History of Sivas Rugs
With many weaving centers throughout Anatolia, each created an innately Turkish carpet with a distinct signature style native to its specific region. In the fifteenth century, inspired by the example set by the Timurid and Safavid Courts, Turkish artists introduced floral and Chinese motifs, first into ceramic tile-work and textiles, and then adapted into oriental carpet patterns. These designs included elegantly drawn prayer rugs decorated with architectural motifs serving as models for centuries of village weavers of rugs and textiles across Anatolia. Sivas rugs and carpets weavers traditionally used a smaller assortment of color than their Persian counterparts, achieving a remarkable range with only eight or nine colors. Primary colors tend to dominate, particularly blue and madder red, although a softer and lighter palette is often used on late nineteenth and early twentieth century carpets.
Structure and Design
Decorative antique carpets from Sivas in the southeast are finely woven and formal, tending to interpret the classical Persian style with central medallions and floral infill. A palette of soft and pale gelato tones in the typical antique Sivas rug makes it more feminine and sugary than other any other antique Turkish carpet. In the early nineteenth century, on the outskirts of Instanbul, the Hereke carpet workshop was established, becoming famous for producing exceptional, finely woven carpets of outstanding technical ability. These antique Hereke rugs often feature luxurious materials such as silk and metal-thread worked into designs emulating the antique Persian carpets of the Ottoman and Safavid Court workshops. Ghiordes, in the western part of Turkey, is known for precisely figured, colorful, multi-bordered antique prayer rugs with open prayer niches, and stylized architectural motifs.
The antique Borlou carpet most closely resembles the dramatic scale, informality and pleasing palette of the oriental rugs in nearby Oushak, later manifesting itself in grand room size carpets.