Turkish Carpets are well known carpets in the world because of their quality.
You will find good capret stores in the Grand bazaar and on other places.
If you want to buy a carpet be prepared for a long sit and watch for many carpets until you will find the one that you like.
The sellers will be happy to answer your questions and explain about the carpets.
What to buy: Carpets
What to pay: The carpets can be small or very big , very old or new ones.
I should say that I had visited the ER & NE & MET carpet shop dring my previous visit to Istanbul back in April 2002.
So, the info I am giving could be a bit outdated. However, the fact that they still have their web-site gives me hopes that what I have to say about this place might still be valid :)
Probably you are wondering how did I get there on first place. Well, me and a friend of mine - American boy were walking around Sultanahmet area and we wanted to see the Blue Mosque.
When we were about to enter the yard a young boy approached us and offered us something like a guided tur for free. The only thing we had to do is to go to his shop afterwards, no obligation to buy - just to look around :)))
We went to the shop with the intention only to look around but after drinking a couple of glasses of apple tea and stearing at endless number of carpets and rugs my friend finally bought one.
I should say the service was really good and they were treating us extreemly nice even though we made it clear we can not afford to spend too much. The guy who showed us around the Blue Mosque even took us out for dinner :)
What to buy: ER & NE & MET are specialised in seling rugs, carpets and kilims, both old and new.
There is an impressive variety of carpets from different regions but I think mostly from Anatolia. As far as remeber it was a family run business and their origin was from Anatolia although I am not quite sure because it was a long time ago.
I do not have a picture from the shop, so I borrowed one from their site. It really looked like that :)
What to pay: Well, I think the price is highly negotiable and it depend on the quality and the size.
The god new is that they offer free delivery with international courriers all over the world in a week or 10 days.
What actually convinced my friend to buy the rug was the fact that he could pay with is credit card. The accept all well-known credit cards.
AVOID shopping for carpets in Istanbul, Izmir, Bergama, Ephesus, Ankara, or any other main tourist area!
Go to the SOURCE... smaller towns off the beaten path, where shopkeepers are truly friendly, give you an excellent price because they aren't used to tourists, and BARGAIN with them.
NOTE: GO TO the more expensive shops and get them to explain all about carpets BEFORE you go to buy one in the small locations(example, the state-run shop in Istanbul). That way, you can get a great carpet at a great price, and make a small-town shopkeeper very happy, because they tend to be the best ones you will meet in Turkey! :)
AVOID any person who advertises their shop on here... chances are it is a tourist trap, and they will jack the prices up. If you are paying $500 for a wool-on-wool, 4x7 carpet that is not very detailed, you are PAYING TOO MUCH! Use $300 as a gauge for those kinds of carpet, which is about 390 YTL now.
What to buy: Go to the state-run carpet shop for information only.
What to pay: $300 minimum.
Everywhere in the tourist areas of Istanbul are people who are on a neverending quest to get people to enter their carpet shops. Many people do come here to buy carpets, and that is fine. However, it can get a bit annoying to have people constantly try to get you to shop for carpets when you are focusing on sightseeing. It gets to the point where you have to totally ignore them. "Them" refers to people who will probably first ask you where you are from. it starts as a polite conversation and ultimately leads to a sales pitch. The best thing to do is not make eye contact or simply say "No, Thanks" and move on. With that said, there are good carpets to be bought. Simply, there is the right time and the right place. Be advised that purchasing carpets requires a bit of research. One must learn the types of carpets and kilims, how to spot a good handmade one, and what type of price to expect to pay. We did buy a small one while we were there and hopefully got a good deal on it. Turkish rugs are certainly a work of art. you might want to start with the state-run shop between the Blue Mosque and Haghia Sophia to get an idea of what to expect with carpets. Bargaining prices should fetch somewhat of a lower price than the state-run shop. There are probably a lot of other tips that can best describe exactly what to look for much more eloquently than I can. Happy hunting!
What to buy: Survey says:
Carpets. The number one answer.
What to pay: It varies widely. Bargaining is essential.
What to buy:
If you are going to think about buying Turkish rugs, even if your interest is minimal, I'd recommend you stopping in at your local Turkish rug shop and get a little idea of the cost and quality of rugs. You could end up with a better deal at home if you don't know what you're looking at when in Turkey.
You might go to Frommers website and look at their suggestions for carpets, too. Don't forget your VAT (tax) refund when you leave the country. It's 15% For Americans, that will help defray the $100 entry visa you had to pay to get into the country. See my site for shopping at my Istanbul travel pages.
What to buy:
KILIM: or Carpets were traditionally used for providing shades (from sunlight) & lining the tents. After the conversion of the nomadic tribes in Anatolia to the Islam religion, kilims acquired the new function as prayer mats. The origin of kilim motifs dated back to prehistoric times & many of them symbolized goddesses. As many of the kilims were formerly used at homes & the weaving techniques were passed on from one generation to another, the styles were not altered until only recently.
Embroidered kilims are known as Cicims.
What to pay: Depending on whether it's wool, wool on wool, silk on wool, or silk carpet. Prices ranges from US$300 - $5000 or even more, depending on size & where it's made in. Those from Hereke, Usak & Kumkapi are well known.
This shop is between Cemberlitas and the Gran Bazar. Here works Omar and Mehmet, nice and friendly people.
What to buy: Carpets, kilims and other staff
What to pay: It depends on what you buy
What to buy: Carpets and kilims I suggest.. They are hand made and each of them has its own story.. And they are UNIQUE!!
What to pay: It depends on how humble ur carpet.. 8)
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