Carpet weaving week at CaravanTurkey Cultural Center
Learn how to weave a Turkish hand-made carpet with us!
The art of village weaving is disappearing as young women move instead to Turkey's cities. At Gokpinar, a small Aegean village of 100, you will work alongside a village weaver to create your own unique carpet.
Courses run all year round for individuals and small groups.
Gokpinar is an old Yörük village on the Aegean Coast of Turkey, that feels a world away from the tourist trail. Our cultural center is set on a hilltop overlooking the village and the mountains' pine forests. We are only 10 minutes' drive to the beach and 40 minutes from Bodrum.
Come and join us for a week to learn the traditional way of Turkish weaving, experience life in a small Turkish village and enjoy the tranquility!
The seven-night/eight-day package includes
7 Nights accommodation in a private village house room
All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Unlimited tea and coffee service, drinking water
Airport transfers from and to Bodrum International Airport
Weaving classes by local women (with translation in English)
Unlimited class hours everyday
Unlimited weaving time at homely stay atmosphere
Beach trips and local market visits
Day visits to beaches, Bodrum city centrum or local markets
Your own 40cm x 40cm carpet made alongside a village weaver
Visitors are allowed to bring their own drinks to the center
Course cost for 7 nights/8 days, USD 850
USD 500 deposit via western union or major credit cards required to secure bookings. Balance is due seven days before arrival.
NEW! We can also tailor your course with classes in Turkish Cooking,details!
Contact us for any further questions or reservations.
FURTHER INFORMATION ON TRAVEL AND BOOKINGS AT CARAVANTURKEY CULTURAL CENTER
Bodrum/Milas International Airport is a 30-minute drive from Gokpinar.
Turkish Airlines and others fly all year around to Bodrum via Istanbul. Their web sites are:
There are charter flights between May and October from Europe and the UK.
Below are are some useful links for low-cost charter flights.
From the UK:
From the Netherlands:
Most nationalities require a VISA for entry to Turkey. These can be purchased on arrival (for British citizens it costs £10, for US citizens $20.)
For reservations or enquiries
Please email us at
or whats app
with the dates and programme you are
We will be back to you with details.
2022 course week dates
1st - 8th January 2022
8th -15th January 2022
15th -22nd January 2022
22nd -29th January 2022
8th -15th February 2022
15th - 22nd February 2022
1st - 8th March 2022
8th - 15th March 2022
15th - 22nd March 2022
22nd - 29th March 2022
1st - 8th April 2022
8th - 15th April 2022
15th - 22nd April 2022
22nd - 29th April 2022
1st - 8th May 2022
8th -15th May 2022
15th - 22nd May 2022
22nd - 29th May 2022
1st - 8th June 2022
8th - 15th June 2022
15th - 22nd June 2022
22nd - 29th June 2022
1st - 8th July 2022
8th -15th July 2022
15th - 22nd July 2022
22nd - 29th July 2022
1st - 8th August 2022
8th -15th August 2022
15th -22nd August 2022
22nd - 29th August 2022
1st - 8th September 2022
8th - 15th September 2022
15th -22nd September 2022
22nd - 29th September 2022
1st - 8th October 2022
8th - 15th October 2022
15th - 22nd October 2022
22nd - 29th October 2022
1st - 8th November 2022
8th - 15th November 2022
15th -22nd November 2022
22nd - 29th November 2022
1st - 8th December 2022
8th - 15th December 2022
15th -22nd December 2022
22nd - 29th December 2022
Please ask for more dates after December 2022
Report on kilim making in Gokpinar, Turkey
by Wendy Kotenko
Warp – Atki
The warp is the yarn ends that are stretched out under tension on the loom, either vertically or horizontally, depending on the type of loom. On the carpet and kilim looms they are vertical.
The warp was made between 2 sticks in the ground, we took the wool yarn end around the sticks and at one end we connected the yarn ends together. When finished the sticks are carefully taken out and the warp is spaced out on the sticks
Putting the warp on the loom
Loom- Dokuma tezgahi
The warp is secured on the top beam and wound upwards until only enough of the warp is left to secure to the bottom, it is then tensioned again to make it taut. The roller beam loom allows the beams to be turned so that the warp can be tightened. Each alternate yarn end is attached to a heddle rod, so that alternate yarn ends can be separated, allowing the weft yarn to pass through the open warp which is called the shed. There are also shed rods that are inserted into the shed so that when the heddle rod is released the alternate set of warp threads are pushed below the freed set of warps, creating a counter shed. During weaving the rod in the counter shed is pulled up and down and then each alternate end moves forward creating a gap where the weft yarn can be inserted. This allows a plain weave to be created.
Choosing colours for the kilim design.
Weft- cozgu (pronounced Chozku)
We based the design and colours on a kilim made buy a local weaver, shown hanging on top of the loom in fig 13. We reduced the size of the design so it was possible to weave it in 1 week.
The weft colours apart from the blue were coloured with natural dyes, using a combination of plant and earth sources.
The weft yarns are wound into small bundles from a large hank of yarn, so that it is possible to pass the weft through the warp to create the pattern, The wefts are inserted into the correct area for that colour and built up, back and forth, in plain weave and then the area next to it is built up so that you are almost keeping the wefts level
As the woven part gets higher the warp can be moved down around the bottom beam, so that you are always weaving at the same height. It is easier and more comfortable with 2 people weaving, one at each side and passing the yarn to each other,
The wefts are beaten down into place after a few weft picks (insertion of weft) first with a knife and then with a tool called a Kirkit,
The motif along the edge represents fingers, Fingers like many of the motifs used in Turkish kilims and carpets protect against the evil eye. Fingers also represent productivity and good fortune. Other motifs include hands on hips and rams horns to represent fertility. Dualism motifs, combs and fetter (horse cuffs) used to promote good male, female relations. Water motifs symbolised through continuous and diagonal lines for life to run smoothly.
Kilim is the word for flat weave technique. There are different ways of joining the wefts, sometimes a gap is formed between the warp yarns, so when the kilim is held up, light passes through these gaps, but the gaps are never too long as this would affect the strength of the kilim. Our kilim was tightly woven with no gaps, so where each colour changed, the colours from either direction would wrap around the same warp end. Other types of weaving techniques used in kilim making are as follows;
Cicim (chichim): supplementary weft technique
Soumak: wefts are wrapped around warps
Zili: supplementary weft wrapping
Taking the kilim off the loom
When finished the kilim is taken off the loom by cutting the warp yarns, leaving enough to make a fringe at each end. On one edge we plaited the yarn ends and on the other end we twisted them.
The kilim is brushed to remove loose fibres. It can also be washed to make the weave relax and the fibres sit more closely together and to slightly soften the kilim. Our kilim goes narrower at one end slightly because the tension of the weaving can change from the beginning to the end. I think this shows the handmade quality of the piece.
There are other activities at Gokpinar village, it is possible to make a small carpet piece and learn Turkish cookery, amongst other things. Gokpinar is a quiet, relaxing rural village where it is possible to enjoy and to find peace when taking a break from the activity. I am very thankful to Bulent who organised my visit and made it possible for me to weave a kilim, my weaving teacher, Songul and my host Bulent who helped many times when some things needed to be explained in language rather than demonstration and also for the wonderful cooking.