Article: Iwatate Folk Museum

Suzani. © Keisuke Fukamizu

This article, with text by Kosuke Ide and photos by Keisuke Fukamizu, looks at the Iwatate Folk Museum in Tokyo. The museum houses the collection of Hiroko Iwatate which consists of over eight thousand textiles from many different areas of Asia. Having studied dyeing techniques under two prominent artisans Hiroko then embarked on her travels, spending time in Peru, Mexico and Guatamala. However it was her first visit to India in 1970 that really seems to have sparked her imagination and set her off on a lifetime of collecting. Indeed half of the eight thousand pieces in the collection are from India.

This article showcases some wonderful textiles from an exhibition entitled Suzani Magnificent Embroidery (although most of the images are not of suzanis), which was held in 2015.

Labijar kilim. © Ryohei Sasatani.

The current exhibition is on Kilims – Daily Rugs from Afghanistan, and ends on 16 March 2019. Again the title of the exhibition is slightly misleading as you will see if you click through some of the images of the pieces featured in it. These include salt bags, tent bands, bed ornaments and coats.

Pashtoon child’s coat. © Ryohei Sasatani.




Event: Turkish Legacy in Anatolian Kilims

Event date: 5 September 2018 at 18:30



This lecture by Sumru Belger Krody, senior curator at the Textile Museum, Washington DC shows how nomadic Anatolian women, descended from Turkmen nomads, wove colourful, visually stunning kilims that reveal their culture’s aesthetic preferences for decorating their surroundings. Today, these kilims are the only surviving tangible evidence of their makers’ nomadic lifestyle – a poignant legacy given that women generally did not have an external voice in this patriarchal society. The exhibition A Nomad’s Art: Kilims of Anatolia will be open before the talk.

This lecture is free, but reservations are required. For more details of this event held at the Textile Museum, Washington DC, click here


Exhibition: Woven Paradise – A Journey through the Anatolian Textile Craft of the 18th and 19th Centuries


Exhibition dates: 23 October – 3 December 2016

Collector Martin Posth, author of Collected Beauty, a highly respected book on Anatolian rugs and kilims published in 2014, is presenting a selection from his extensive collection in an exhibition at Berlin’s Studio Bumiller. Forty-three Anatolian rugs and thirteen kilims from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries will be shown at the exhibition entitled, Woven Paradise: A Journey through the Anatolian Textile Craft of the 18th and 19th Centuries.

The exhibition highlights the centuries-old history of carpet knotting and the influence that diverse cultures have had on the Turkish-Anatolian region. At the same time, it offers an overview of the different types of Anatolian rugs and kilims, introducing the viewer to their world of colour, ornamentation, variety of design and symbolism. The exhibition displays prayer rugs and nomadic rugs, funeral rugs, rugs from Anatolia’s Christian communities, and full-pile carpets that served as beds.

The bridging of Islam and the followers of other faiths (Christians and Jews, Armenians and Kurds) is a hallmark of the Ottoman Empire, and with this in mind, the exhibition aims to promote, and contribute to, a constructive exchange between cultures. ‘The exhibition can help facilitate a better understanding of our fellow citizens of Islamic heritage, thereby allowing us to encounter them more respectfully’, says Martin Posth.

The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive and high quality catalogue, presented both in German and English: Woven Paradise – A Journey through the Anatolian Textile Craft of the 18th and 19th Centuries, self-published by Dr. Martin Posth.

For more information, visit the website of Studio Bumiller, Berlin, Germany.