Han Halı
HISTORY
History of Hereke

     Hereke is a unique weaving center located at the northern edge of Izmit Bay, near Istanbul. For centuries, hand knotted carpets made of lamb's wool were produced in the village of Hereke. Today, Hereke is recognized for producing the finest hand knotted carpets in the world.

     Sultan Abdülmecid, Ottoman Emperor, was presented with the gift of a fine hand knotted carpet during a visit to Hereke. The Sultan was so impressed with the quality of the work, that he established a factory to employ the villagers. True Hereke carpet production thus began in 1843, with the establishment of the Hereke Imperial Factory. Carpets, fabric, upholstery and curtains for the Ottoman palaces were produced exclusively in Hereke.

     Dolmabahçe Palace, in Istanbul, was constructed during the period as the Hereke Imperial Factory. Sultan Abdülmecid wanted the greatest palaces in the world to display the finest carpets in the world. Scientific research was undertaken in order to combine the best carpet-making techniques. Hereke production began with production of the highest quality wool carpets on cotton warps. Natural silk from Bursa permitted even finer hand knotted carpets. The last obstacle in Hereke production was to perfect the dying of the silk.

     German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II and his wife Victoria knew of Hereke's fame and visited in 1894. The Emperor and his wife were presented with Hereke carpets and silk clothes. A small palace was built in Hereke, on the Sea of Marmara, especially for their stay. The German Emperor brought gifts to further the development of Hereke carpet weaving through science. Among his gifts were a microscope and a complete set of prepared slides. Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II also brought new colorfast, permanent chemical dyes. This technological advance allowed Hereke artisans to begin producing the finest carpets ever made.

     A workshop was established on the grounds of Dolmabahçe Palace while it was under construction. The Hereke Workshop was staffed with Hereke weavers and built in order to produce the exceptionally large carpets for the entrance hall and grand rooms. The Hereke Imperial Factory and Hereke workshop at Dolmabahçe produced all of the magnificent carpets that decorate the Dolmabahçe palace. Over 140 large carpets and 115 prayer rugs were produced, totaling more than 4500 square meters (or about 48000 square feet).

Hereke production was interrupted in 1878, when the factory burned to the ground, however, the Imperial Factory was rebuilt in 1882. During the late 19th and early 20th century, Hereke weavers produced their unique craft exclusively for the aristocracy of the Ottoman Empire, visiting dignitaries and heads of state. Fine Hereke hand knotted carpets were presented as gifts to the royal families of Japan, Russia, Germany and England. Demand steadily increased as Hereke carpets gained acclaim throughout Europe. Hereke carpets received many prizes and medals for their outstanding quality.

     After the revolution in 1923, the Turkish Republic was founded. The idea of luxury carpets was considered frivolous by the new Turkish leaders. The Hereke carpet industry slowly declined from 1923 through 1945. The early 1950's were a time of renaissance for Hereke, however, as master weavers resumed production of the fine Hereke craft. A few exclusive makers gained precedence over other weavers due to their ability, and artistic drive for perfection. Continued improvement of the workshops and an increase in the number of looms firmly established the existence of the School of Carpet Weaving in Hereke. This was only a part of the total industry; looms were set up in homes and yarns distributed to villagers who were then given jobs on contract.

     The outstanding leader in Hereke production today is Han Halı. The House of Han is a family business, dating back four generations. The Ör brothers lead the company with a passion for their art. The Ör family tradition of making hand knotted carpets began with their great grandfather, who was supervisor of the carpet department in the Sultan's Hereke Factory. He passed along his knowledge to his son, who went on to hold the same position. The skills inherited from their forefathers allowed the Ör brothers to initiate improvements in fine hand knotted carpet production for the local Turkish and international markets. The Hereke tradition continues today, as exquisite 100% handmade wool and silk rugs are produced for discerning collectors worldwide.

     Every step of Hereke production is carefully controlled by the Ör brothers. Erhan Ör oversees the aspects of design and quality control. Only the finest craftmen are chosen to work for Han Halı. Brothers Serhan and Nurhan handle the company's finances and monitor market trends. The Ör brothers work together as a family to form the combination necessary to run the company successfully.

     A carpet from Han Halı is not just a functional item to display on the floor or on the wall. Hereke carpets are truly works of art, created with care by extremely talented artists. A Hereke artisan may spend more than a year creating just one of these special carpets.

     At Han Halı, we believe a carpet should be as special in character as the person who possesses it.

     We believe a carpet should be an item of timeless beauty, a source of everlasting joy and pleasure.

     Han Halı assumes the responsibility of supplying the very best collection of orginal Hereke Carpets.

     We use only the finest natural silk material, produced in the fertile region of Bursa, off the sea of Marmara. Silk production started in Türkiye when Bursa was the capital of the Ottoman empire. Silk thread was imported via the Silk Road from Eastern Asia. the famed mulberry groves of Bursa are the ideal food source to allow the silk worms to generate fine, high-quality silk threads from their cocoons.

     Unlike other weavers, Han Halı produces only the finest carpets using traditional methods and the best material available. Han Halı is a proud member of the Hereke Carpet Weavers Association.