Treasures of Turkey, Sarasota Florida
Muammer (Max) Önder learned the carpet business in the Covered Bazaar in Istanbul, becoming a specialist in hand-spun wool and natural dyes. There in the carpet center of the world, he met many specialists in antiques. When an American dealer from Philadelphia wanted to start carpet production in Turkey, he hired Muammer, the owner of Karavan, to supervise. Eventually, Muammer came to Philadelphia and his American adventure began. After earning his degree in International Business, he took a management position with Robb & Stucky, a high-end furniture store in Florida, helping designers learn about Oriental Rugs. Now in Annapolis with his own business, Muammer (or Max) has become known for his friendly approach, great prices, willingness to listen to and assist his customers, and for the wonderful carpets and decorative items that he brings from Turkey.
Buying rugs for your home can seem daunting, since there are so many different kinds in the market. It is extremely difficult for most buyers to know what is an authentic hand-made rug and what is just a mass production, especially when companies use misleading terms such as “hand-loomed” for machine-made rugs. Carpet experts have had to learn such distinctions as a part of their training, and they constantly come across new types of carpets. A good carpet dealer will share this information and help the customer learn more about why certain carpets are of a higher quality. It is important to identify your own tastes and then set out to learn more.
Rugs may be hand-made from low-grade, leftover wool, which can be reprocessed by machines and turned into threads to be bleached, dyed, and woven. In the old days, that leftover stuff would only be used as fillings for pillows and beds. The reverse side of a rug made from leftover wool looks rough and feels scratchy (feels like it has tiny mulch pieces in the rug from the reverse). Almost all department stores sell rugs made of low-grade wool. They are mainly made in India. Although they are hand-made and use traditional motifs taken from oriental rugs, these rugs lack the luster, resistance to staining, and durability characteristic of traditional weavings. The lower costs of department store rugs reflect the low price paid to workers in large factories and the very low quality of materials.
Many customers feel intimidated by the “mysteries of the oriental carpet.” Although rug collecting can become a lifetime adventure for those who wish to explore the history, regional variations, and dying techniques involved in making these works of art, most people have simpler needs: they want a beautiful carpet which reflects their discerning tastes, which suits their home, which will last without causing cleaning problems, and which is not over-priced. A reputable dealer will be able to explain the few simple requirements for underlying quality and will not try to interfere with the customer’s preferences in terms of color, design, and thickness.
At Karavan : Treasures from Turkey, our main focus is to find the best samples of hand-made rugs, either new or old, with traditional qualities. If they are new, we mostly look for Turkish knots (also called Gördes knots), vegetable dyes, and hand-spun wool used with traditional designs. They may be Turkish, Kurdish, Turkmen, Azeri, or from the Caucasus. We select from small rug productions, which preserve the human touch of the weavers and concentrate on the qualities of the past. Most antique carpets lasted from grandparents to grandchildren because they were well made. The modern consumer of wool carpets should value the durability of traditional rugs because we put more stress on our floors, with pets, children, and entertaining.
The traditional rug-weaving peoples of the Caucasus and Asia Minor (now Turkey) have a long lasting tradition, which includes a deep knowledge of the animals, sheep and goats, which provide the wool, and a world-view reflected in the designs of the rugs. Because folk art is a way of communication between a person’s inner life and the community, carpet designs express joys, sorrows, beliefs, feelings, and they’re the natural elements of the natural surroundings. A professional can tell if a rug was made in Turkey, Persia, or Central Asia from the wool, weavings, symbols, and other clues. Even more so, in which small region of those places it was made. That is due to the fact that those different areas have very distinct styles.
When it comes to rugs made in India or China, the traditional motifs have no meaning to the weavers, who just duplicate them like factory designs. Carpets made in a factory-style settings, by weavers who don’t feel a connection with the symbols, end up looking too perfect, just like a machine made ones. You may as well buy mechine made one which also has no soul
Part of the charm of a hand-made rug is its irregularities and flow, which give every piece a distinct differentiation. That only happens when people weave in an environment where they are free to express themselves in the art form. That is exactly what we seek when buying rugs for our store.
When it comes to old rugs, we mostly look for village or tribal rugs or rugs made for those communities. We buy them, wash them and, if need be, repair them and ship them to our store to present them to you with the best prices which we can afford.
We provide services, such as cleaning, repair, rug pads, and inform you about how to care for your rug.
When you come to Karavan : Treasures from Turkey, you will get the best service, honest information about the rug you may purchase, or at the least, enough cultural information about Turkey and help when you visit Turkey. If nothing, upon your request, you will get Turkish tea or coffee-free of charge..