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Yahyali Oriental Rug - 19th CenturhyYahyali Oriental Rug - 19th Centurhy


Yahyali in TurkeyYahyali in Turkey
Districts of Kayseri ProvinceDistricts of Kayseri Province

Yahyali is both a town as well as the southernmost district of the Kayseri Province of Turkey. The Taurus (Aladaglar) Mountains define its area and the Zamanti River crosses through it.

Recent years have seen the area of Yahyali become more of a tourist destination, featuring rafting on the Zamanti River and hiking in the The Aladaglar National Park.

Mining in the mountain ranges for the rich deposits of iron, zinc, and lead has been more intensive in recent years as well.

The Kapuzbasi waterfalls close to the center of the town, on the slopes of Aladaglar, has become enough of an attraction that it can now be found in guidebooks.

Agriculture and animal husbandry, along with the traditional handmade rugs, produced with natural dyes, are the main economic activities.

The languages spoken in Yahyali are Kurdish, Azerbaijani, Avaric, and Turkish.

The Yahyali weavers produced very popular rugs of especially fine quality as are the Kayseri oriental rugs also made in the Province of Kayseri. They are well known for their weave and durability.


The Warp (up and down cords) and the Weft (side to side cords), as well as the Pile, are all wool. The 2 shoots of wefts are colored with madder (natural red dye).

The Knot is the symmetrical Turkish knot.

The Ends are varied with a single or multi-colored kilim (flat weave), a braided kilim, a looped fringe on one end or 1 or 2 ends braided.

The Sides consist of 2 cords overcast in wool.

The antique Yahyali rugs contain high quality wool, most of it spun locally. The weave is tighter than most Turkish village rugs and the rugs can be very shiny.

Contemporary Yahyali rugs can seem to be a bit dull and scratchy to the touch, though with time the colors may soften, as well as the wool.


Most Yahyali oriental rugs, both antique and contemporary, feature a hexagon or diamond medallion as the symmetrical main ornamental motif, often with pendants (sometimes in the form of hanging lamps). The hexagon may be single, double or triple.

Yahyali Oriental Rug - 19th CenturyYahyali Oriental Rug - 19th Century
Yahyali Oriental Rug - 19th CenturyYahyali Oriental Rug - 19th Century

The main border generally consists of stylized flowers and other geometric motifs.

Some Yahyali rugs contain the prayer design. The double horn pattern, symbolizing fertility, is also often used.


The color harmony of the antique rugs is warm, with reds, rich indigo blues, white, and pale raw umber with hints of yellow ochre as the dominant colors.

The motifs are highlighted by strong colors, such as dark reds and blues. The dyes are all natural and dyed locally. In the antique Yahyali rugs, the main field is almost always red, often with a blue medallion and stepped edged corner pieces.

Yahyali Oriental RugYahyali Oriental Rug

Contemporary Yahyali rugs, though still containing natural dyes, tend to employ more harsh hues such as midnight blue, burgundy, lime green, orange, and a very white white.


These rugs are usually narrow but generally not so narrow as to be considered a runner.

Common sizes are approximately 3 x 4, 4 x 6, 3 x 10, and 2.25 x 13.

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Oriental and Area Rug Washing at ABC Oriental Rug 

Rugs on the wash floor are gently scrubbed before thorough rinsing.

Gentle scrubbing continues. Note the wringer in the background-the next step in the washing process after rinsing.

After thorough rinsing, the rug is sent slowly and carefully through the wringer to take out as much of the water as possible before being hung on racks in the drying room. 

Rugs are hung on a rack in the temperature controlled drying room until completely dry.