The Mechanization Process of Uşak Carpets in the Late Years of the Ottoman Empire
Keywords: Ottoman Empire, Uşak, Carpet Weaving, Central Asia
The art of weaving carpets in Uşak, which has existed for many centuries as a Turkish craft orinating in Central Asia, is a cultural inheritence which became famous in Europe after the 16th century. As valuable Uşak carpets started to be exported to Europe after the second half of the 19th century, it became a merchandise. In that century, the foreign capital that penetrated into the Western Turkey, created a monopoly in order make more profit. This monopoly, which brought about a decrease in the quality of Uşak carpets, imposed a constraint on the workers and put those who were involved in the carpetweaving business in trouble. The conflict between the foreign investors and carpet weavers in Uşak resulted in a rebel called "The Comb Rebellion", which was a social and economical one nature. When the World War I broke out in 1914, the export of Uşak carpets from the İzmir hindered due to the war. Consequently, the carpet weaving industry in Uşak, which couldn't be enhanced depite the efforts in the period of the Turkish Republic, was replaced by other industries rather than carpet weaving.