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Buying a rug in Istanbul

Kilim Rug
I had no plans to buy a rug in Turkey. My house has one too many rugs and I had recently bought a jute rug for my living room. But a determined salesman persuaded me to look at the rugs his store offers. It was a very short walk from the Basilica Cistern where I happened to spend a couple of hours so I decided to go to with him to his store. 

At the store they offered me hot tea served in tulip shaped glasses. I couldn’t even touch it as it was too hot to hold. Anyway, I was immediately distracted by a different salesman unfolding rugs before me. He asked me what type I wanted and I replied, “a peaceful one”. As you can see, none of these rugs are peaceful. They are fully covered with geometric or floral designs. The kilim rug above has cross symbols which protects against the evil eye while the running water symbol framing the edges of the rug represents life. This rug was my favorite of the lot.

Here’s another kilim rug but the colors are darker. You can still find the cross and running water patterns as well as the eye symbol which deflects evil-intentioned glances and negative energy. 

Silk rug
This is a luxurious rug. It is rather large in size and would have to be shipped if I decided to buy it. The store can ship these rugs around the world. But I wasn’t attracted to the design. It’s too busy and the total opposite of the peaceful rug I had in mind though I had made it clear to the salespeople that I wasn’t planning to buy any rug.

Wool rug
Here’s a typical rug that I’ve often seen in major stores in the U.S. It has floral patterns and elegant vases adorn the four corners of the inner rectangle. Eyes peek from the center of the rug. The future owner will be well protected from malicious stares. This wool rug should fit well in villas and castles throughout Europe but not in my humble home. 

While I left with no rug, I was happy to have learned a little bit about the different designs, materials, textures, symbolisms and the salesmanship of the staff. I communicated with them how the sales pitch can often turn off buyers from entering these stores or engaging with any of the salespeople. So they let me off to look at the rugs in “peace” and take photos of the various rugs sold at the store. I think I am better prepared to buy a new rug in the future should I ever need one.


Images by TravelswithCharie



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