Demirci district of Manisa province has preferred to overcome the stagnation in the machine weaved carpet sector by focusing on good quality handmade carpets. The city has a leading rank in the domestic and international markets with 21.000 handmade carpet stalls. Carpet weaving easily adapts to the conditions and models of the market since it is a business inherited from ancestors. It is possible to rapidly manufacture carpets at any color, design and quality. The shortest way that the consumers can access the Antique, Milas, Yörük (Nomadic), Kars, Yağcıbedir, Azeri, and Nepal type carpets is Demirci.
We visited and listed the district of Demirci together with the businessman Yüksel Dağhan, who is appreciated by the people there. We saw that he is taking the lead in many efforts aiming to contribute to the development of the region. Mr. Dağhan told us that he first started by analyzing the soil of the 380 hectares of idle land in Demirci and planted walnut, chestnut and olive trees. He said that in this way he can raise awareness among people to cause an increase in forestation attempts. He believes this will help to increase the trade figures from and to Demirci and thus contribute to opening of new employment opportunities for the people. He added that he shares his projects through joining NGOs to help to formation of a result oriented society, which he mentions as his main objective of his life. We also discussed with Mr. Dağhan the issue of carpet weaving, which is a main source of livelihood in Demirci for centuries and asked him to brief us about the Demirci carpets.
DAĞHAN: Carpet weaving is an active means of livelihood in Demirci district of Manisa province since centuries. Carpet weaving, which was brought to Anatolia by Turks from the central Asia, was improved by the Seljuk Turks and disseminated to all parts of Anatolia including Demirci.
During the Ottoman Empire, the materials and designs sent by the rulers were weaved in Demirci and the carpets were used in the palaces. Demirci has undergone a major structural changed during the 1990s. a big investment has been made and facilities established for machined weaving. However Demirci lost most of its market since the facilities were not improved and the developments in the market were not followed. Demirci regained its market, which it had lost in terms of machined weaving, through wall carpets and carpets weaved for mosques. Nowadays most of the mosque carpets markets in Turkey and abroad is controlled by Demirci. It is possible to see carpets in the mosques in every city, district or village. Export made by companies for 100 percent wool and with the brand “WOOLMARK” contributes to the Turkish economy. It is possible to see Demirci mosques carpets in almost cities of Turkey and in Europe. Demirci, which hosts pioneer companies of 100 percent wool mosque and hotel carpets, has been appreciated by exporters unions due to the exports made to USA, Russia, Central Asia, Japan and Arab countries.
Demirci has preferred to overcome the static situation of the machined carpet weaver by handmade carpets of good quality. Since carpet weaving is a profession that passes from father to children, the manufacturers easily adapt to the conditions and models of the market. It is possible to see carpets weaved in colors, designs and quality as required by the market in about 21.000 carpet looms. The shortest way the consumers can access carpet models like antique, Milas, Yörük (Nomad), Kars, Yağcıbedir, Azeri and Nepal type is Demirci.
While visiting carpet manufacturing facilities in Demirci together with Mr. Yüksel Dağhan, we also paid a visit to Mr. Bülent Aslan, owner of SERKO Carpet and Silk Industry, which is a pioneer of the sector in Demirci.
We asked Mr. Aslan to tell us how he preserved his position in the sector, how they adapted to the developing technology and shortly the tips for they managed this.
Bülent ASLAN: We are manufacturing 100 percent wool carpets for mosques, hotels, dormitories and large areas. Wool carpets are able to preserve their view much longer than other artificial fiber carpets. Volume and flexibility of the wool saves the carpet from the deformation. Once the pressure is lifted it returns to its original form.
First of all we produce first quality carpets; it is not ethic to produce second quality. Our basic sine qua non principle is always to produce better and good quality products. The only thing that changes in our carpets is the design and color.
To emphasize our approach for quality we have managed to register TS EN ISO 9001:2008 quality after long efforts. In addition, we have proved that our products are 100 % wool by obtaining the WOOLMARK brand given by World Wool Union (IWS).
We take the internal illumination of the place and the color harmony of the glazed tiles and calligraphy into consideration. We have so far furnished carpets to many hotels, mosques and student dormitories in Turkey and abroad. Currently we are furnishing bordered floor system carpet furnishing as a new system. We furnish borders completely to the sides of the areas furnished with carpets regardless of the size without using overlock as a single whole part. The advantage is that the additions are not evident and it appears that the carpet has been weaved for that specific area. The same is applied for stairs and corridors to form a unity.
As Serko Carpets, our list of references extends each day. We have received positive feedbacks from our customers and exporters unions in Turkey and abroad. One of our major projects in 2012 is that we are proud to be the company that will produce the carpets to be furnished to a new mosque that is being built in Mecca by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. This will be a unique reference in Turkey. For the first time 100 percent wool carpet will be furnished to a mosque in Saudi Arabia.
Our main principle is to furnish carpets special to the inner design of the building rather than priorly selecting color and design for that place.