Antalya’s sun-kissed rugs find a market in the U.S.

After the wheat harvest in Antalya, thousands of rug enthusiasts in the United States turn their attention to this field. Ninety-nine percent of the rugs, which are sun-faded into a pastel spectacle, are exported to the U.S.

Publication: 22.06.2024 - 14:33
Antalya’s sun-kissed rugs find a market in the U.S.
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In the Döşemealtı district, fields sown with wheat in the winter are opened to rug businesses in the summer after the harvest. The field owners or businesses first repair the rugs and carpets, some of which are centuries old, and then immerse them in sterile pools to remove any microbes. The rugs and carpets are then laid out in the sun to fade into pastel colors, creating a visual feast. Over 20,000 rugs and carpets, turned at regular intervals to ensure they absorb moisture and heat evenly, are transformed into a "rug field." Once they have been cleaned and their colors have been set, they are shipped primarily to the U.S. and some European locations.

"We Use the Field for Rugs in Summer, Wheat in Winter"

Rug businessman Hasan Topkara, who plans to lay out nearly 15,000 rugs this year, explained their processes. Topkara said, "Our fields are never empty. We use them for rugs in the summer and wheat in the winter. First, we clean off the moths and burn the backs. Then, we disinfect and sun-fade them to pastel colors. We gather the products before any rain, constantly monitoring the weather."

Topkara noted that all the rugs are handmade items collected from across Turkey. "After processing, they are sent to Istanbul. Ninety-nine percent are sold abroad, mostly to America, with some buyers from Europe," he added.

"U.S. Customers Say Sun-Faded Rugs Fit Well with Decor"

Halil Börekçi, who has been in the rug business for 50 years, shared his insights:

"The heat softens foreign materials. The morning dew softens the rugs, and the midday heat evaporates the dew, cleaning out the microbes. These are naturally dyed wool rugs and carpets. There are no synthetics. We mainly sell to the U.S., with smaller amounts going to Europe. Customers request these treatments. U.S. and European customers say that sun-faded rugs fit well with decor and sell faster."