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The History of “KUTNU” Fabric Weaving

Kutnu is a woven textile with a shiny surface and colourful vertical stripes, made with silk warps (lengthwise yarns) and cotton wefts (crosswise yarns).  It used to be made on wooden looms with shuttle and pulling whip, but is today woven on more advanced dobby and jacquard looms.  Although the type of loom may have changed, the weaving method has stayed the same for centuries.

In Turkey, the art of weaving kutnu is only practised in Gaziantep. It is known that, having been brought here from Syria in the16th century, it was taken to new heights by the Antep craftsmen, who were able to sell their material far and wide.
As well as being healthy to wear, with its hallmark striking colour and designs kutnu cloth was admired and in demand over a wide area in the past. Kutnu is an important part of the traditional local costume, and is a true handcrafted product requiring different work at each stage of production. In the past employing thousands of Gaziantep inhabitants, the kutnu weaving sector is today being kept alive in the face of modern technology, by a small group of Craftsmen determined to continue the profession with painstaking hand labour.

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.