Basically, why not?
Especially I would like to ask you to be very carefully and please don’t let your emotions take charge.
The Salesmen of every holiday resort (or tourist centre) of the world know that the pockets are looser during holidays… If you normally think three times before you pay hundreds of even thousands of Euros for a beautiful rug, in holidays you quickly agree to do so.
Why do humans act in this way?
The reason is simple: on holidays we are in a flush of happiness. In holidays all is beautiful and nice, because we LIKE it – it’s leisure! Our brain spills Serotonin – the happy hormon – in big quantities and therefore we see all in a smooth light, all is wonderful and nothing bad exists. The same flush we experience, when we are newly in love…
Coming back in our normal environment, the flush fades and then you are at home with your rug and the questions appear:
Is this Hereke a genuine one?
Is this price fair or have I paid too much?
How can I recognise whether the rug is genuine and the price fair?
What can I do now?
To answer the last question at first: If you have paid a big sum of money, go to an expert, who is acknowledged with the Chamber of Commerce or/and the courts of law and let proof the rug.
If the purchased rug did not cost a lot, just enjoy your beautiful souvenir from Turkey.
Because I think, it was better to think about this questions before your holidays I would like to give you some tips about purchasing a genuine Hereke silken rug during your holidays in Turkey.
Of course, I will not tell you that each Turkish carpet dealer is a swindler or shark – that was a lie. Fact is that it is very difficult for a layperson to find out whether the offered silk rug is a genuine Hereke one or not.
Therefore my first and most important advice for you is:
Be carefully, do not let them play with your emotions!
Before going on holiday you have to know that all prices in each tourist centre all over the world are much higher than anywhere else, because the costs for renting the shop, etc are higher as well.
When it is important for you to purchase a Turkish rug in Turkey and for that reason you accept the higher price – okay.
But if you think (or recieve the feeling), you would go to Turkey to get a bargain and you pay a higher price – then it is not okay.
The worst experience is that there are rugs offered as “genuine Hereke silken rugs”, the price is higher than usual – and what you get is a fake. That is criminal. Unfortunately it is very difficult “to get” such sharks, because they often have not address and name to find them, the salesmen change often, sometime from week to week, you have nobody to complain to.
The salesmen in Turkey usual first name a very high price and you have the opportunity to beat it down, that gives you the feeling that you made a bargain, but the price you finally get is still higher than usual. My customers told me about prices till 25 % higher than it was fair – and they got fakes.
A detail of the above shown rug.
The patterns of genuine Hereke silken Carpets are worked always absolutely fine and perfect.
The same pattern as above – but a fake.
Compare the fineness of patterns, especially the birds and flowers. The seemingly Arabic letters on this rug are fake and they mean nothing. The letters in the centre are some similar to the name of Allah, what no Muslim would knot in a carpet, because it is an offense to step on the name of Allah. I asked a native Arabic speaking and writing acquaintance.
On the original Hereke rug is knotted a verse of Rumi Mevlana.
I would like to ask you to be aware of some more things, when a genuine Hereke Carpet is offered to you during your holidays in Turkey:
1. Please hear very attentive, what the salesman tells you
Not all salesmen are actual lying (although they may like to sell the rug with a higher price than it is worth), therefore they choose words, which give you a wrong impression, because you are not attentive enough…
Does the salesman speak from an Anatolian (or Turkish) Carpet with Hereke patterns? – that may be a beautiful silken carpet, made in Turkey, but it is not a genuine Hereke.
Does he speak from silken carpet with Hereke patterns? – That could be a Chinese or Indian silken carpet.
One salesman answered after I said to him that the rugs he offers with a price similar to genuine Hereke were not genuine Hereke ones “that the knotting technique was the criteria” – a lie!
A genuine Hereke rug is only a genuine one, when it is knotted in Hereke – and no where else!
When the salesman speaks from genuine or original Hereke Carpets, he should be able to attest that. Best with a certificate of the Hereke Carpet Weavers Association, what for me is the most confident one.
2. Touch the rug
Does the rug feel smooth like a soft toy? Maybe it is a Chinese silken rug.
Go with your hand over the rug at first in one direction – with the pile – it feels like you would touch human skin, secound go back in the other direction – against the pile – it feels like you would go over velvet. If it feels like this, it could be a genuine Hereke.
3. Turn the rug
Are the lines perfect straight? It could be a genuine Hereke.
See this example:
The “Tree of Life” of my sample collection with its backside: The backside of a genuine Hereke silken rug always displays the patterns as clear as on the front.
This detail of the backside of the above rug shows the perfection of hand-knotting art of a genuine Hereke silken Carpet. This rug is knotted in a density of 15 x 15 Turkish Double Knots = approx. 225 (!) Turkish Double Knots per square centimeter (!) = approx. 2,250,000 Turkish Double Knots per square meter… 100 % handmade!
Are the lines of the you shown rug buckled? Are the knots not perfect? It could be an Anatolian (Chinese or Indian) one with Hereke patterns.
4. Count the knots
Are there actually 10 x 10 or 12 x 12 knots per square centimeter? Almost all carpet dealer will help you with a knot counter. If not, just take a straightedge and count the knots of one centimeter once horizontal and once vertical. You should get the named number of knots – 10 x 10 or 12 x 12 or what ever. Take the time to actually count. Count at different places of the rug. If there are big differences, be carefully! Small differences always can appear, as the rugs are handmade.
5. Ask for the producer and the way of production
The Chinese like to use similar looking and sounding names of manufactures, which actually exist or have existed.
When anyone does not like to name the producer, but begins to tell you anything about “women near Hereke” or something else, be carefully!
I have heard that the pile was burned (!) to get the very short and equal pile as it is usual in genuine Hereke silken rugs. They answered to my question, it was made to give the treads more durability. That is a lie and it is only for one reason done this way: To be able to complete a rug faster – and therefore cheaper – but they sell the rug for a similar or even higher price than a genuine Hereke would cost. And beside of this, they name their rugs 100 % handmade.
A genuine Hereke Carpet is always 100 % handmade. No machine (beside of the loom) touches the rug. The pile is trimmed by hand after each knotted line using special scissors. And a genuine Hereke Carpet is always knotted with the durable Turkish Double Knot (Gordesknot).
Copyright of this picture: Dania Calderin
6. Ask where the silk is from
A genuine Hereke silken Carpet is always knotted with silk from Bursa in Turkey, no cheaper Chinese or Kashmere or other silk is used. Once me was told that silk from Brazil was used, “because it was better”? For a genuine Hereke? It is cheaper, of course, but why such rugs are sold more expensive than a genuine Hereke one?
7. Ask for a certificate
The certificate should contain:
A picture of the rug
A serial number
The used material
The knot density
The name of the pattern
The certificate should explecitely name that you get a genuine or original Hereke. The only mention of
100 % handmade and/or 100 % Turkish (or Anatolian) product does not ensure the authenticity of a genuine Hereke… far from it!
If there is only given the address of a dealer (maybe without the name of the dealer) and the name and address of a company abroad, please be very carefully. It does not make sense to produce a genuine Hereke (see above) abroad to bring it then to Turkey.
You should have the possibility to verify the certificate.
Tell the dealer you would verify the rug with an expert, who is acknowledged with the Chamber of Commerce and courts of law.
The certificate of the Hereke Carpet Weavers Association, for example, tells that you get an originial Hereke, there are named two different serial numbers. One serial number of the rug, the other one of the certifcate. Verifying the certificate both numbers have to match to be sure about the origin of the rug and the authenticity of the certificat. You can verify these certificates from all over the world via Internet, letter or phone call. Each acknowledged expert will verify this rug as a genuine Hereke one as well.
At the end:
When you get to see such things:
That is a fake!
The Hereke seal is never knotted in this way! I will not tell you, in which way it is knotted, because the falsifier are also in the internet to read and to find out, in which way they may fake the original ones.
If you see such thing:
It is a fake!
No dealer or producer would put a seal through a genuine Hereke. In this way not only the rug, but the value of it was destroyed. Genuine Hereke silken rugs are longterm investment, like each artwork of a well known artist. No serious artdealer would destroy an artwork to “show” it was an original – and no seriours dealer of genuine Hereke Carpets would do either.
I wish you a wonderful holiday season with a lot of beautiful experiences – and please, do not let play with your emotions!