Goes To Turkey
N. N. Shavrov worked in Tiflis (Tblisi) in a regional headquarters
of the agriculture department of Imperial Russia. He was the expert
on Caucasia’s silk industry, his publications and books a
key source concerning that activity. He also was knowledgeable in
matters apian, writing on that subject as well.
Bureaucrats such as Shavrov with responsibility for supporting
the kustar’ (home craft) industry had a keen interest
in modernization; since such a large part of the population made
carpets and textiles, looms and designs were very much on the agenda
for change. Production on the one hand, marketing on the other.
So, in 1901 Mr. Shavrov betook himself to Anatolia, observed what
he could, gathered information, returned, and wrote a book.a
The book covers rug making beyond Anatolia, but only cursorily.
The Anatolia data are quite detailed – sizes, knot counts,
and the like. A person who knows the rugs and can handle the Russian
text may find it interesting.
One element, however, is readily accessible to all, the photographs
– bad as they are -- for the most part involving looms --
are reproduced below. With one possible exception -- Brussa (aka
nowadays Bursa) -- the weaving location portrayal seems unexceptionable,
as does the list for wool dyestuffs except for reds: madder, cochineal,
as well as kermez (cherbets duba, oak tree worm, Coccus
There is some emphasis on Smyrna and identification of its weaving
nodes as Demirzhi, Ak-Hissar, Gordes, and Kula. Konia is apparently
next in significance with seven subsidiary centers the most important
of which is Zille with 130 working looms. Karaman (a broad geographic
term) is next in scale of production. Carpet-making in Brussa is
enigmatically noted as “not too few”, i.e. some, (ne
malo) and cited for its home weaving on the part of both Moslems
The basis for the sketch map isn’t evident. The map is fairly
illegible even in the book and worse as reproduced here. The different
red tones reflect the degree of weaving activity, running from lightest
to darkest, as follows: “only weakly developed”, “developed”,
“industry is important”, “the principal region
For an earlier but of the period snapshot of Smyrna and Ushak weaving,
see "The Smyrna Rug Trade".
As for the pictures, locations are given, and one or two new designs
N. Shavrov, Kovrovoe Proizvodstvo b Maloi Azii, Tiflis,