Kum Kapi Rug

Kum Kapi

Literally “Sand Gate”, these Turkish silk rugs were woven for a short time in the 1920’s by Armenian weavers working in Istanbul.
With silk pile and foundation,knot counts run up to 1000 per square inch. The pile is clipped extremely short and details are often brocaded in gold or silver metal bread. Prayer formats are the most common: the “Sultan’s Head” with a curvy pinched arch is almost frequently encountered. Very few Kum Kapi are in larger sizes and 8’x 10’ seems to be about an upper limit. Almost all are small, under 4’x 6’ and are intended to be hung rather than placed underfoot.
Many rugs were signed by the master weavers leading the workshop. The most active was Zareh Penyamin.
The modern rugs of Hereke carry on this tradition, although in softer, nearly pastel, color schemes. These are extremely fine, but these rugs are not signed, however, and the workshops are anonymous.
Kum-Kapi and Hereke silks have always been extremely valuable and the best antiques Kum Kapi rugs when signed and in perfect condition have fetched over $100000.00 at auction. Because of the value attached to materials and techniques, these rugs never show wear and tear, and are as crisp as the day they were made.

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