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Oriental Rugs » DOBAG Project
DOBAG: A Cultural Survival Project For The 21st Century
Dobag Weavers Displaying Their Rugs
DOBAG, a Turkish acronym for Natural Dye Research and Development Project, is responsible for weaving some of the finest carpets in the world today. This highly successful Cultural Survival Project was started in 1982 by Dr. Harald Bohmer in the villages south of Istanbul, Turkey. The DOBAG project has restored the integrity of the ancient folk art of hand weaving carpets and established in these villages the first ever women’s rug weaving cooperative in the Islamic world.
Since its inception, The DOBAG Project has produced superior carpets with natural plant dyes and traditional Turkish motifs. They accomplish this by using only the finest weaving materials and techniques from start to finish. Beginning with sheep’s wool, which is gathered during the spring shearing when the wool is most resilient and lustrous. The wool is then hand-carded and hand-spun before it is vegetable dyed with locally cultivated plant matter. The luster of this wool and the care that goes into making each rug has allowed DOBAG to boast that their rugs are the antiques of the future.
A DOBAG Weaver and Her Rug
Each woman creates her rug in her own home while tending to family needs. She uses the motifs and symbols of her ancestors and sells her rug to the cooperative. The cooperative is under the supervision of the University of Marmara, in Istanbul and each carpet must achieve an excellence in color, construction and overall design before receiving the DOBAG stamp of approval.
The 3 Goals
When Dr. Bohmer began this project in 1982, DOBAG had three goals. These goals have now been achieved.
- Upgrading the weaving industry and creating the finest carpets in Turkey today.
- Halting the migration to urban centers by establishing a strong economic base within the villages.
- Invigorating the arts and crafts tradition of the Turkish people thus creating a source of national pride for the future.
DOBAG rugs are setting new standards of excellence socially, economically and aesthetically. They are indeed antiques of the future. The Islamic Gallery of the British Museum as well as the Ethnographic Museum of Osaka, Japan have commissioned DOBAG rugs to hang in their galleries.