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rug no longer available Anatolian Kars çuva in reciprocal brocading, 19th c.

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Jaff khorjin face  - click to see enlarged view

Design and attribution

The face of a beautiful large Anatolian storage bag (çuval) executed in reciprocal brocading—see Marla Mallett' website for a similar example (www.marlamallett.com/w-955.htm). I base the attribution on the çuval reproduced there due to the many design similarities, for example, the concentric diamond design and the way the bottom and top row of diamonds is turned into 'border' by a simple horizontal line separating it from the 'field'.

The diamond with the stacked three diamonds inside, and a pair of hooks extending sidewards from the central diamond, is one of the most commonly used in NW Persia and Anatolia. The design with its diagonal contours is derived form structural necessities in flatweave techniques. It is also common, for example, in Jaff Kurd knotted khorjins.


The çuval measures 35 x 30 inches (89 x 76cm). Dark brown woolen warps, thin red single wefts between each row of brocading. Marla Mallett explains the technique: "Brocaded designs are produced entirely on the loom, as the fabric is woven. Soft, lustrous pattern yarns are interlaced entirely by hand, and these pattern rows alternate with thin, plain-weave ground wefts. With most kinds of brocading, the weaver works facing the back of the textile. She interlaces each pattern yarn back and forth in its own pattern area, using small finger skeins which dangle on the back when not in use." At tope and bottom a small band of plainweave in red is still extant. The bottom will have once extended into a (striped or monochrome) back of the bag. The weave is quite fine (12.h,16.v), the handle supple and flexible.


The condition is quite good. There are a few small areas of repair, not very obvious, and a bit of wear in the lower right corner. The edgrs have at some point been re-wrapped with light grey wool.


All colours are clearly derived from natural dyes. Two shades of madder red are used to create contrasting diamond-shaped bands. Overall, the madder and indigo blue show a lot of abrash, which lends a lively quality to the austere diamond repeat pattern. Further colours used are a light yellow white, a reddish dark-bwown and a lighter grey-brown.

More images

Anatolian Kars çuval - centre

Anatolian Kars çuval - diamond

Anatolian Kars çuval - side

Anatolian Kars çuval - repairs

Anatolian Kars çuval - anoher repair

Anatolian Kars çuval - top border

Anatolian Kars çuval - back side

Last update: o6 April 2007 | Impressum—Imprint