Monday, September 11, 2017


Dolmabahçe, Beşiktaş - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'28.5"N 29°00'14.5"E / 41.041249, 29.004029

The embroidered works of art in the Textile Collection of the National Palaces consist of the original samples from the early 19th and late 20th centuries; by which new and traditional arts are re-interpreted. The Textile Collection of the National Palaces contains the works of art made of a wide variety of materials, particularly yashmak bundles, style covers, tablecloths, prayer rugs, sherbet towels (mahlama), ablution towels, women's clothing, and religious clothes.

Due to the customs in the Place life, newly appeared by the effect of westernization, an increase is observed in terms of material in comparison with the previous century. When discussed in general,  it is seen that some embroidery techniques such as sequinning, entwisting and chain works, especially dival work, which was the most favorite embroidery technique in its period, are preferred in a large part of the collection.

The motifs in the embroideries are used with the arrangements made in the form of borders, which are scattered from a center or created by repeating more than one motif. In addition, it is observed that the motifs are depicted sometimes by being stylized, and in some processes, in a very naturalistic way.

The collection pieces are embroidered with a wide variety of color tones. A realistic style is used in the embroideries, with the depth obtained by shading in different colors. The collection contains also a group of leather works embroidered with the dival and entwisting techniques.

The collection has a nature of document regarding the embroideries of the late period Ottoman palace; and consists of the embroideries made by the bazaar masters as well as the people of the harem and girls’ home in the last period of the Empire.

The Factory Hereke founded in 1843 during the period of Sultan Abdülmecid (1839-1861), played an important role in furnishing the palaces of that era, with its wide variety of high quality fabrics. Besides the drapery and upholstery fabrics used in furnishing the palace, Hereke Imperial Factory has also woven some other products such as a variety of garments and towels as well as the gifts given to the guests.

Also the upholstery fabrics used in the holy places of Mecca and Medina, and especially the Kaaba’s cover (kisvetü'l-Kaaba) used to be woven in Hereke Imperial Factory. And the regimental banners given to the new military units (regiments) constituted during the World War II have been woven in that factory as well.

Besides its service for the palaces and royal authority, it has also made determining contributions for representation of the caliphate authority. In Hereke fabrics, the original comments and statements reflecting the Ottoman’s identity have created a specific style, besides the designs effected by the West. Almost all of the curtains and furniture upholsteries used in the structures of the National Palaces are made from Hereke silk fabrics.

Selections From The Collection

Prayer rug
In the Ottoman palaces, the most magnificent examples of the prayer rugs have been used, which are merged with the Islamic beliefs and religious services, and which are the materials intended for performing the salaat and special to the person. Prayer rug has been called "namazlık" in the palace.

Style Covers
The style covers are the round shaped covers with a diameter of one meter in general, surface and middle of which have brimful and central embroideries respectively, which have edges with tinsel fringe or tinsel-mixture. Stile cover hanging down in front of the tray, on which coffee cups are placed, during the coffee presentation ceremonies in the harem section of the Palaces and mansions, used to add a visual richness to the presentation with its magnificent embroideries.

The condition of the work of art is high, and besides, it is a rare artifact in terms of the processing technique of the period and its composition. 28 pieces of modern museum showcases, an exhibition space for kitchen tools and open exhibition platforms have been created with intent to use in the exhibition arrangement and to ensure as many objects as possible to meet the visitors. The exhibition showcases are made of the materials with a high resistance to external effects, steel bearing system and coating, in order to exhibit heavy and big objects, and ensuring weather and dust sealing.

Panels and fabric coatings with the features complying with the international museum standards have been applied to the interior coatings of the showcases; and special laminated glasses have been used in the showcase windows, in order to ensure the protection and proper appearance of the objects.


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