Image: Vedat Demiralp of Coban Rugs
In the run up to Selvedge World Fair – 3 – 5 September 2020 – a celebration of cloth, culture and creativity, we are profiling some of the 100 artisans taking part. Today, we look at the work of Vedat Demiralp of Coban Rugs. We featured Coban Rugs in Issue 74, “Memories from his childhood in the Black Sea region came flooding back when Vedat Demiralp spied a remarkable rug on a friend’s floor whilst visiting Turkey twelve years ago [written in 2017]. He was reminded of the special rugs woven from goat hair which were, at one time, an honoured part of a woman’s dowry. Highly valued and painstakingly handmade, these deceptively simple rugs were considered an important part of Turkish rural culture.”
“As Turkey’s rural population has migrated away from remote mountainous areas to the cities in search of work, these rugs have almost entirely disappeared. Younger generations are drawn towards the colourful, mass production of the late twentieth century and these monochromatic rugs have become casualties of such trends. Demiralp visited the village where they were still being made and sold. In the past these rugs would have been made on a regular basis, at home, to supplement a family’s income; but as demand has declined so too have the skills required. He found the weavers in their forties and fifties, and not all of the designs good – but there were some lovely examples. Since then he has founded Coban Rugs and dedicated himself to reviving and refining the designs and reintroducing the skills. He began hiring the best weavers to make them for him and his predominantly UK based, interior design market. While remaining completely loyal to the original concept he has fine-tuned their production.”
Selvedge World Fair tickets are available now, and give you access to talks, shopping, demonstrations, articles and interviews as well as a prize quiz.
Visit Selvedge World Fair for tickets and more information.