Hi, My name is Max, and I am the proud owner and founder of Karavan: Treasured from Turkey. My journey in the U.S. began over 20 years ago, when I was brought from Turkey to Philadelphia as an expert in vegetable dyes and antique rugs by George (founder of Woven Legends) and Prof. Henry Glassie, (then the head of the American Folklore Society).
The company relocated to Sarasota, FL in the fall of 2017. In Our new location, Karavan has handmade Kütahya ceramics, mosaic lanterns, antique and new jewelry, unique bags, purses, wallets, good luck charms (aka, “evil eye”), and much much more. We are proud to say that almost all of Karavan’s products are handmade or sourced out among the best producers in Turkey, making them unique and one-of-a-kind.
About Our Carpets/ Rugs
After successfully helping to grow Geroge’s carpet business, I decided to pursue my own passion for rugs. I wanted to specialize in one of a kind antique village, tribal, and dowry rugs, as well as, newly produced rugs made in traditional styles with hand-spun wool and natural dyes, while attending college. As economies shift and urbanization takes hold in Turkey and the greater Middle East, handmade production of this caliber of carpets has been in decline. Our unique collection includes some of the last pieces of beautiful and practical, ancient art.
All of the rugs you can find on our site are hand-knotted in the traditional form, which includes wool on wool or wool on an organic prewashed cotton base. These styles of carpet weaving make the rugs incredibly durable and the vegetable dyes prevent color bleeding. The wool in our rugs is not bleached and has been washed a multiple-times during their production. Some of the much older antique rugs may have some repairs on the edges and fringes may be restored.
Details about our production
Some details about production:
1. These rugs were woven vertically by pulling the knots down. As a result, if one looks against the pile (the direction the rug was knotted) it looks darker, however, from the opposite direction the rug looks lighter. This effect can be more or less pronounced depending on the lighting.
2. The specialized knotting technique used to produce these rugs requires gentler hands and therefore are typically woven by women. This is a great source of income and helps improve create gender equality in pay to Turkish villagers. Importantly, children’s hands are not utilized in the production of these rugs, and child labor is strictly forbidden in Turkey.
3. Larger antique rugs were mostly commissioned by local dignitaries or Europe’s affluent class. As such, the materials used in these rugs are of the highest quality.
4. Many of our newer rugs were directly commissioned by me in the mountainous villages of Adiyaman and Malatya. In this way, I was able to have direct oversight on the production process, materials, designs, and fair compensation for the workers involved.
5. For those of you who may have allergies to carpets, it is important to know that none of our rugs contain wool that is bleached. The chemicals used in bleaching wool are what cause a majority of carpet related allergies
It is important to remember that each rug has history and meaning behind each symbol, color, and design. I love to talk about my pieces so please reach out to me for further details on any of my carpets.