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The Production Process

The top surface of the quilt is made from shiny satin fabric while the lining is of cotton batiste. The quality of the lining is at least as important as that of the satin face. The first step in production is the cutting of the face and lining. The wool or cotton for the filling is then fluffed up, which used to be done with a carding bow, but a machine is now used; the filling placed between the two fabrics, and the face smoothed out with the aid of a stick. The sewing begins around the edge of the quilt to make a frame. The pattern is then drafted onto the face using chalk on a compass and stencils, and the quilt is ready to be stitched. Polyester thread the same colour as the satin is used to stitch the patterns, which is a long and tiring process. The quilt is subjected to countless pricks of the needle, and the value of Kilis quilts lies in the designs worked so patiently and with such symmetry by the craftsmen. The patterns may be concentrated around the centre, known as göbek or belly, or they may be spread over the whole quilt face. The most frequently employed motifs are tulips, squash flowers, fans, peacocks, wreathed branches, train tracks, ‘leaf propeller‘ and banana leaves. The most common colours are: blue, violet, salmon, pink, honey, pistachio green, lilac, rose pink, sugar pink, cream, silver, bordeaux and red. The quilts can be made in four sizes: single, double, oversized and children’s. Although usually filled with cotton, wool can also be used according to demand. Around 4 kg. of cotton goes into one quilt, or 3 kg of wool plus 1 kg of cotton. It takes roughly 8 hours to stitch one Kilis quilt. For a special order, lace worked by the customer can be sewn onto the quilt.

The contents of this publication, which has been funded through the 2010 Economic Development Financial Support Programme of the Silk Road Development Agency, does not represent the views of the Silk Road Development Agency and/or the Ministry of Development. The Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce is the sole bearer of responsibility for the contents.