These special carpets represent the pinnacle of the Turkish carpet weaving tradition. Hereke rugs were inspired by the motifs and compositions of traditional Turkish carpets, as well as by the more elaborate curvilinear motifs of Persia and Egypt. Antique Hereke carpets — from neo-classic designs with sophisticated all over patterns to swarming gardens of plants and fruits — are designers’ top choice for any type of decor.
Hereke: Imperial Palaces to the Vermeil Room of the White House
The Village of Hereke (the name derives from Hercules) is a unique weaving center located at the northern edge of Izmit Bay, near Istanbul. Hereke has been producing rugs from the time of the Ottoman Empire, and the factories developed by Sultan Abdulmecid in 1843.
Hereke rugs, which were woven exclusively for palaces and the aristocracy of the late 19th century, and also as gifts to heads of state and dignitaries, steadily gained popularity and received many awards for their quality. Their glorious production was interrupted for a period after the 1923 revolution, when the Turkish Republic was formed. However, a renaissance in the 1950s revived the industry, reawakening interest in the outstanding weaving techniques of hand-knotted rugs.
Hereke carpets are double knotted using the Turkish knot, which is tightly squeezed, resulting in a more durable product. The rugs are woven in either pure silk or cotton, and wool. Hereke wool carpets are made with warps and wefts of cotton, providing greater tensile strength and allowing a denser more durable carpet.
Hereke Silk Rugs
Hereke silk carpets, which are made with high quality silk from Bursa, are the crème de la crème of silk rugs. Just like their rival, Persian silks, copies are woven outside of Turkey, mostly in China. If you are purchasing a silk Hereke, ask for a certificate of authenticity.
Here is a trade secret: The nap of authentic Silk Hereke rugs made in Turkey is the opposite of their design. Below is a photo of a Hereke silk rug cleaned by revitaRUGS. The nap is in the direction of the arrow shown. A Chinese made Silk Hereke may look perfect, but will reveal itself by the direction of its nap!
Direction of the nap