Contemporary kilim Featured

Discover the bold new contemporary carpets that put Turkish kilims onto the global design map



22 May 2013

The Grand Bazaar is almost synonymous with Turkish carpets. It’s where this famous item is sought, bought, and bargained for. Of the many carpet shops that line the narrow streets of the bazaar, there is one that is outstanding for the innovative products that adorn its walls.

Located on a relatively quiet street called Takkeciler Sokak, this cutting-edge store’s name is dhoku. Owned by third-generation carpet dealer Memet Güreli, the six-year-old shop was born out of Güreli’s other carpet store Ethnicon, where patchwork carpets were first introduced to the bazaar. The opening of dhoku caused a groundbreaking change: Güreli transformed Turkish carpets from something traditional to modern home décor objects.

dhoku is very different from ordinary carpet shops, because it morphs the craft of carpet-making into something more sustainable through recycling and upcycling. Reinventing and repairing worn-out carpets and kilims from all over Anatolia, the dhoku team creates unique pieces to suit the sophisticated tastes of today’s bohemian-chic customers.

Four of the seven collections at dhoku feature the trademark patchwork rugs and kilims. The Antique, Decadent, Vintage, and Traditional collections share many characteristics, yet they are differentiated by small details. For example, the Traditional carpets feature more vibrant colours and dynamic patterns, whereas Antique pieces are hallmarked by old patterns with more pastel colours. The Anachron series reinvent old carpets, giving them new life with a thorough face-lift that often includes a total re-dyeing. Each of these series succeeds in creating a contemporary piece of art from an ordinary carpet.

dhoku's own rug collections consist of rugs and kilims that are made from scratch. These are hand-woven in the Aegean by local carpet makers who use thousand-year-old weaving techniques, working with handspun wool from free-grazing sheep. The designs are often left to the inspiration of the rug makers themselves. The texture of the dhoku series is also upgraded, with kilims that are much thicker than traditional pieces.

The dhoku team has created an innovative new weaving technique that adds that extra touch to the millennial art. What they call the 'gapless' weaving technique ensures that the holes found in classic rugs are filled, creating smoother pieces.

By means of such inventive designs and techniques, dhoku brings new meaning to carpets, which are brought up to a higher plane with respect to their traditional function and symbolism, acquiring a cool status as objects of admiration, much like contemporary paintings. They are destined for the connoisseurs of the modern world.

This was demonstrated to perfection when dhoku was invited to become a parallel participant in the first Istanbul Design Biennial show in 2012. dhoku showcased two exhibitions for the event; one was Kilim Alterations: Weaving an Exception, featuring a collective work by Ali Cindoruk, Aslıhan DemirtaÅŸ, Mine Özkar, and Seçkin Maden. The other was Notations: An Exhibition of Kilim Recordings, featuring the designs of AyÅŸe Birsel, Ela Cindoruk, Koray Özgen, Filip Pagowski, Bibi Seck, and Superpool. All the exhibited pieces have now been added to dhoku’s permanent collection and will soon be available for sale.


Takkeciler Sokak, 58-60 

Kapalıçarşı, Istanbul

Tel. +90 212 5276 841