17. February - 20. March 2004 TÜLÜ
- Long Pile Rugs from Central Anatolia
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TÜLÜ - Long Pile Rugs from Central Anatolia
Men had slept on roughly stitched up animal skins ever since prehistoric
times. However, they eventually succeeded in knotting woollen threads into
fabric and as a result became able to produce larger and more regularly shaped
sleeping rugs. The tülü from the Karapinar region east of Konya
illustrate the history of their origin.
The name "TÜLÜ" is derived from Turkish "tüylü", meaning
"feathery", which describes the texture and look of the textile as well as
Tülü often look like enormous sheep skins. Natural shades of soft
white, beige and brown wool make them appear lively and vigorous. Dyed wool
is not often used. Unlike in "normal" rugs, motifs are sparsely applied.
Tülü were produced for private use only and were consequently
never subject to any dictate of fashion or restraint of convention. This
is the reason why largely unknown ancient and archaic symbolism has survived
in the tülü over the centuries. These rugs have a strong and rather
intriguing effect on the "Occidental" viewer.
The rug is ideal to sleep on because of its long pile and the velvety texture
of the sheep's wool. Mohair goat hair was also used, but not as often as sheep's
wool; camel hair was occasionally used in combination with other wool. In
everyday life, these sleeping rugs were practical in many ways: they served
as carpets in the entrance to the tent, as horse blankets, as throws on sofas,
as wall hangings to protect the family against cold, heat and wet. Small
tülü were used as cushions, prayer rugs or sleeping rugs for children.
In this exhibition, some 35 tülü are representing the classic
aesthetics of surprisingly fashionable and up-to-date looking carpets. The
oldest example shown is a "chessboard tülü" in red and blue, from
1860. Most of the other exhibits are about 50 years old, some are older.
They are evidence of the "cultivation of tülü" which was kept up
well into the 20th century.