The carpet has a long history among Turkish handicrafts. The earliest examples of the carpets made using the knotting technique, which is the most important element of carpet weaving, are seen with the Huns. The carpet fragments found during the excavations at Pazırık Tumulus, at the foot of the Altai Mountains, are the earliest examples of knotted carpets, dated to the 3rd - 4th centuries.
The art of weaving knotted carpets, which was widespread among nomadic tribes in Central Anatolia, entered Anatolia in the 11th century with the Seljuks. A carpet from the Alaattin Mosque in Konya is in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts. Two of the three examples from Beyşehir Eşrefoğlu Mosque are in the Mevlana Museum in Konya, the third is in a private collection in London. Seven examples found in Fustat (ancient Cairo) are in the Stockholm National Museum and the Göteborg Röhss Museum in Sweden.
Though carpets were woven in all region of Anatolia, beginning from the 16th century, Gördes, Kula, Milas, Uşak, Ladik, Kırşehir and Sivas became centres producing carpets of outstanding quality in the Ottoman Period. The common characteristics of the carpets woven in these centres are the use of the Turkish knot technique and wool thread , although there are differences in respect of colour, motif and composition.
In the carpets of Gördes, silk weft thread is sometimes used. These carpets usually feature a niche in their design, with a column on either side, and are known as marpuçlu Gördes. In the niche, are ewer or lamp motifs. The examples with double niches on an ivory colored background are called Maiden’s Gördes (Kız Gördes) and are generally woven for a trousseau.
The carpets of Kula are usually prayer rugs. There are various forms such as Külmüncü (Kömürcü) Kula, Kula with boat (Gemili Kula) and Prayer Kula (Dua Kulası).
The carpets of Milas are also of the prayer rug type. The motifs are stylized. Typical motifs are eight pointed stars in an octagon within a niche, and diamond shapes.
The carpets of Uşak lived their most glorious period in the 16th-17th centuries, when the examples with medallion and star motifs on a white background appeared. The carpets with çintemani and stylized leaf motifs on a white or ivory coloured background became common during the 17th century.
The carpets of Ladik are carpets of small dimensions characterised by tulip or poppy motifs.
The carpets of Kırşehir are also small in dimension. Characteristic are the prayer rugs with a niche or panorama design.