Weaving can be defined as the production of a plain surface created by horizontal and vertical passing movements of weft and warp loops.

Warp loops standing side by side are divided into two with the help of a tool called a “nire,” and weft loops are passed through this empty space (called the mouthpiece) with the help of a shuttle, and plain surfaces are thus produced.

Weaving can be classified into three categories depending on tools and techniques used:

1- Shuttle Weaving: Fabric weaving, Siirt blanket, kola and capon weaving.

2- Weaving with Kirk:
A- Plain Weavings with Kirk: carpets, Cecil, zillion (sill), sumac
B- Kirk Weaving with Pile: rug

3- Weaving without a Shuttle: Palaz, Kolan, carpana (with or without card)

Weaving Without Tissue (felt)


Weft loops are passed through the group of warp threads with the help of a shuttle, and woven fabric with a plain surface is produced.

Various fabrics, Siirt blankets and kolans appear in this category. The Siirt blanket is one of the plain diaper woven fabrics.

Traditional Turkish weavings can be grouped into those made for house, market and palace. These are made of wool, cotton and silk, and are produced by women in houses as examples of Turkish handicrafts. They come in various types such as fabric, handkerchief, towel and large napkins.

Kolan Weaving: These are belt-like weavings, flat and wide in shape and composed of wool, linen, cotton and bristle threads. In Kolana and carpana weavings, a stick is used instead of the “gücü,” but as these are made with a shuttle, they are considered part of the shuttle group.

In Kolan weaving, warp threads are stretched between two sticks staked into the ground and another stick that can play the role of the “gücü” is passed through them. As the third stick is rotated, a hole opens between the warps and weft threads are passed through these holes and tightened in order to produce the weaving.

Weaving With Carpana (tablet): This is the simplest of weaving techniques, made with square cards with holes on the edges. Tablets, which may be made of camel or ox skin or else walnut, are called carpana.

The warp threads are arranged according to their colour and passed through the holes. When the card begins to rotate, a space opens up and the weft threads are passed through this space, and so the process continues. One tip of the warp is tied to the weaver’s belt or to the sticks on the ground. The surface of the woven fabric is full of warps.

Today, this kind of weaving is produced by the Yoruks (the nomadic shepherd people of Anatolia) and used in daily life for making the tents they live in, baskets, saddlebags, sacks, harnesses for animals and decorations for carts and camels. Women use them for hair dressings, aprons, dresses, belts and cradles, and men for scabbards or ammunition bags, belts for the Koran, lassoos, socks and slippers. Today, these fabrics are generally preferred for their decorative value. They are used in making handkerchiefs, towels and sheets.


A. Plain weaving with kirkit:

In some parts of hand weaving, a tool called a “kirkit” is used in order to tighten the weft loops, and the hand-made material produced by using the kirkit is called ‘weaving with kirkit.’

Carpet Weaving: This is a weft surfaced weaving, in which the weft threads are passed through the warp threads, one to the front and the other behind, and in which the warp threads are tightened and hidden. In carpets, on special areas where designs exist, colored weft threads continue until they reach the borderline of another design and then return. In this way, designs begin to appear when same colored wefts go and come between the warps.

When the weft thread sticks between stretched warps, this is called the “face of warp,” and when wefts and warps are tightened equally, this is called “bezayaği” weaving.

Carpets may differ according to their weaving techniques: these include, carpets on which there are warp spaces between colors, carpets in which warp spaces are diminished (single clamp, double clamp, cross knitting, weaving wefts on a single warp), carpets in which warp spaces are diminished between colors, carpets whose designs are put in a framework, carpets with curved wefts and carpets that include additional threads between wefts.

Cicim Weaving: This is a kind of weaving done with different coloured design threads applied and tightened between weft and warp threads. Cicim is a kind of weaving which is applied on the reverse. Cicim weavings whose weft is composed of bristles are very common.

Reliefs, which look as if they have been additionally applied with a needle, are to be found here. Weft and design threads follow each other in cicim weaving. After the weft thread has been dropped, either the design thread or a number of warp threads are dropped in order to create the design.

In cicim weaving designs on the surface may have different appearances due to the width of the threads employed.

Fabric bags, tablecloths, bridal sacks, prayer sheets, pillows and quilts are all made from cicim weaving.

Cicim is produced in weft thread or bezayaği techniques. There are two or three kinds of cicim weavings according to the application of the design thread.

Zili (sili) weaving: Design threads are applied three on the surface and one below the surface in their own design area. After the line is completed, one or more wefts are applied and tightened. In diagonal designs, this process is continued with the sliding of the thread on each line. Sometimes both diagonal and perpendicular designs are applied in the same weaving.

Zili, which has a hard and rough appearance, is composed of briest. It is still produced by nomadic shepherd peoples, and because it is hard to create designs on it, it has changed very little since the earliest days. Zili weavings are preferred for making various tents, sacks, cushions, pillows and mats.

There are plain, cross, frameworked and checked zili weaving, all depending on the different application techniques.

Sumak weaving: In sumak weaving, design threads are continously wrapped around the warp loops in the same colored design area. While being wrapped around the warps in the same area, threads may also be wrapped in other design areas by reversing or going up the sides. Design threads create reliefs on the surface of the cloth.

In sumak weaving where weft threads are not used, cicim, zili and carpet techniques may be applied.

It is preferred in the making of prayer sheets, packsaddles and mats.

Plain, reversed weft, crossed weft and herringbone are some of the commonest types.

B. Kirkit Weaving With Pile:

Rugs: A warp skeleton is constituted by placing briest, cotton, silk and wool threads side by side. Every double thread in the skeleton is tied with silk or floss silk by means of various techniques and are tightened with the weft thread and kirkit. This is how weaving with piles is done. In rug production, there may be two or three wefts. In Turkey, two-wefted rugs are generally more common. After completing a few lines, weaving is cut to the desired length with the help of rug scissors. In recent years, there have also been rugs whose piles are cut to different lengths in order to create reliefs on the surface. These can also be used as mats, coverings and pillows etc.

Two types of knots are used in rug weaving.

1- Turkish Knot (Gördes Knot – Double Knot – Closed Loop): This is known in the relevant literature as the Turkish knot, which is used in rug production and takes that name from the way it was initially used in the village of Gördes in the province of Manisa. There are two types of Turkish knot. In Central Anatolia, first the front then the rear double warp is wrapped around with the thread. In Western Anatolia, the reverse procedure is carried out. Although these two types do not differ in quality, the pile of Western rugs is easier to cut.

2- Persian Knot (Sine Loop – Single Knot – Open Loop):

This takes its name from the fact it was first used in Western Iran. In this knot, the thread is only tied to the front part of the double warp, then passed behind the other warp and tightened by pushing downwards. In rugs with a Persian knot, two warp threads are also used as.

Uşak, Konya, Bergama (Yagcibedir), Hereke, Gördes, Kula, Ladik, Sivas, Milas, Antalya (Döseme alti), Fethiye, Kirsehir, Niğde, Kayseri and Isparta are some of the main rug production centers, known for their colours, designs and high quality.

Looms may be classified as follows according to type of use:

a- Looms With Kirkit: There are three such types; the table or horizontal looms (portable looms used to produce bezayağı weaving), the perpendicular loom used for rugs and plain looms.

b- Looms with Shuttle: Non-whipped looms (generally with two pedals, the shuttle being worked by hand), looms with whip (the whip pulls the shuttle while weaving), dimple looms (the place where the weaver sits and the pedals stand is in a hole), high looms and jacquard looms (used in weavings which require more than thirty two gücü).