who live in Ushak, Hereke, Sivas, Milas suffer from this uncontrolled conditions as much as you foreign buyers. They still produce quality, hand made carpets but they hardly ever see any foreign buyers, and they usually have to sell their carpets to Turkish dealers with relatively low prices.

    I think nearly 30% of the carpets are Chinese products in Istanbul. If you are an expert buy from a dealer from Istanbul, otherwise you can buy fake carpets easily. I think it is much safer to buy from a reliable seller in your home country. Or buy from the small towns in Turkey where the carpets are produced.

  • On 01.16.11 Richard wrote:

    Zubeyde,
    Well said!

  • On 01.27.11 John wrote:

    I am deployed in Kuwait. They sell rugs in the PX here. They have hand made silk ones for $4200. I have always wanted one. I have no idea if that is a good deal or what to look for. Any advice?

  • On 01.27.11 Richard wrote:

    John,
    Don’t do it.

  • On 02.14.11 g gill wrote:

    I was totally and completely defrauded by a couple of Turkish rug salesmen. I spent some time in Turkey and would have never believed that i could have been lied to so bad. I purchased for a huge price a rug that was represented as silk and it turned out to be cotton. These guys were from New Jersey, originally from Turkey.

  • On 03.12.11 Aussie wrote:

    We purchased 2 rugs from Mezat Rugs Gallery Carpets and Kilms. AT the Grand Bazaar.

    We were truly conned – paid way to much for our rugs – but we love them so I guess that is a concession. We paid $6000 for a large wool rug, and a small antique (?) rug.

    They actually scammed us big time. These guys in particular targeted Australians as they had scouts around the bazaar and when they heard an aussie accent they roped you in.

    The owner Ali and his daughter Rana – from Australia. Originally from Turkey – moved to Sydney then back to Turkey to make the big bucks scamming Aussies. So beware – don’t believe the little spiel they give you about getting the tax money back – it doesn’t happen. They told us that we were getting $30000 worth of rugs for $6000. As I said we love our rugs but their sales technique was a little off putting.

    Know what you want to pay – I am sure they will find you what you want – if you stick to your price.

  • On 03.14.11 Richard wrote:

    Amen Aussie! If it seems too goo to be true….

  • On 03.26.11 Lynda Blakely wrote:

    Just returned from Istanbul last Sunday. We purchased an 8X 10 wool rug from Matis outside the grand bazaar. paid 7600.00 after salesman starting off with price of 14,000.Went on a tour and were taken to matis from our bus. had to sit through a very interesting presentation of how turkish rugs were made and shown some beautiful carpets. after presentation we stayed. Flet like we should purchased a turkish rug in turkey and it would be something we would always cherish from our trip. Am sure hoping we get a nice rug.Just visited the matis website to try and view their rugs. Can’t remember what region our rug was supposedly made in. We were promised it would arrive before 6 weeks time. Will take a picture and e-mail once we receive it. It sounds like we will be stuck no matter what so my hope is we love the rug and enjoyed our stay iin Turkey and will keep the experience with us but will also be more cautious if we ever decide to purchase something this expensive in another country. Lynda

  • On 04.08.11 Unnamed Rug Dealer wrote:

    You may find both honest and dishonest rug dealers in istanbul. Yes, lately they are selling Chinese fake silk rugs in Turkey but there are still a lot of Turkish pure silk Kayseri and Hereke rugs in Turkey. One should never go shopping with a tour guide because they take a 30% commission.

  • On 04.13.11 amanda smith wrote:

    what would be the retail price i should pay for a Turkish pure silk kayseri or hereke hand made rug per metre square?

  • On 04.26.11 James Hamilton wrote:

    ANOTHER Aussie conned by Mezat rug at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Ali and Daughter Clare conned me to direct deposit $8000 into their Sydney bank account but 9 months later I STILL have not received the Rug. Fraud and fraudulent misrepresentation, lies and promises. I will pursue this to my utmost.

  • On 04.27.11 Irene and Jeff Spinks wrote:

    We recently visited Istanbul, bought a lovely rug from Matis who promised a 4 – 6 week delivery. Cost of delivery was included in the price we paid. To our surprise, exactly one week after our return to Cape Town, our beautiful rug was delivered to our door – sent via DHL by air mail. Our experience in dealing with Matis was superb. We hope to enjoy our rug for many years to come.

  • On 05.06.11 Chloe wrote:

    Right, I have written before about my personal experience at Matis.

    This is something I found online
    http://www.made-in-china.com/traderoom/sevancirak

    Look at the website’s name.
    How frustrating is that?

  • On 05.20.11 Steve wrote:

    In a carpet co operative near a place in Turkey called Pamukale, We bought a pure silk on silk, hereke cinar tapestry which was 50cm x 66cm, 10 x 10 turkish knots p/cm2, (cert of auth included) it took one year to make and it’s a beautiful design of Jesus and his disciples at the last supper. He first offered £6000 and we got him down to £3900. Did we get a good deal?

  • On 05.21.11 Richard wrote:

    Steve,
    As I said in my email, you rarely get good deals in Turkey. There is a psychology to carpet selling and it goes something like this. The carpet dealer buys a carpet from a weaver or distributor for x amount of money. To make it clearer we’ll just say that the price was $500. The dealer can set the price at whatever he chooses. In most places the dealer will inflate the price of the carpet to make room for negotiation. Here we will say that the carpet dealer puts a price of $5000 on the piece. To make a profit and pay the overhead we will say that the dealer needs to make $1500 on the piece. Anything between $5000 and $1500 is pure gravy. Some people will talk the dealer down to $4000, some $2000, and a few to $1500. The sad truth is that many probably pay the full price. It seems to me for the customer it’s all related to winning or getting the upper hand. For the dealer it’s just an act. The strangest part is that it’s been going on for thousands of years and people still walk away feeling like they won the battle, when in fact they just played the part. To me, working in a company that has an across the board mark up, and a no negotiation policy, it seems a bit unseemly. To most it’s just part of the business. Recently I heard about a dealer in my area that sold a carpet for $20,000 that should have retailed for $5000. The customer walked away happy because he talked the dealer down to $20,000 from $28,000. Does the customer’s happiness excuse the dealer’s wind fall. I think not.

  • On 05.24.11 nz tourist wrote:

    we brought a carpet from merzat grand bazaar .silk ? about 5/5/11 and now reading the above posts are wondering whether we will ever see it !!! we have there card and now realise they dont have a website and only a g mail adfdress oh dear very odd for company so looks like we have done our money thanks to all posts just a leason learnt at least we have a photo of our supposedly purchased carpet !!!

  • On 05.29.11 Rick wrote:

    I have just returned from Turkey (Izmir) and bought two rugs from a company called The HALI village carpets and Kilims (www.thehali.net) I bought one that was wool (natural wool colors) Black, white and shades in between and one silk. The sizes are 286X196 for the silk identified as a Kayseri. The Wool rug is 303X205. I have pictures of the rugs but don’t see a way to attach the photos. Have you heard anything bad about this company and could you give me your opinion on my purchase. I paid $2,250 and $15,000.

  • On 06.01.11 jeanne wrote:

    Ok I have read all the stories, and would like to add my bit. I bought rugs from Mezat Rugs in the Grand Bazaar, I KNOW I paid a good price, and I DIDN”T have to get a refund with tax as I didn’t pay any. I bought them at the start of my trip on the 4th May 2011 and they arrived at my home today 1st June 2011.Besides that I also had my own personal guide, thanks to them around the Bazaar which was a great help. The experience was amazing to say the least. By the way India also do good rugs, why hasn’t anyone mentioned them?!

  • On 06.06.11 Elizabeth wrote:

    I recently returned from an amazing two week trip to Turkey. I have always wanted a Turkish rug, preferably neutral colors but since I live in an apartment, 5×7 was a tad too large but 4×6 was perfect so I aimed for that size. I visited a manufacturer in Cappadocia. Took the tour first of the women weaving the rugs, then a presentation of how they collect silk then a presentation in a larger room with rugs galore. I fell in love with a neutral 4×6 wool on cotton. Original asking price was $2k for rugs in that size and material. Once I said no to 2k, he asked for $1650 for the one I wanted and after an hour of negotiating and even walking away we settled on an even $1000 including shipping etc. I put one payment and still owe 2 more. I get a feeling and I even knew at the time that I was paying too much for it but it is beautiful and I do love it. Do you think that was fair or over paid and by how much? Since I’m still making payments what could I do? I have the rug now (with my signature on the back label) in my home plus a certificate.

  • On 06.07.11 Jim wrote:

    Elizabeth, I was in turkey 9.5 years ago when rugs were reasonably priced. I bought a 3.5 by 7 wool on cotton yahyali in cappadocia for $275. I was at ABC carpets in New york City last month looking at carpets.

    The price of carpets has skyrocketed in the last 5 or 10 years. I think it is because of the internet and globalizaton. These turkish women no longer want to work for $1 a day. I was told and I believe my carpet took 4 months to weave. So it cost the seller about $120 and he sold for $275. Now I think these women are commanding higher wages and that will raise the cost of purchasing the rug for the dealer who then passes the cost on to the customer.

    My carpet type and size at ABC carpet now sells for $1400 after negotiating. You may have overpaid for your carpet but it sounds like with the way prices are these days it may actually be what it’s worth. If you like it, thats the main thing.

  • On 06.07.11 Elizabeth wrote:

    Thanks Jim!

    It really is an incredible art. I believe the place was Carpetium in Cappadocia. I sat with a woman while she was working (room of about 8 ladies) and honestly I can understand the cost they command these days if indeed all the rugs there were hand made by these women. The boss (while negotiating) told me my carpet cost $750 for them to make…if that were true. I couldn’t get him in the $900′s and I was exhausted after the first hour of negotiating. It really is a treasure, soft and luxurious and looks so wonderful in my home. I remember while negotiating he was showing me rugs of lesser quality and design that fit my budget (500-800) but the one I bought was far superior. I am happy and the country is fantastic can’t wait to revisit.

  • On 06.08.11 JIm wrote:

    Elizabeth,

    Turkey is an amazing place to be a tourist. I was there in January/February 2002 and remember the trip like it was yesterday. I was in Istanbul, Efes, Cappadocia, and Izmir. I was there for 17 days and should have stayed there the whole 30 days I was away. Berlin and Copenhagen in the winter is not that interesting. Turkey in the winter is very interesting.

    One of my few possesions I have kept long term is my turkish yahyali rug. The quality is excellent, the pattern is excellent and I will keep this rug forever. It is in the center of my apartment and I love it. It still looks brand new after almost 10 years and I walk on it all the time.

    I purchased my carpet in cappadocia also, but I dont remember the name of the shop. There were 3 salesmen working with me. Since this was just after 9/11 very few American tourist were in turkey so I had bargaining power. Also their economy had collapsed at that time. Everything was very cheap. Most hotels were from $2 dollars to $10 dollars a night. I paid $10 and had breakfast served at my door with cable and internet. I stayed at the Hotel sultanhamet in Istanbul and my hotel overlooked the Blue Mosque. Now that Hotel is about $100 a night or more. I was entertaining the idea of revisiting turkey last year but decided not to go.
    forever. It reminds me of my trip and is in the center of my studio.

    I hope you keep your carpet forever. The price you payed sounds about what they are selling for now. Check some of the website prices of shops in turkey. That will also give you an idea of what is out there and prices.

    Anyway, If you can, please email a picture of your carpet and if you have any pictures of turkey I would love to see them.

    Thanks, Jim
    My email is jerseyjm@gmail.com

  • On 06.09.11 Kan wrote:

    I have just come back from Turkey with a 30 years old wool carpet (106cm*160cm). The price is around 300 USD. Based on the comments from all other carpet dealers, it is a great bargain. I like it very much. My suggestion to you is:
    (1) (you can go but) do not buy carpets from the dealers who hire people to work for them on the street.
    (2) Ask them if their silk carpets are chemical dye or nature dye. If they say nature dye, you can leave (almost surely).
    (3) Go to at least 3~5 carpet shops, and I suggest including the following one: Gallery Ottoman, Arasta Bazaar, NO.139, Sultanahmet, Istanbul. The boss, Fahrettin, is a honest guy. They do not have too many selections, since they try to be out of the business. However, if you are lucky enough to find one you like, you may buy a carpet which everyone tells you a good deal.

  • On 06.14.11 Tania wrote:

    Any suggestions on how to select wool rug. How many stitches? What is the prioce per square foot/ meter? Any useful other things to note or ask? Thanks

  • On 06.17.11 Rug Dealer in Turkey wrote:

    What has suprised me so much is that people who have absolutely no knowledge of the mediterranian culture or the art produced can speak so badly of the people who try to teach you….
    İn every type sales department wherever in the world it is,they must make profit .
    some have no concience and do make huge amounts of profit whilst some are more humble and just try to spread the art of a dying culture your judgement of character should allow you to feel wheither the person trying to sell you something is being fair or not and as for the prices you are all so worried about i dont understand the dilemma… ın macys or ikea people are paying thousands for machine made pieces of plastic that take less than an hour to be made but when it comes to handmade pieces of art that take months or years of work people are so worried they are going to get ripped off a measly 500dollars … its absurd.However much you spend in Turkey on rugs do know this a rug that is handmade will always be worth something and depending on the material will/can make you a small fortune in years to come
    Wheither the carpet you purchase is egyptian. turkish or iranian … silk cotton wool or mercerised cotton isnt the important thing that you have a nice memory of your travels that suits your home and lifestyle?
    for the people who come to Turkey and purchase carpets from our country İ would like to say thankyou on behalf of all the carpet dealers.. you are helping us to spread our culture throughout the world….

  • On 07.02.11 Beth wrote:

    Thank you for all the sage advice. I am traveling to Turkey in 2 weeks and hope to find a wool carpet for my son and daughter-in-law. I own several turkish rugs and HOPE i can get a fair deal.

    I enjoyed reading ALL the comments.

    We will have a Turkish guide so hoping he will be helpful/honest.

  • On 07.22.11 Anonymous wrote:

    I have recently visisted Turkey very beutiful country but people spcially the vendors are not very nice. They are looking for every opportunity to deceive you. My experience was terible starting from currency exchange store, food store to a reputed carpet store (MATIS) in grandbazaar. You could not even trust your tour guide as we were led to the carpet store (MATIS) at grand bazaar by our tour guide without our knowledge and once you are in you are trapped into the claws of the carpet salesmen. All people do is try to look for opportunity to deceive you so be vary careful if you are planning to visit Turkey soon.

  • On 09.05.11 Elizabeth wrote:

    Puhleez~This is an informational blog, not a free appraisal service. The number of posters looking for free services from the blogger is embarassing to responsible internet users everywhere. If you want an appraisal go pay for one. If you need help buying a rug don’t expect a dealer to advise you without being able to see the thing. Duh! If it sounds too good to be true it probably IS. If it sounds too expensive it probably IS. Thanks for the hours of work this site represents. You’re much nicer than most of these free loaders deserve.

  • On 09.08.11 Richard wrote:

    Thank You Elizabeth. I answer about 100 emails a week and rarely receive even a thanks.

  • On 09.20.11 Jennifer Tsapatsaris wrote:

    We bought a silk on silk Hereke rug from Gordes in Istanbul in late August. We paid $10k for it and just had an appraisal done only to find out , while it is silk on silk, it’s only worth $7660. I’m upset since the cost in Lira listed on the rug was 35,000 much more than $10k based on the current exchange rate. It’s a great rug, but I can not insure it for what I paid for it. I was also taken here by a tour guide and felt like I was trapped and there were a lot of cruise groups being brought in as well. Has anyone had any experience with filing a compliant on an international transaction like this. I went to Gordes website today and they have either pulled it or it’s down becuase it’s not the comprehensive site that I saw a few weeks ago.

  • On 09.22.11 Elizabeth wrote:

    Jennifer I understand your dismay at having paid more for your rug than it can be appraised for. But if you loved it when you bought it, why not consider it money well spent for an item you’ll hopefully enjoy for years to come? As for filing a complaint, what do you expect to accomplish? Tourists want to buy rugs and vendors in these countries want your $$$. Getting the best possible price for their rugs sounds to be an accepted part of the culture if the above posts are any indication. Elevating your blood pressure trying to change the Turkish rug industry is more apt to hurt you than the rug company.

    If you want real excitement try shopping the under <$50 hand knotted rugs on EBay. My “new excellent condition” 3X5 rug for $25 also has a foot long badly repaired vertical slit through the foundation. But it’s wool, and warm, I knew I was being “had” so my pride is intact, and it’s a gorgeous foot warmer for the end of my bed. Smile.

  • On 09.22.11 JIm wrote:

    Elizabeth

    You are incredibly insensitive to tell Jennifer it is money well spent. This lady was ripped off or overcharged $2360 dollars over the appraised value on a carpet.

    My entire trip to turkey and europe including holland and germany for one month cost me $2200 and I bough a nice carpet, kilem and a silk on wool.
    That included airfare, souvenirs, and food and entertainment.

    Jennifer, file your complaints if it makes you fell better. $2360 is a lot of money.

  • On 09.22.11 Elizabeth wrote:

    I’m sorry you feel that way. And yes you are correct that if focusing time, hate and negative energy filing a complaint makes her feel better it will no doubt be therapeutic. Will it get her a refund? Will it make her rug worth more? Will it change the buyer beware overseas carpet industry? If you can help her find the website that’s been taken down please do so. I tried but the Google link I found no longer works.

  • On 09.22.11 Jennifer Tsapatsaris wrote:

    Hi Elizabeth and Jim,

    I appreciate both of your points of view. I didn’t think Elizabeth’s comment was insensitive, simply realistic. But Jim, you feel my pain!

    I like the rug, I won’t say that I will ever be able to look at it now and say I love it – I feel burned by it.

    I guess my point in filing a complaint – maybe through my credit card company – is simply to prevent someone else from being taken in by this particular company. It was like the Tiffany’s of Istanbul – 5 stories of luxury items in a posche setting with tea served to you in a beautfiul room while gorgeous carpets are laid out in front of you to walk across in your barefeet so you can experience the luxury first hand (or foot)! I had no reason to doubt that it would not appraise for at least the value I paid. I think there is a video on you tube of a carpet viewing at Gordes even. What makes me feel bad is all the groups of tourists that were being marched through that very establishment like herds of cattle….all feeling like I did, a (false) sense of honesty /integrity from a company that turned out not to be.

    Sigh…but it is a beautiful rug.

  • On 09.27.11 for James Hamilton wrote:

    04.26.11 James Hamilton
    finally a good ending…. My father had to travel back to the bazarre 18 months later to see Mezat rug at the Grand Bazaar !!! How happy they were to see my father (and I am sure shocked)! Hopefully now another rug is on it’s way to Australia. But my 83 year young father had to return to the store to get what belonged to him. They at this store should be totally ashamed and disgusted with themselves with their scammed behaviour ! $8,000 Aud was nearly lost and now hopefuly all is resolved. Please all be aware !

  • On 09.28.11 Safiye wrote:

    I am a Turkish collector of antique rugs living in Istanbul. Silk is not interesting for me, so I do not go to shops where this is a specialty. However, in my experience if the rug dealer is willing to bargain with you you can count on that you are bring cheated. The kinds of shops used by locals and serious collectors will not be giving a %50 discount even to the best customer. I will not trust somewhere who gives me such unrealistic price and discount. In a long time I have not bought the new rugs, so maybe market in these can be different, but for antique rugs if they promise an incredible price, it is not true.

  • On 10.08.11 MARLIES wrote:

    Thank you for the valuable information.
    I treated myself to a purchase of a very small, 54cm x 39cm, ~13×13 = 169 per sqcmvery expensive silk on silk carpet from Ladik Halicilik Kuy. They promised November delivery (shipping and handling is included in the price, not free!!)I received the correct item three weeks after purchase.
    It is a Ozipek Ince, name integrated and knotted on top border.
    I boughht it as a piece of art. the pattern is “der traurige Herbst= the somber autumn”. I probably paid too much. I did not get a written first quote, which I believe was around Euro 14000. There was another slightly larger piece for 18000 and an even larger one for 36000 Euro. I paid around 10000 Euro which I now believe is probably too much. However as I like this piece of art, wether it is the real thing or not. My problem is with hanging it on the wall. It has a red Ribben sewed on, however after inserting a wooden rod and hanging it up, the fringes naturally slope down. I consider framing it and need advice on how to proceed. The fringes would still bend down, unless there is a way to fix them. I am very reluctant to stick anything on them as not to damage the piece. For any advice I would be most grateful.
    Keep up the good work, I might not have bought had I researched before I departed for my fabulous Bus Tour. Turkey is a great country.
    PS Jewellery buying is another sore point in Turkey. Pressure and hype is very high. Ring looked great on my pinky, however after it was enlarged it did not fit and slides off my fingers
    Again much too expensive in comparison with local products.
    Again, thanks and best regards
    Marlies

  • On 10.09.11 Vera wrote:

    9/10/2011 Bought a rug in Matis shop outside the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul on 17/3/2011. Agreed that they would deliever it first week of June 2011 when I am back in UK.

    Whilst on board ship I realised the measurements were incorrect to what I had specified and the US Dollar ($) had been changed to a pound(£)sign. Tried to contact them to cancel the order to no avail due to network problems.

    Upon arrival in UK I emailed them and followed the customer policy as per their receipt and there were no response. Instead of them delivering the rug first week of June as agreed an attempt to deliver was made in May and I was not UK receive it. Delivery people refused to deliver at alternate address. Upon my return the rug was being returned back to Turkey. Telephoned the number on the card and was informed that it was in Holland on route to Turkey. I have emailed Matis and wrote to the company, seeking confirmation from them if they have received the rug, after searching numerous websites for a full official buisness address (I hoped) and so far no response. Spoke with my credit company and they seem unhelpful.

    Having read the other comments above is there hope for me either being reimbursed the monies of purchase now owed, as I do not have the rug and am paying off the credit card? By the way the purchase turned out to be £1,900:00 for a 5′x 7′ rug size.

    I would appreciate suggestions of next level as I have written and am in contact with Trading Standards.
    Thank you.

  • On 10.13.11 Haydon wrote:

    13/10/11 – Just returned from Turkey
    Buying carpets is a fun activity but has lots of risk. Find out as much as you can before buying. That is fun in itself as the dealers all spin there very clever sales stories.
    We discovered lots of tricks – including acid washing new carpets – which is common – makes them look aged. Found out scammers and trusted few, – A good thing to lnow is to check the back colour and top colour – if its aged naturally the colours will be brightest on the underside – no sun light – if its the same shade its not old. Still we brought some and enjoyed the experiance

  • On 10.13.11 Caanadian wrote:

    We were in Istanbul for a holiday. My husband and I had no intention whatsoever of buying a rug. But as we were waiting for someone in party, we entered the Mezat Rug store in the Grand Bazaar. What a mistake. Ali and his daughter scammed us into buying two rugs, with the false information. We had to pay the tax and they would take the expensive carpet back from us for the full refund and we get to keep the second one for free. I guess we were gullible or maybe even stupid to believe such lies. I would warn TO STAY AWAY FROM MEZAT RUGS STORE, unless you are ready to be taken in.
    So sad that for money people lose their conciense and ethics.

  • On 10.14.11 Haydon wrote:

    Also stay away from “Elegance Rugs” Istanbul – Found that they had Acid washed a new rug and called it 80 years old – high pressure sales – When you put the pressure on they back away and act offened to avoid the enivitable discovery – These people are very clever and use all the mind taping and heart tugging tricks that they have learnt over many many years – again as per above comments if it is offered as a unbelievable bargin it probebly isnt! If they are antique and as good a deal as they say – other dealers would buy them quickly. If you liked it, it wouldnt matter if the price was realstic – as they will still be good rugs but they are presented and priced as something else.
    The traders are not all bad – just its hard to tell sometimes – so do your homework !

  • On 10.17.11 natalie wrote:

    am currently in istanbul, and am eyeing off a few wool rugs from sisko osman at the grand bazaar. Wondering if anyone has some feedback about this dealer??

    Thanks in advance!

  • On 10.22.11 John wrote:

    I hear he is reputable. His name is in all the guidebooks. Not sure though.!

  • On 10.25.11 haluk bostanci wrote:

    hi,
    first of all i am Turk and living in Turkey. After living about 7 yrs at east reagion of Turkey ( due to governmental work) we moved west with a single Kilim from where we bought. so later our friends saw our Kilim and they wanted also, where our story starts. So my wife started to contact dealer at east and south east region ( mean time almost %100 of the carpet dealer were Kurdish). and I know majorty of the Carpet seller in Istanbul is Kurds. So, we brought about 12 Kilim, and they were easly bought by friends and neighbours. The reason we ve just keept one kilim, and gave the price to other 11 kilim, so we were collecting kilim and fr,ends were getting cheap kilim also. Initially no body wasked or cleaned kilim, until one our friend washed, and it turned out that is smearing colors. So w e switched our seller who lied us about dying. Finally my wife deals with some arabic oriented guy from South east (from K Maras)so honest he never bugs us about repayment, divides whole payments, so easy and honest person. we enjoy bussines with him also. so, i am kind of snical about who has carpet show in home town and talking about Turkish bussines and seller. so kind of they say they sell %100 non problematic rug or kilim. since, no body knows exaxtly that actually woven person used what kind of material while making rugor carpet. The quality of fiber also varies. so seller also belives that person. If weaver lies, so seller would be misinformed also. So, who we will belive, who sells fibers to weavers? unless weaver produce his/her own hand made fiber, and him/heerself dyes, then no problem. Bu no one produce hand made fibers( especially wool ones). so, most of fiber produsers also like Chine, Germany, Eygpy, Turkey etc, teh seller at those country also have some sort of blame. If they sell easly fast dyed fibers, they say flos as silk fiber, how should weaver ( mostly not educated, not even read or write), and not educated dealer ( can hardly read and write most), and sure the character of that person also is important.
    Any way, as most say, never give up enjoying Kilim, you can sure identify wool! so buy wool rugs and carpets, and enjoy the color and design which you can not find at home. Never thing that other sellers and bussines peoplein Turkey are also dishonest as some might have . Turism sector in Turkey unfortunately dominated with Kurds, perhaps they deliver cheap labor, or perhaps they like to live in those region and due to all sorts of serving sectors. so they dont wholly represent whole country. with my respects

  • On 10.25.11 haluk bostanci wrote:

    let me share one of my kilim experience, i am driving west of Turkey, we saw tribal towm put all rugs lied on sun. It is like open carpet museum, we stopped and asked why they laid all carpets, and answers was simple TO AGITATE, to make them look like old, theye were using sunshine to disclorized. So, there are many trics on old rugs and carpets as far as amaetor i can say. So why buy old carpet? unless you are really expert on rug/ kilim so. If you are regular user, go buy new one naturally dyed Kilim/ carpets. Make sure you enjoy pattern, color matches your upsholdry( chair, curtain, floor etc) so, my personal enjoy is SiNE KiLiM, which has both side has same pattern and You can use those Kilim’s both side, hard to see joining knots, though some may not enjoy pattern on those, so repetetive patters they carry. But it is hard to find, if it suits your joy, ask for “Sine” or “sinem” Kilim. Be advized that blac, blue and red is mainly root dye colors, so adverse colors ( pink, sky blue etc) may indicate it is not root dye, but it is not necessarly mean dye has problem.

  • On 10.30.11 Vera wrote:

    30/10/2011

    I wrote on the 9/10/2011 regarding the rug I bought which I had not received then and still paying for it. Just to say I have received it and is the correct size which is 10feet by 7feet. I am still negotiating the price.

    Thank you all for your informative information. I have learnt a lot and am wiser.

  • On 11.06.11 sue wrote:

    I bought a rug at Gordes, Istanbul in July, very funny experience stuck in a room with 3 sales persons! It is cotton on wool I look at it every day and love it! They wanted $5300 I paid $3600. Not sure if I was ripped off or not, don’t care I love it!

  • On 11.08.11 Cindy wrote:

    My husband and I bought a 6 x 9 wool rug at the Collective in Kusadasi. I paid 1650.00 and was wondering if anyone has heard anything about this place. we had a private tour guide who took us there and I’m hoping he was honest. The rug has a pretty pattern that was referred to as one of the palatial designs. It is wool with a sort of embroidered finish on the top. Anyone know this place or can help me out? Thanks!

  • On 11.19.11 WindSpirit wrote:

    We bought a handmade carpet from Galata Quality for $2,400 USD and it arrived in Canada without any additional fees or charges.

    We certainly over paid…

    However, overpayment was not the worst aspect of our purchase. Galata Quality used a “bait and switch” tactic on us :( The carpet we received was of the same pattern, and was hand-made, but was also a cheaper version of what we had actually intended to purchase.

    I would highly recommend that people avoid buying carpets in Turkey (they cannot be returned because of Turkish import/export laws), but rather, buy them from a reputable retailer in their own country, or a country that provides a return / refund policy. GALATA QUALITY is not a reputable retailer, in our experience!

    It would have been far wiser for us to purchase our carpet in Canada, and it would have cost us much less too :(

    Oh well, live and learn :)

  • On 12.06.11 Matt wrote:

    Just returned from Istanbul. Does anyone have experience with Aladdin Carpet Shop in the Hilton Istanbul? I saw some beauties there. All seemed overpriced but when I go back in a few months I may try to bargain with them. Are they truth-tellers regarding their merchandise?

    While I was there this time, I bought a wonderful Kayseri floral, wool-on-cotton, 6 sq m (200 x 300), for $1200 from Gallery Ottoman, probably about 50 years old, very good to excellent condition. I liked their small shop and regular guys hanging out with the owner, who was not pushy. I can’t believe it looks even more beautiful at home than in the shop!

  • On 01.07.12 Tomoko wrote:

    We were 6 japanese people when we went to Cappadocia and nobody knew about carpets.One of my friends bought a sumak for 1100 US dollars and later we found similar one,same size,for 300 US dollars in another shop!!!My friend was so upset!And you know,the dealer said that he makes the same price that he has bought for!
    I heard from a turkish woman in cappadocia,that carpet dealers there,have different tricks:they invite you for dinner or even drinking a cup of apple tea and then they try to sell you something!They say that they have to pay to workers or a bank and they need money so they’re selling cheap(just a lie).and ….Be careful please!
    Also,I don’t remember the name of the shop that my friend bought,but it was close to a mosque in Goreme (Cappadocia) and a huge carpet shop!
    I hope you will find an honest dealer!

  • On 01.16.12 Jim wrote:

    I was just in ABC carpets in New York City Yesterday and saw a Yahyali carpet that was 3X6 feet. The Price was $1999. The knots were not tight at all very loose and big. I asked them what is the lowest price they would take cash and they said 1800 plus tax of 8.75%. That would put the rug well over $1900 dollars.

    I purchase a Yahyali carpet in February 2002 of the same design with very tight knots and is 3.5X7 feet for $275 in Urgup Turkey. The salesman said the price of buying turkish carpets has skyrocketed and that is why it is so expensive.

    My advice to all carpet shoppers. If you think you are going to get a bargain at ABC Carpets in New York, one of the largest carpet shops in the world, think again. The prices are very very expensive and they will only go down 10% but then add the 8.75% tax. d\

  • On 01.18.12 Sean wrote:

    If my mom would read all the articles posted, she should just have fun on the flying carpet demons in Gordes carpet store in Istanbul when she took the Cunard Line cruise trip in 2011. She got robbed by paying more than $10,000 on a so called silk carpet and received a different one at home in US. We can only pray for her accepting the deal. Any good suggestions for her.

  • On 02.21.12 Q wrote:

    Hello everyone,

    I would like to exchange the kilim rug I bought in Turkey but have been warned that if I send it back to the shop, the receiver may have to pay heavy import tax.

    Is that correct?

    If so, is there a way around it?

    Thank you for any advice you may be able to give me.

    Q

  • On 02.27.12 detay halı yıkama wrote:

    El dokuma halılarının kalitesini ipliklerinin cinsi ,düğüm sıklığı ve boyası belirler.El dokuma halılarında kullanılan boya suyla temas ettiğinde çözülebilir.Dokuma halılarda iki türlü boya kullanılmaktadır.Kök boyası ve kimyasal boyalar.Kök boyası kimyasal boyalara göre daha canlı görünen bir boyadır,daha parlak bir görünum verir.Her iki boyanın da kullanıldiği el dokuma halıların yıkanması işleminde tecrubeli olunmazsa geri dönuşumu olmayan problemler çıkabilir.Bu sebeple el dokuma halılarınızı kesinlikle profosyonel halı yıkama firmalarına yıkatmanizi tavsiye ediyoruz.El dokuma halılarının boyası yıkama işlemi esnasında birbirine karışırsa veya solarsa çaresi yoktur.

  • On 03.01.12 Murat from Cappadocia wrote:

    I would like to make a comment on Kayseri Silk Carpets! Yes they exist but should not be confused with cotton, cotton with shine, or look-a-like silk carpets. These are also Kayseri (as well as wool on cotton rugs of the region). And yes, the Kayseri Silk Carpets are real silk; maybe the rugs bought by the poster were the mercerised cotton (a type of artificial silk) on cotton type. Prices for these are different than the real silk ones.

    One suggestion for future rug buyers in Turkey, if you choose a rug and want it to be shipped home and want to be sure you are getting the one you bought (unfortunatelly sometimes we hear of different carpets being shipped, although we’ve never heard of this problem with the reputable dealers). On 99% of all rugs there is a label attached at the back with size and name of the producer or the rug store. Take a permanent marker, sign both on the label and on the back of the rug. Take a picture of yourself with the rug and another one from the corner where you signed.

    You may also think you bought a greenish carpet but after a month you forget it was blueish :-) So your picture and signature will be there to check if your purchase is the correct one.

    Happy shopping,
    Murat

  • On 03.01.12 Johanna wrote:

    Hello! In 2003 I bought two carpets from Gallery Anatolia – My paperwork says Gaferli Mahallesi Goreme Kasabasi 50180 Nevsehir Turkey. The paperwork states that they are new, Sumak, silk on cotton, seccade. I paid $1600 USD for both and they were shipped to the US (If I remember correctly that was included). I just found the paperwork (the rugs are at my parent’s home in another state so I can’t look at them)and was curious of their “real” value and nosing around came across this very interesting blog. I was on a business trip so we had knowledgeable impartial Turks along, but I was nervous because I was clearly so clueless myself on carpets. I seem to recall that they wove rugs there as well (I was kind of out of it – tours and balloon rides and celebrating a mill’s 100th anniversary took it’s toll on me!). I haven’t found any info on “silk on cotton” rugs at all so I was wondering if I had been had? The mercerized cotton thing? Or is this a reputable company? Thanks in advance….

  • On 03.19.12 CB wrote:

    We were in Grodes a few weeks ago. They brought out lots and lots of carpets. Silk, wool and cotton. They seemed to very upfront about silk carpets and cotton carpets. They laid some down side by side and it was verY tough to tell the difference. All had high knot counts. The only difference I could see was the silk carpets were pliable. When rolled out they fell flat. The cotton on cotton were as pliable. The silk and cotton carpets changed color as they were turned and they both felt about the same. All I can say is Grodes said this is silk and costs $8000 and this one is cotton and costs $4000.00. I don’t know about carpets, but these guys seemed not to be selling cotton for silk. We purchased a small cotton on cotton.

  • On 03.23.12 Ron R wrote:

    Richard and all:
    We are now in Bodrum Turkey for a month on a home exchange. Are interested only in a new, handmade 1 X 2 meter wool rug. This site has been very helpful in evaluating what to look for and where to buy. We expect to buy here in a nearby village or at the Sazkoy Village Cooperative. Seems like around $200-$250 is fair. Comments/suggestions?

  • On 06.04.12 Chris C wrote:

    I purchased three rugs at Galata Quality in Selcuk: a 4×6 ft cotton, a 2 x 8 ft cotton runner, and a 3 x 5 ft silk on silk, for $10,750, after negotiation. Orig asking price on silk was over $12000 for the three. I received them today and the DHL receipt shows a total price for the 3 units of $875.00. I don’t know exactly what that means, but I fear it means I got taken for about $10,000! They are charged but not paid for yet — should I dispute the purchase on my credit card? Any comments or advice?

  • On 06.04.12 Chris C wrote:

    Oops — typo above. Orig asking price on silk alone was $6500, $3500 for the 4×6, and $3000 for the runner. So, $13000, and he said he’d discount to $12000 for the 3 rugs. We finally agreed on $10,750. Again, have I been royally taken?

  • On 06.04.12 Dave wrote:

    Chris, it’s likely that a lower value was declared on the shipment to help you avoid paying import taxes. Whether you were charged a fair price for the carpets is another story. To be sure, you may want to have the carpets professionally appraised by someone in your area. The owner of this website may also be able to provide some info if you send some pictures of your rugs to expert@internetrugs.com. They get lots of emails so you’ll need to be patient. Good luck!

  • On 06.05.12 Chris C wrote:

    Thank you for the reply, Dave. I will do as you suggest.

  • On 06.12.12 James L wrote:

    This blog is extremely informative. I just read through its entirety after purchasing 3 carpets at Hayati in Istanbul. We had originally gone into the shopping centre only to purchase a scarf for my wife but of course the vendor wanted to take us to his “brother” for us to have a look at the carpets. We spent about 2-3 hours looking through many carpets and selecting the ones that we liked. As described in some other posts, we were brought tea. I purposefully kept at least a half dozen carpets out as options so that the vendor would not know which ones we preferred. He had many beautiful carpets available, and we werent interested in the silk ones as I’m already aware that Chinese imitations are available on eBay for $500-800. Instead, both my wife and I like the rich and deep colors of the tribal rugs. Towards the end, we had 4 rugs out and he was asking $4600 for them. I told the vendor that I’d need to go home and think about it and then asked him for his best price that I could take home with me and compare to the other vendors that I saw. I said that if I didn’t find anything better I’d come back and buy them from him. He dropped to $3600. I persisted in needing to go think about it. He then changed tune a bit and asked me what it would take for me to walk out with his carpets. I only really wanted 3 of them. I had originally set in my mind that I’d be willing to pay $300-400 for each. This was way below any price he’d offered, but it was genuinely what I’d be happy to pay regardless of the actual value. I offered up $1200 for the three I liked. They were all very nice quality with intricate geometric designs and good detail. The one condition that I requested is that he share with me his actual profit after I paid. He accepted my deal, we shook hands, and payment was made. He disclosed a number that was very reasonable and well worth the experience that we had. The carpets will look great in our house, are a wonderful souvenir of our trip here, and we couldn’t find anything similar in the US for the same price.

    Could we have been completely had if we hadn’t negotiated? Absolutely.

    Could I have spent less on the rugs? Perhaps.

    Do I regret the experience? Absolutely not. Why? Because I didn’t purchase them for the “value”. They were bought because I was ok with the price for the actual object I was purchasing, not the story behind it.

    To all other buyers out there… Stay alert, enjoy the experience, and be willing to walk away. It’s not a financial investment. It’s an experience. I definitely don’t think that this site or any other information should dissuade people from enjoying the unique experience. Just keep in mind what it actually is – a mix of a game and purchasing a unique piece of art. The value is only what you determine it to be. If you think of it as having Zero resale vale would you still pay the price? If yes, then buy it. If not, think very long and hard first.

  • On 06.13.12 Jim wrote:

    Great job James L. Without even looking at the carpets I can tell you did very well. The dealer originally wanted $1200 per carpet and you paid $400. Turkish carpets have gone up in value in recent years. The turkish women no longer want to work for low wage anymore. When I bought my carpet in February 2002 the women were working for one dollar a day I was told. Due to globalization alot of women no longer want to weave carpets for that wage and command much higher wages.

    I paid $275 for my yayhali capret which is 3.5 X 7. That carpet now retails for several thousand dollars and I could easily sell it for $800. I did sell two of the pieces I bought ten years ago not because I needed the money but because I have become a minimalist in recent years. I kept an would never sell the best carpet, My yayahli I sold a kilem and small silk and wool.

    I dont know the size of the carpets you purchased, but if they are a nice size area rug you did very well. Turkish carpets have skyrocketed in price in recent years. You are as good a bargainer as me. They also wanted $700 for my carpets and I got them down to $275. I was in turkey right after the economy had collapsed in turkey. From what I hear turkey has become expensive to be a tourist in recent years.

    Enjoy the carpets. I have had mine over 10 years. Just to let you know about me and my minimalistic ways, The only thing I own that is more than ten years old is my Omega Swiss Watch and my Yayhali turkish carpet.
    I will never sell either one of these items because they give me enjoyment on a daily basis. When you buy something nice it appreciates in value also.

    My Omega watch I purchased for $1100 in 1999 and it now retails for $4066. I can easily sell it for $1500 or more.

    My yayhali turkish carpet I purchased for $275 and now retails for about $2000 and I could easily sell it for $800.

    Again James, great job and nost importantly enjoy your carpets because they are an excellent memory from turkey.

  • On 06.18.12 Richard wrote:

    I agree! Great post James. Thank you very much.

  • On 07.03.12 Bob in Ventura wrote:

    We were mislead on buying a rug in Istanbul, Turkey by Mevlana Rug House. The owner, Mehmet Polat, offered to give us our money back, sent his cousin to look at the rug. The ‘cousin’ said there was a mistake and immediately called his cousin at 2 or 3 AM Turkey time and told him that we had the wrong rug which was falling apart. Mr. Polat did not give us our money back and our credit card company was forced to let the sale go through. QUESTION: Is there some Turkish agency, that governs these dealers? Who in the Turkish government can I complain to? Any help would be appreciated. You can email me at: my61rolls@sbcglobal.net Thank you

  • On 07.05.12 Bflood wrote:

    I bought a cotton round carpet, beautiful colors and sold as cotton from Carpetium In Nevsehir for $2500 US dollars shipped. 6 feet in diameter. Has anyone heard of them and what does a Hand Made cotton carpet sell for in the US? I know it is a little late to ask but had a hard time finding a round carpet in US with great colors. Also had a black grey, off wiite round that was made from natural wool no dyes wool on cotton hand made. They said everything was hand woven. Taken to the store by guide.

  • On 07.24.12 Ana Mulvaney wrote:

    My family would like to sell this rug. It measures 2.5 feet by 4 feet. INtricate designs, tree (of LIfe?) Here are the pictures, if they will attach. Please call me at530-859-3449 (Way No. CAlif). Ana Mulvaney

  • On 08.23.12 renalynne wrote:

    We just came back from a cruise to the Med. One of our port is Kusadasi. Our tour guide took us to one of the Co-operative so we can see the demonstration on the rugs. We ended up buying a carpet that is supposedly silk on cotton. We have not gotten it yet. We paid $7000. Is this too much? Also do you think they are real? Thank you. Where can I send the photo of the rug?

  • On 09.06.12 Mary wrote:

    Renalynne, I think you paid too much unless that carpet is huge. I bought a silk on cotton 3′ x 5′ for $1500 and even that was a rip off. It should have been more like $600 to $800 from what I was told by dealers in the USA. Silk on cotton is usually mostly cotton…

  • On 09.06.12 Mary wrote:

    Several people here have mentioned being shown cotton rugs. I’ve been to Turkey many times and lived there for a year with a carpet dealer. I spent a lot of time watching him sell carpets and I took photos and wrote descriptions of the carpets for his facebook page. He was a very skilled salesmen (and a big liar I found out later…) and never once told me or anyone else that a carpet or kilim was made of cotton. Silk on cotton, yes. But all cotton? I’ve never heard of this nor have I seen any that look like cotton during my time in Turkey. I bought a large, 100% cotton rug in Morocco for 50 USD. Never saw anything remotely resembling this in Turkey. Am I misunderstanding when people describe a rug as cotton? I saw many made of mercerized cotton, but not one dealer would admit that. They all said they were silk and I just nodded and said okay, and that silk was NOT in my budget.

  • On 09.08.12 Evelyn wrote:

    If you are shopping for carpets in Selcuk, the town near Ephesus, avoid Nomadic Art Gallery. It is owned by two brothers, Enis and Marco (sorry, I don’t know Marco’s real name) and they are not honest carpet dealers. Enis tried to sell me a rug made of some cheap, synthetic material and told me it was a silk rug made in Turkey! Silk? Was he kidding? It smelled like polyester that had been left in the sun and melted! I was traveling with a girlfriend, but went in their shop alone. When Enis realized I knew more than most tourists about carpets, he kind of got his act together and started showing me some pretty nice carpets, but later admitted that he bought the 100% silk ones on a trip to China! Why would he tell me that? At this point, I’m thinking he’s not very smart. I left. Later that evening I walked by on my way to my hotel and his brother, Marco, who I hadn’t seen or met yet, starts hitting on me in the street! He was really foolish and giddy. And he wouldn’t stop talking. Overall, Nomadic Art Gallery next to Garanti Bank just has a horrible vibe, bad atmosphere and it is all due to the two owners. Nice shop, beautiful rugs, but smarmy owners. The next day I bought two beautiful kilims from Black Sheep carpets, which is only a few door down the same street. They were similar to what I looked at in NAG, but the price I was quoted was a few hundred dollars less than what Enis quoted me for something very similar. I think I dodged a bullet.

  • On 09.16.12 Bonnie wrote:

    I bought tapestries while I was in the military stationed at Incirlik. The tapestries have a rooster and tree in the middleof the edge. Can you tell me what they mean?

  • On 09.16.12 Suzanne wrote:

    I read through all the posts and have found this very informative. Thanks Richard for setting up and monitoring this thread. We have been to Istanbul and are returning again this fall. We will not be buying a rug this time around but did so last year. We bought a beautiful wool on cotton Hereke floral design with a dark almost black background and the chains of bachelor button flowers and a most intricate design throughout. They called it the seven hills of Istanbul but who knows. Anyways I counted the knots and it is 169 kpsi and the most beautiful design I have ever seen. We love it. We bought it from Punto carpets because that is where our guide took us. We enjoyed the whole experience. Did we pay too much?? Possibly, who knows. It worked out to about $100 per sq foot for this wool on cotton Hereke floral pattern. I looked on the Internet and found a company who currently sells Hereke rugs and their price works out to 120 per sq foot for Herekes but quite a bit less for the other types. Anyways, it seems that the complex Hereke floral pattern has a much higher price than many other types. I should mention that it is a new rug and not an antique. Also it is handknotted. I can see small imperfections on the underside so it appears that it likely was handmade.

    All that said, we will be going back to Punto because my broth and another couple traveling with us both are interested in buying a rug. One pattern of interest to them is Royal Heriz but that is Iranian so they may not have it. We will certainly have fun though.

    Again, thanks for starting this thread and I will continue to check for new posts from time to time. Sorry I cannot attach a photo but i am using my iTouch so unable to do so.

  • On 09.16.12 Suzanne wrote:

    Hi Bonnie

    I found an Internet site that talks about Turkish rug symbols. The tree is likely the Tree of Life. The rooster is said to ward off the evil eye so it is a protection symbol. Hope this helps.

  • On 09.17.12 Sherry from Canada wrote:

    I have my heart set on buying a silk rug in Turkey. as I research I see there is a lot of risk. what would be the best guideline or advice you can give me? I think my biggest concern is buying a Chinese copy? I can tell the difference between silk and cotton and polyester that is not a problem.
    Best advice on avoiding chinese product?
    Price range that is reasonable for Small silk carpet?

  • On 09.17.12 Barbara wrote:

    Have you heard of a company in Izmir called Mosaic Rugs and Kilims? Rugs look fantastic, very beautiful. Just looking for info on the company.

  • On 09.18.12 Barbara wrote:

    Sorry – correct name is Mosaic Rugs and Jewelry

  • On 09.24.12 Gordon wrote:

    Stay away from Mezat Rugs Gallery Carpets and Kilms. AT the Grand Bazaar.

    We were conned like many other Australians.
    The owner Ali, his Aussie wife and his daughter Rana are nice as pie so they can make the big bucks scamming Aussies. So beware – don’t believe the story about getting the tax money back – it won’t happen. We were too gullible and trusting…..don’t make the same mistake. Stay away from Mezat Rugs!!

  • On 10.03.12 Mary wrote:

    On 01.27.11 John wrote:
    I am deployed in Kuwait. They sell rugs in the PX here. They have hand made silk ones for $4200. I have always wanted one. I have no idea if that is a good deal or what to look for. Any advice?

    John, I also live in Kuwait. Saw your post quoted above. My advice? Don’t do it. I would bet a year’s salary those rugs are made in China or made of mercerized cotton, not silk. I agree with the guy who said, ‘Don’t do it.’

  • On 10.14.12 Tatiana wrote:

    We were on the cruise last year. I really liked carpets but we did not buy any. Mostly because we did not like the way they tried to sell. My friends are in Istambul now. They just posted on facebook that they bought a silk carpet on there first day just off the plane and with jet lag. I am afraid now even to mention to them that there chances of buying anything decent were almost 0. This should be more publicised

  • On 10.17.12 suarts wrote:

    Excellent site…I live in Qatar (the Middle East) and want to gift a Last Supper rug to a friend. I’ve tried searching in Qatar but the Last Supper is not available. I don’t actually care where it is made or if it is original…as long as it’s beautiful and reasonable. I don’t mind buying online too. Any words of advise? Thanks

  • On 10.21.12 Suzanne wrote:

    We just got back from Turkey – Istanbul and Kusadesi. We didn’t buy any rugs this year but have in the past.

    One way to tell a real silk carpet from mercerized cotton is to take a silver coin and rub a small space in the carpet using the edge of the coin for a few seconds. The cotton rug will produce “lint” that sticks to the coin while the real 100% silk will not produce any lint from the rubbings.

    Any rug merchant that will not let you do this could have something to hide so beware.

    If you are on a cruise ship, best to go to the rug merchants listed by the cruiseline as they would drop Amy dishonest merchants if they were caught being dishonest.

    If you are not on a cruise, talk to friends who have cruised Turkey and they can tell you which rug merchants were recommended by their cruiseline. It is not a fail-safe method, but it does lower the risk.

    Wool rugs can also be a good buy. Bottom line for wool rugs is to keep within your affordable price range and to be sure that you really love the pattern and colours so every time you look at it, you remember the great trip you had.

    Hope this info is helpful.

  • On 11.03.12 billy wrote:

    ali and rana tried to con me too. they tried to tell me that they would throw in a silk rug if i would pay the taxes on both. then they said a guy would show up at my house in the U.S. a year later to pick up the silk rug and give me my money back. so i would get my rug for free. sounded fishy so i didn’t do it. what i did do wrong was still buy a rug from him. rule number 52. if you catch a dealer in a scam or lie,walk away. i had him send it to the U.S. i never received it. after six weeks i contacted them and because it was friday night they said they would fix it on monday. well monday came and went. i called captal one visa and they took it off my bill right away. thank you capital one! ali and rana in the grand bizarre are thieves!

  • On 11.07.12 Grand Bazaar rug seller wrote:

    I am a rug seller inside the Grand Bazaar Istanbul..I admit that at least 9 out of 10 rug sellers in Istanbul are ready to rip you off..so beware and dont even go into a rug store in Istanbul unless it is reccomended by a non-turkish person..
    if A turkish tour guide,a turkish taxi driver ,a turkish hotel receptionist ,a turkish concierge , in brief even your turkish uncle :) reccommend a rug store, just dont go..
    by the way I am turkish :)- trying to be honest at least..

  • On 11.16.12 Robin wrote:

    This blog would be a lot more readable without the hundreds of “I just bought a rug for x. Did I get ripped off?” posts.

    There’s more than enough info in the original post and a few key comments to work it our for yourself.

    Sorely tempted to head on up to Mezat now just to string them along….

  • On 12.10.12 Mare wrote:

    During our Louis Crystal cruise I bought a small silk rug at the Gordes Carpet Shop in Istanbul, and paid Gordes $5K by Chase Visa. The Gordes shop was recommended by Azi, the tour guide from the Louis Crystal cruise line. I tried to cancel after I returned to NJ and contested the purchase. Chase Visa wants to charge my account unless the folks at Gordes are willing to work with me during “dispute resolution” on an exchange. I hope that Gordes Carpets has integrity during the dispute resolution process. I will let you know on this website what happens during my discussions with Gordes Carpets.

  • On 12.22.12 Tony wrote:

    Wish I would have visited this site before we went to Istanbul. We were on a Holland America cruise and on our tour on “the best of instanbul” the tour guide on the ship recommended Gordes as a prefered and trusted place to purchase a rug.
    Although we were interested in buying a rug our lack of experience left us having to trust the salesperson, who assured me that he would “not lie to us”. The pressure to purchase was overwhelming. Needless to say we purchased what we were told was a genuine hand made turkish rug. We have since found out that our rug is indicative of a chinese made rug. We paid $4K only to find out its value is far less, around $1k. They were also very careful in the wording on the certificate where they guaranteed the accuracy of the information, but nowhere does it say “turkish hand made”. We have tried to contact Gordes with little success.

  • On 01.18.13 Johnny wrote:

    How on earth do you stupid ones think that you can buy two silk carpet with 2-3 years of workmanship for only £1700 ? ( Chloe ) and dare to come here and complain , say stupid things , disgrade MATiS . How much you calculate one weaver should earn a month for them to sell for the price above ( not to mention the silk used and profit ) .. You are nothing but snob, stupid British folks.. Go get a life you suckers..

  • On 01.19.13 Richard wrote:

    The sad truth is that the majority of complaints I hear these days are from people who have purchased carpets in Turkey. The economy in Turkey is booming and weavers are rightly demanding more for their labors. Rather than paying and then having to ask more for the carpets, it has become clear that “some” dealers are importing rugs from abroad and selling them as Turkish. These carpets seem to be coming from Kashmir and China where labor costs are low. These also seem to be the places that the majority of the “Art Silk” (artificial) and Mercerized cotton carpets are being woven. While I deplore the actions of these dealers, I think some of the responsibility must fall with the buyers. To see such large sums of money being spent with no restraint can’t be blamed entirely on the Turkish rug dealers. What happened to shopping around? What happened to Caveat Emptor? What happened to the understanding that Rug dealers in general have a bad reputation for a good reason?

  • On 01.19.13 Richard wrote:

    To Johnny above; I think your post speaks for itself. I would have it deleted but even ignorance should have its say.

  • On 02.07.13 Dana wrote:

    I am visiting Capadocia this fall. Would like to buy a aubuson woolen rug 1x 3 meters preferably Turkish.How can I ascertain that it is not a Chinese product dyed with anilin dyes? Have some of this type and once they are washed, they stain.
    danarezl@seznam.cz

  • On 02.07.13 rachel wrote:

    hi dana,

    we were in cappadocia over the summer and went to the “school” in avanos – apparently depending on the tour and the day, you could be told it’s a school, a co-op, a factory, whatever. anyway we picked out a small piece we liked a lot, 2 hours of negotiating and brought the price down by about 1/3rd. they mail it to you for free and take monthly payments if it’s over a certain amount and then you don’t pay taxes. i was really afraid we got scammed because we were told it would be mailed out after about a month and then take 6 weeks or so to the US so that we should be receiving it around when the last payment is taken. but weeks after the last payment, we still hadn’t received it. i had to call and email and they finally mailed it and we received it about a month after the last payment. so that was kind of scary, not knowing if it would show up and wondering if we’d been taken. as it turns out, a local carpet dealer said that not only is it much older than we thought, it’s worth at least twice what we paid. so it turned out ok in the end, the product there was good i guess. i picked it because i loved it, not because i wanted an investment piece or something. i settled on a price i was comfortable with and stuck to it.

    we also bought a lovely, very imperfect, handmade kilim at a roadside shop in cirali. i couldn’t even get a cheap rug that size at ikea for what we paid. granted we went at the end of the season but still. i think the best thing to do is set a price limit in advance and just pick something you like and not worry too much about the details.

    the first time we went to turkey, i bought a georgian diamond ring in a bazaar that turned out to be georgian diamonds but in a (1920s) reproduction setting. am i upset it’s not really georgian? a little, but i still really love the ring and i was comfortable with what i paid at the time based on how it looked. i went into rug buying with the same idea and i’m happy with our purchases.

    good luck and have fun – cappadocia was beautiful.

  • On 02.15.13 kevin wrote:

    We will be travelling to Kusadasi in June on a Cruise. Can you tell us which rug dealers to absolutley avoid. Thanks so much. Love your site.

  • On 02.22.13 Simon wrote:

    I bought a few rugs from south east turkey. I paid a small deposit for it and am now back in the UK. Subsequently I have discovered that the rugs are not genuine and so do not want to pay the outstanding balance (approx 10k). The rug company have my contact details here in the UK. I am worried that if I refuse to pay them then they can take legal action against me. Are they able to do this given i am a UK citizen?

  • On 03.05.13 k smith wrote:

    I bought a beautiful thick, chunky colourful rug when i was in turkey about 9 years a go and was told it was made by the nomads who slept on the shaggy side at night and walked on the flatter side during the day.what are these rugs called and can i get a replacement?

  • On 03.07.13 Richard wrote:

    Perhaps you are talking about Tulu carpets. They are available on the market.

  • On 03.07.13 Allen wrote:

    I have read most all posts as I am heading to turkey soon. I plan on buying a few carpets only wool though as silk is 95% scam and not durable anyway. I own about 15 carpets I purchased in Russia in 1990. They were made in Turkmenistan, Dagistan, Afganistan. I was in Moscow when USSR fell apart and the ruble was worthless. People were selling everything. Example: I bought 12′x 16′ Turkmin Elephant foot design for $600. All others were rediculously cheap also. Some rugs can bleed but they are all beautiful. I suggest taking piece of wet cotton and rubbing carpet to see if die transfers to your wet cotton. Dont buy carpet to fill room > only center piece. Runners are my favorite. To me geo designs look more interesting than flowers. Any way I think I have a psychological edge when I get to Turkey because I really dont need more so its not possible to pressure me. Honestly, people who depart a cruise ship should be extremely careful as they are under time constraints and u are already under pressure not to mention what u will encounter from the merchants. Just like going to Vegas never bet what u cant afford to lose.

    Anyone have any recommendations on places to buy leather coats?

  • On 03.08.13 Evelyn wrote:

    Allen, most leather in Turkey comes from China. I lived in Turkey and went to several ‘leather factories.’ The leather is not processed in Turkey. I know someone who used to own a leather shop near Selcuk. He bought everything in China and Hong Kong. He went three times a year. I know another dealer in the Grand Bazaar. Same thing. Leather in Turkey did not appear to be any cheaper than in the US, nor was it of superior quality. And a lot of the leather coats I saw, sorry to say, seemed suited to Turkish taste, which is more like what we wore back in the 80′s and 90′s. It just looked really outdated. But you be the judge. Just thought I’d warn you.

  • On 03.08.13 Evelyn wrote:

    Kevin, regarding your post on 2.15.13, see my post from 9.08.12. Don’t buy from Nomadic Art Gallery in Selcuk. These guys are scam artists and frankly, I found them to be quite aggressive and pushy. If your ship docks in Kusadasi so you can visit Ephesus, then Selcuk is nearby.

  • On 03.11.13 Allen wrote:

    Evelyn,

    Re: your post about Turkish leather. Bummer! Was hoping that there was still some quality / authenticity in the world. Doesnt surprise me though (EVERYTHING sold in USA is Chinese)but on the other hand it is possible to have quality control even in China. Where would u lean to for buying carpets > Istanbul or Ankara? Any shop recommendations? I have few more questions if u dont mind.

  • On 03.11.13 Evelyn wrote:

    Allen, it is really difficult to recommend a good place to buy carpets. I have no experience with carpet dealers in Ankara, so I can’t say if it is good place or not. It might be cheaper than Istanbul just because they do not have so many tourists there, but I honestly can’t say that for sure. I’ve purchased several kilims in Istanbul, but can’t recommend either of the dealers I bought from. One stole my credit card info after I left. ABC Carpets in the Grand Bazaar I cannot recommend! Unfortunately, I can tell you a couple of places to definitely steer clear of, but none that I can really recommend. I would not recommend buying in the Grand Bazaar as you will likely pay more than you would outside.
    I do have a friend in Istanbul who could help you I think. She is Canadian and has a business in Istanbul, but not a carpet business. She sells handmade Turkish towels in her shop called Jennifer’s Hamam in the Arasta Bazaar next to the Blue Mosque. She has three stores actually. She’s been in Istanbul for about 7 years and she knows some reputable carpet dealers. Go see Jennifer and ask for recommendations. Her three shops in Arasta are marked with a Canadian flag.

  • On 04.02.13 Pam wrote:

    I am hoping to purchase a good wool Hereke while I am on vacation this summer in Turkey. I will be in the port of Kusadasi. I have had my own Oriental Carpet business for years, so I am not worried about being fooled. I am looking for the best people to deal with…any suggestions?

  • On 04.28.13 Barry wrote:

    I’m currently in Istanbul and am looking for a small, suitable for framing,
    silk rug. I spent an enjoyable hour at Cinar Carpets, just outside the Grand
    Bazaar on a fashionable shopping street. I understand there is no way for
    a novice to truly ascertain value; I’m sure if I do purchase I will overpay
    somewhat. My question is whether they are considered reputable dealers.

    Thanks

  • On 05.05.13 Dan wrote:

    Just bought a wool rug at the Arasta Bazaar yesteday. i am a tourist from the Philippines. I was buying hamam towels from another store (a different but nevertheless, interesting experience as well). The towel salesman referred me to his friend near his shop ( typical ploy). The rug that caught my eye was a window display piece with tassels on its borders. Beautiful ! (at least to me). Another Italian couple customer was eyeing it. They bargined a little higher than my final offer but they were not prepared to buy on the same day.

    The tips given in the previous posts are correct : buying rug in Istanbul is like buying a piece of art. Find something you really, really like. Have a set price in mind. Be ready to walk away. And just enjoy the whole process. These rug salesmen are 1/4 charm , 1/4 Gestapo police, 1/4 liars, 1/4 tourist ambassadors. Ü

    Paid 60% of what was originally quoted after two hours of talking, sipping Turkish coffee and playing charades. Was I, just like the movie shot in Turkey, “Taken”? Was the Italian couple accomplices? Maybe yes. Maybe no. But I’m happy with my purchase. I am bringing something back to The Philippines a quintessential Turkish experience and I have a beautiful rug to prove it. I will have a good conversation topic when visitors come to my apartment. I’ll talk about those relentless Kurdish rug salesmen and their beautiful carpets.

    Finally , what struck me the most was when I returned to the towel salesman to gloat and brag how much I was able to bargain for the rug, I said in my heavily accented Filipino accent “Hey Femi (that’s his name), my friend (yup, after twenty minutes we call each other friends), …. I’m so happy, guess how much was i able to buy the rug?”

    And Femi said, while beaming a big smile , slapped on my back and said “it really doesn’t matter!” You like it!!

    And my friend is right.

  • On 06.01.13 sew wrote:

    Just back from the best vacation ever in Turkey, where the people are beyond-belief helpful (minus some carpet salesmen), and everything is so clean! We looked at many, many carpets, although none in the Grand Bazaar. We found Troy Carpets and Mustafa, in the Arasta Bazaar (and, yes, we purchased towels from Jennifer) to be way beyond any other dealer. I actually had to ask to see carpets on several occasions. He has a real love for carpets and understood that I share this passion, particularly for the old ones. Because of this, he did not show me his old kilims on the last day we were in Istanbul, feeling that I might be tempted.
    I would buy from Mustafa via email now. And once we put the carpets on the floor, we were even more impressed. Now I think that I was badly “taken” with the rugs I purchased a few years ago as silk in San Francisco.
    Sic transit.

  • On 06.13.13 Danielle wrote:

    I´m so grateful for this site. I know a bit about rugs and carpets, having read a few books, spent many hours browsing carpets in the Caucasus, known some high class Persians with good knowledge and taste in rugs, etc. I can fairly easily tell something ordinary from something with special qualities. But pricing information has been more difficult to find through research. This thread has given me more info on prices than I´ve found elsewhere.

    Just last week, I bought five rugs and carpets in Istanbul. The first was at a shop at the entrance to the Grand Bazaar. I know better than to shop in tourist locations and the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul seemed like a bad location to get a good price. The shopkeeper asked what size carpet I wanted. I told him that I wanted a beautiful carpet. If it was a good quaility and I loved it, it didn´t matter what size it was. A new salesman appeared and began to show me some exquisite silk, palace style rugs. My 15 month old son was quick to notice that one of them in particular was real silk. He threw himself down on the carpet and started running his arms and legs over the rug like he was making a snow angel. Finally, I told the man that we hadn´t really been thinking about silk, so he brought out a few good, wool rugs. I didn´t think they were anything particularly special and told him so. Next, he produced what truly was a gorgeous, georgeous 7×10 Anatolian wool on cotton that he said was maybe 30 years old. I didn´t do the thread count (I realize now that I should´ve asked him to measure it for me), but checked to see that the very detailed pattern appeared very clearly on the back of the rug. He started off asking around 10,000 USD for the rug. When the bargaining wasn´t getting down to prices I could afford, I finally gathered my family and walked out. As a last ditch effort to sell me the rug, the salesman asked me to name my price. I told him 2,000 USD and he accepted, even though his business partners became noticeably upset that he had sold it at this ¨low¨price. Had I known that he would accept my offer, I probably would´ve offered 1,500, although for the size and quality of the rug, I probably would not have offered less. My experience reinforced what someone above said, i.e. if you ask to see good quality and you know just enough to identify it when you see it, the salesman will show you good quality stuff. If you don´t ask and don´t know how to identify it, they will only show you cheaper stuff.

    The other four I bought were all of a similar tribal style. Wool on wool. Less KPSI than my wool on cotton, but still of good quality. Beautiful bold colors (orange, yellow, red, a variety of natural browns and greens, a lovely medium blue). Originally, the salesman was asking 13,000 to 15,000 USD for the four (one is 201×299, another 193×235, the third 93×164, the fourth 84×134). I bargained fairly hard and got him down to 6,000 USD total for the two big area rugs. According to him, there were three major reasons for the higher prices. First, the women who make them in the villages won´t accept a pittance anymore for good quality work. Second, the colors are so bold that it takes a lot of time and natural materials to produce them. Third, he claimed there were few places where these rugs can be bought because they are made by his family in their family village. I decided to walk away and to investigate this last claim.

    The next day I went to multiple carpet shops in and around the Grand Bazaar. After a few hours, I finally found a shop that was selling rugs of a similar style, although the designs weren´t nearly as intricate and the colors not nearly as bold and beautiful. In any case, I sat there for an hour exploring rugs and bargaining on four rugs of similar style and size to the ones I described above. I finally got the guy down to 4,000 USD for the four rugs. The price was obviously better, but I couldn´t bring myself to do it. The quality of these carpets was obviously not nearly the same. They were nice. But they weren´t works of art. So I walked away and went back to bargain some more on the ones I had originally fallen in love with.

    When I approached the store again after a few days break, the salesman said, would you like to see the rugs again? I smiled and they were laid out on the floor in front of me within minutes. I told the salesman about the other offer I had had on rugs of similar style and size. I asked if he would match that price for his four rugs. He ruffled and refused. For that price, I wonder about the quality of the other rugs you saw, he said. I admitted that I couldn´t bring myself to buy the other rugs, because his rugs were obviously of better quality. We bargained some more until we finally agreed on 6,400 USD for all four. It wasn´t an easy negotiation. My family and I are all in love with these new rugs, I know they are of good quality and that they will be passed along to my kids and possible beyond. So the price will be amortized over a long time. But I do wonder if I could´ve gotten them for a bit cheaper. I suspect that 5,000 or 5,500 USD may have been a reasonable price for these. One lingering concern I have is whether these dyes are truly natural, given how very bright and astonishing the colors are.

    Regarding prices, I ended up getting the first rug at less than 25 percent of the original asking price and the other four rugs at 42 percent of the original asking price. But this took patient, lengthy and skillful bargaining based on a little knowledge.

    So that´s my story. Thanks for offering me an opportunity to share it with people who will be interested. Richard, I would like to send you pictures of my rugs to see what you think. All the best.

  • On 06.25.13 Susie 2013 wrote:

    Sew you mentioned you had mustafa’s email address. I was wondering if you could give it to me. I am after a silk rug and his name came up from a previous person to be a reputable dealer. Do you think he is?
    Kind Regards

  • On 06.29.13 Nancy B wrote:

    I recently bought 4 rugs at Bazaar 54 and am having buyers remorse as I read some of these comments. I think the price I paid was not a bargain, but was fair, and I love all 4 rugs, or I wouldn’t have bought them. They told me to expet delivery in 4-6 weeks, so I will withhold judgement as to my overall experience until they arrive.

    Has anyone had a bad experience with this specific dealer?

  • On 08.08.13 Eileen wrote:

    I have just moved to Izmir a week ago and today (the first day of Bayram) a fella on the street stopped us to ask us if we were interested in going to the bazaar. I knew the bazaar was closed, so had some suspicions, but we went anyway, as we had nothing better to do today and we actually need a few carpets for our new home. The first thing that I saw was an absolute art piece of a carpet- apparently all silk- for $40,000 USD lol! (Of course I gravitated to the most expensive thing in the shop!) The owner of the shop-the main salesman -was busy with another customer. This was fortuitous for us because we got to see the whole process and how this guy bargained. He really didn’t come down a whole lot in his price. He would change pieces out to fit your budget- but the larger seemingly higher quality items, he was pretty solid on not reducing. He claimed to have 400 employees in a village who hand wove everything for him. We didn’t end up buying anything from him as we wanted to do more research. He was very gracious, told us we should look around, and come back to him if we wanted true authentic quality. I would love to go back with a silver coin and rub that $40,000 rug I loved so much that apparently took 8 years to make. He seemed honest enough, they were very kind, I love the tea and the entire cultural experience of viewing rugs and learning about their production. I am glad though that we didn’t get sucked in to a purchase however…things like this need much more research. What we were wondering is whether or not we would do better to travel outside of Izmir to a shop that isn’t in the tourist mecca of Turkey. I would actually love to go visit this so-called village he employs as a photographer. Would love to see the weaving in action, and check out the authenticity of his claim to employ 400 villagers. I’d hate to think he was lying to us- he did seem genuine and friendly. We need large area rugs to cover the expensive wood flooring in our rented home (we have 2 dogs and are worried about scratches to the wood)…somehow I am thinking buying an authentic Turkish rug will turn into a much more expensive venture than we intended. We need 2 rugs- can be just wool- to fill a space that is 18ft x 12ft and another that is 14ft x 12ft…not sure what would be a fair price for this…He had quoted us something in the neighbourhood of $3000…

  • On 10.13.13 Evelyn wrote:

    Eileen,
    In regards to your post on 8/8/13, I assure you he does not employee 400 villagers. No such village exists in Turkey. You might be hard pressed to find 400 carpet weavers total in Turkey these days. All carpet dealers are actors. They first perfect the art of acting, then selling carpets. Some are honest, some are not. Some give a good bargain, some drive a hard bargain. You are wise to do more research. Izmir is not well known for carpets, so you might actually be better off buying one there than in Istanbul, or even Selcuk. Selcuk is small, but it is an expensive place to shop due to its proximity to Ephesus. Cappadocia is good for carpet shopping, if you are willing to bargain and hold firm to your price.

    No matter where you decide to buy, do your research first. And if you find this village of 400 carpet weavers, where 400 women have time to weave in addition to caring for their menfolk and making tea full time, please let me know. I will come back to Turkey just to see it.

  • On 10.19.13 MKR wrote:

    Planning to visit Istanbul and Anatolya–am interested in wool carpets only. Any suggested reputable vendors?

  • On 11.07.13 Tasha wrote:

    Thank you to everyone who posted here and to the page admin – this was so insightful. Wish I read it pre-trip – I would have bargained harder.

    We had a rug stop with my tour-group… this is is not a great situation in which to buy a rug. I stayed focused on my pre-set criteria and made a decision quickly that I would go for it. The moment they saw an interest, they had me with a salesman and off in a room where they could pull rugs for me – I was able to give him a few design parameters of what I’d seen that I liked and let them pull rugs for me. I was honest in saying I like that colour or that design because I wanted to quickly narrow focus in the tight time window. I didn’t commit to one rug (aka the final negotiation phase) until I was comfortable. For a 5×7 good machine-made rug at home, I’d considered $700. I bought this wool on cotton at $1500 (just over 50% of original asking).

    Buying in a rushed situation is overwhelming. It can be done though… because they know that when the bus/cruise is gone, you are gone forever. Have a general idea of what you like (look at rugs online), know your max budget and stick to it, and ONLY buy a rug if you love it. Don’t stress about the colour or design suiting your home – you will find a place for something you love.

    If you are uncomfortable with the gamble – and it IS a gamble – then buy a similar rug at home where you know you can take your time and try it in your home.

  • On 01.17.14 Bordealis wrote:

    I wish I had read this article before I purchased my Kayseri rug in Istanbul (near Blue Mosque). It was a very stressful experience that I do not want to repeat. Next time, If I do go through the carpet buying experience again, I will do it outside of Istanbul. I am now stuck with this faux silk rug (4 X 6), for which I paid $1300 USD. Anyways, I will try to enjoy it as much as I can, but feel so duped.

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