Caravans, Covers and Containers

Central Turkey
19th Century
Wool brocade
345.4 x 162.6 cm (136 x 64 in.)
Louise Shelley Collection

This cover was probably woven by nomads or recently settled nomads of Turkmen origin living in Central Turkey. It is patterned on red wool, plain-weave ground using supplementary woolen wefts in six colors plus white cotton. The primary use of such weavings was as a decorative cover for a camel while on migration; otherwise they were used in the tent for covering the bedding stack at the back of the living space. When nomads settle, the practice of folding up the bedding and having a stack is often retained, to make the best use of the available space in the home.