Tulu is the English pronunciation for the Turkish word, "tüylü" meaning hairy. The technique used for weaving is similar to that of the Middle and Western Anatolian carpets. The number of wefts is slightly more than that of the regional carpets and the yarn for tying is spun loose giving it a more warm, soft and piled look. Tulu carpets are woven in Karapinar which is to the east of Konya, Turkey. This region is a half-desert like plain and to the north there are barren mountains. There are many ruins of ancient Anatolian civilizations dating back 7000 years. Till about 70-80 years ago the Turkoman villagers lived closely with the Greek villagers. Nature did not allow for much agriculture besides wheat and stock-breeding. There are about 30 villages situated around the plain which are all a part of Karapinar.
The villagers and some of the town's residents move to the mountains in the north during the summer to avoid the extreme heat. While they live in warm, earth-roofed houses during the winter they move to live in their dark tents in the rugged terrain in the summer months. They weave carpets in order to make a living and to protect and cover themselves. Until recently they have been weaving carpets and kilims for themselves only. But due to the skill of women, high quality of yarn and cheap labor this region has become the center for commercially woven carpets.
The tulu carpets that we refer to are of this category: non-commercially woven carpets. In our opinion, tulu carpets reflect the mysticism and regional archeology of the area. These carpets also exhibit the Greek influences of the past generations.
"Filikli" rugs are a special kind of tulu rugs with longer piles compared to the non filikli ones. You can find filikli rugs consisting of one or several separate wings that are dyed separately and then hand-sewn together. "Filik" denotes the locks of hair on the sides of kid mohair goats. A filikli weave is made up of warp and wefts and of tufting of 20 to 25 centimeter long bundles of kid fiber attached to the warps and wefts with Gordes knots. Like with tulu rugs, filikli rugs are used for several purposes: As wall decorations, bed or sofa covers, and even as prayer rugs. Besides their many uses, filikli rugs are also known as popular collectibles and textile art. While some are real eye-catchers because of their bright and shiny colors, other examples are simply left in their natural tones or show basic geometric designs.
Like tulu rugs they have become popular decoration items in the western world. However, original tulu and filikli rugs are hard to come by, since the breading of Angora goat has almost stopped in Anatolia. While looking for a tulu or filikli rug, you may also stumble occasionally over the so called “Siirt blankets”, which can be very similar in design. However, both, tulu and filikli rugs are not to be confused with these blankets, which are made entirely of the common goat hair and therefore harder to the touch.
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