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DOBAG, a Turkish acronym for Natural Dye Research and Development Project, is responsible for weaving some of the finest carpets in the world today. Started in 1982 by Dr Harald and Renata Böhmer in the villages south of Istanbul, Turkey, the DOBAG project has restored the integrity of the ancient folk art of hand weaving carpets and established in these villages the first women’s rug-weaving cooperative in the Islamic world.
Since its inception, the DOBAG project has produced superior carpets with natural plant dyes and traditional Turkish motifs. The women use only the finest sheep’s wool gathered during the spring shearing when the wool is most resilient and lustrous. The wool is then hand-carded and hand-spun before it is vegetable dyed with locally cultivated plant matter.
Each woman creates a carpet in her own home using the motifs and symbols of her ancestors, and then she sells her carpet to the cooperative. The cooperative is under the supervision of the University of Marmara in Istanbul. Each carpet must be superior in colour, construction and overall design before receiving the DOBAG stamp of approval.