The last examples of the famous Ladik carpets
KONYA – Anadolu Agency
AA photoAs carpet production has ended in the Central Anatolian province of Konya’s Ladik neighborhood, the city’s world famous Ladik carpets are dying out. Ladik, located in the province’s Sarayönü district, had been considered one of the most important centers of carpet and rug production since the 17th century.
Ladik carpets, weaved from wool in looms in the neighborhood, are known for their appearance and production quality. With their unique colors and motifs, they are one of the significant cultural values of Anatolia and had been a means of living for hundreds of families until the last 10 years.
Because of industrial production and the high cost of workmanship, Ladik carpets began to lose their popularity and production ended eight years ago.
The former president of the Ladik carpet cooperation, Mustafa Özkan, said each square meter of a Ladik carpet had 200,000 knots. He said that a single carpet had 1.2 million knots and a six-square-meter carpet took nearly 40 days to complete.
Özkan said due to their quality and beauty, Ladik carpets came after Turkey’s famous Hereke carpets, and continued:
“The carpet used to be produced in places called ‘carpet houses.’ They were weaved in iron or wooden looms with 13 different colors and had nearly 50 types. Before industrialization, madder was used to give color to the yarn of the carpet. Fabricated yarn began to be used after industrialization. In the beginning, people used to weave carpets for their own. Then it became a sector because it was in demand. In later years, Ladik carpets suffered a serious loss because of machine-made carpets. With their unique style, Ladik carpets are now among the forgotten handicrafts of Anatolia.”
‘This carpet is dead’
Mustafa Karadoğan, a carpet trader in Ladik, said he was trying to help Ladik carpets survive through his enterprise.
Stating that his family had been involved in the carpet trade for many years, Karadoğan said, “I had more than 300 looms and 1,200 people were working on these looms. Unfortunately, this number is zero right now. The tools I have are scrap… This carpet is dead right now. I have 35 carpets and use them for promotion in my store. I will sell them if I can find good buyers. The Ladik carpet will become a legend.”
Karadoğan noted the high cost of the carpet, and added, “The employment cost of a four-square-meter carpet is 2,000 Turkish Liras. With its yarn, wool and other costs it reaches 4,000 liras. And its sale price becomes 6,000 liras. It is hard to sell it. Now I participate in a handicraft exhibition in Konya and try to promote Ladik carpets there. I earn my living through carpet cleaning. If I quit this job, the Ladik carpet name will be forgotten. I have only one wish, which is the establishment of a Ladik carpet museum to keep its name alive.”