The carpet fields of Antalya: Döşemealtı’s sea of color

Summer in Turkey means a lot of things. It means that the tourist season is in full swing, that the lavender fields are blooming, that you need to be creative in finding tricks on how to cool down, and that you get to admire Turkey’s carpet fields in Döşemealtı. Carpet fields in Turkey? Is that a thing? And if it is, what are they?

More Carpets Await Inside

More Carpets Await Inside

Carpet fields are a thing, and they are exactly what the phrase suggests: fields full of carpets. The beauty of it all is that they’re not just put outside because it makes a pretty picture, the carpets fields have a purpose, and the main player in all this is the hot Antalya sun. Read the story behind Turkey’s carpet fields in this post, a tale of a families’ love for handmade carpets.

All Shapes And Sizes Fill Antalya's Carpet Fields

All Shapes And Sizes Fill Antalya’s Carpet Fields

From carpet makers to carpet restorers

The Börekçi family knows and loves carpets. They have been running a carpet business for almost half a century, first as carpet weavers, now as carpet restorers and sellers. But carpets are so much more than a business to them, all it takes is one look at their impressive stockpile of carpets to see that these people are collectors and connoisseurs.

The Carpet Fields Of Antalya

The Carpet Fields Of Antalya

Their storage holds more carpets than they will probably be able to sell in a lifetime. All individual handmade pieces in al shapes and sizes. Colorful evidence of their many trips throughout Anatolia, a search hunt and rescue mission for those unique vintage carpets that are now being replaced with their industrial and synthetic counterparts in many Turkish homes. You can see the sadness in their eyes when they tell you this story.

Spoiled For Choice...

Spoiled For Choice…

This family loves their product, and while they may have difficulty finding interested buyers in Turkey, people all around the world appreciate the authentic pieces, often made with only natural materials. These hand-woven rugs are brought to Döşemealtı from all over the country. Here they will be sun-faded, restored, and washed before they are offered up for sale to a mainly international clientele.

Vibrant Colors And Natural Materials For These Handmade Carpets

Vibrant Colors And Natural Materials For These Handmade Carpets

The Turkish carpet fields: what’s the deal?

In Karataş, Döşemealtı near Antalya, the Börekçi family purchased a substantial field annex to their carpet atelier where carpets are laid in the sun after the wheat harvest. The combination of dry sun heat, air humidity, wind, and the composition of the soil gets rid of dirt and any additives that may have been used. You could almost call it a natural sterilization process, leaving nothing but the organic root dye and wool. The result is a vintage-looking rug with a beautiful and natural wool shine and softness.

The Carpets On The Carpet Fields Look Like Stamps

The Carpets On The Carpet Fields Look Like Stamps

From time to time, the carpets are turned to expose both sides equally to the sunlight. There’s no fixed amount of time for the rugs to be left outside. Carpets are ‘harvested’ after a visual check, and only when their colors look exactly right. Now it is time for the final restoration and repairs, expertly performed by skilled hands, after which the carpets are washed once more before they are put up for sale.

Apart from restoring the rugs, the family also tries to preserve pieces of carpets so damaged that they are beyond restoration. Torn rugs still make beautiful cushions, pillows, or even unique laptop bags, a perfect way to upcycle whatever can be used from a handcrafted kilim or carpet.

Skilled Hands For The Restoration

Skilled Hands For The Restoration

Practical information to visit the carpet fields

The carpet fields are only visible over summer. The reason is obvious, rainy days are a nightmare, as this means that all carpets need to be taken back inside again. Quite an undertaking! Weather permitting, the family starts small sometime in May, more often June. After that, from July till mid-September, more and more carpets are laid outside sunbathing, reaching a target of at least 10.000 pieces over the summer months.

And The Setting Of The Carpets Fields Isn't Too Bad Either!

And The Setting Of The Carpets Fields Isn’t Too Bad Either!

While the carpet fields are visually attractive, they are not an attraction. This place is home to a family and a business, and it is not set up as a commercial tourist trap. You won’t find any road signs pointing you in the right direction either, and the carpets fields are not visible from the street. Of course, as always, we were met with a warm welcome and the legendary hospitality of the Turkish people. Why are we mentioning this? Because we feel it is important that you know this, in case you decide to plan a visit. This is not a place with opening hours and tourist facilities, which is something we should all respect.

If you’re interested in buying a carpet, we’re confident that you’ll find the right piece, as we’ve never seen this many handmade carpets together in one place! They make a perfect souvenir or gift. A little bit of authentic Turkey to take home or have shipped to your address for more convenience. Check out their shops Hygge Squad, New Dawn Store, and Rug To Go on Etsy.

Some Freshly Laid Out Carpets Still Have Very Vivid Colors

Some Freshly Laid Out Carpets Still Have Very Vivid Colors

Where will you find the carpet fields of Döşemealtı? You’ll have to head over to our Turkey Trip Planner to find out. After all, we want you to put some effort into finding them! 😉  And now that you’re here, check out nearby Kaleiçi or Antalya old town, Termessos, or Ariassos as well. We promise you won’t regret it!

Click here if you’re interested in reading more about the meaning of the motifs used in kilims.

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Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with these shops, nor do we receive a commission or get paid to mention them. 
We are, however, sympathetic to their cause.
The Carpet Fields Of Antalya: Döşemealtı's Sea Of Color
The Carpet Fields Of Antalya: Döşemealtı's Sea Of Color
The Carpet Fields Of Antalya: Döşemealtı's Sea Of Color
The Carpet Fields Of Antalya: Döşemealtı's Sea Of Color
The Carpet Fields Of Antalya: Döşemealtı's Sea Of Color

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Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

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How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

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Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

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The carpet fields of Antalya: Döşemealtı’s sea of color