Might consider buying a rug in Istanbul if I find one that I love but wondering about the cost of shipping back to the US. I know that haggling over the price is standard. Can anyone share information on shipping (or bad experience) ? Thanks!
Last October we talked to a woman from Canada at the train station in Katowice who said she bought a rug in Istanbul and had it mailed home. Once home she found the same rug in Ikea for the same price she paid in Istanbul. We were in Istanbul in September and came away with no rugs, but my wife bought two lengths of hand woven, hand dyed silk from Uzbekistan.
Monte, I suspect the woman who told you the tale about Ikea having the same rug as the one she bought in Istanbul was being economical with the truth. I don't believe the story.
Could be, she had her mouth in high gear until the train came. I noticed her husband standing off a little ways so as not to be included in the extended comments from the woman.
Susan... friends and I went to a rug market in Morocco and a few bought rugs and had them shipped home with no problems. It was a rather large establishment, so I would take that into account, and they definitely put the charges on a credit card in case of issues. They were shipped directly from the store. They did not handle the shipping themselves. There were lots of lovely rugs and the whole experience added to the joy in purchasing those rugs. I was recently in Istanbul and saw many nice quality rugs that I would have been happy to have. Before I did an expensive purchase I would have to learn more, but if it were a mid-priced rug and I loved it I would go for it.
And I am sorry to say there IS the rare occurrence of a Canadian being less than truthful, though usually said Canadian is a politician.
Susan, we bought a rug in Selcuk and they wrapped it and packed so tight that we were able to put it in our carry-on with some squishing of other stuff. Ours was smallish (2 x 4.5.) We're really happy with it.
When you're there you'll learn the difference between a rug and a kilim. Kilims are easily foldable. I bought a large 7'x11' kilim in Turkey and it folded up small enough that I could put it in a large duffle bag (lots of duffles for sale cheap there) and brought it back with me on the plane as an added piece of luggage.
Unless you plan to buy something large the rugs can be folded into fairly small packages. I bought several, one woven, two knoted, all 4x6. They fit into my spare tote bag and came on the plane as carry on. Also, educate yourself about Turkish rugs, knot density, dyes etc. and check the current laws on taking old rugs out of the country. Last I was aware anything older than 100 years could not be taken out. One of my rugs came from Van. The salesman told me it was 150 years old. I told him I could not buy it because it was too old to take home. He thought for a moment then said that he was thinking about a different rug and that the one I wanted was only 80 years old... I was in a different shop, also in Eastern Turkey, looking at a runner that was unusually long. The salesman said that the girl who made it started when her intended husband went into the army and she was to work on the rug until he came home...his stint went on longer than expected but she kept working on the rug anyway.... Every rug had a story!
Thank you for the replies. It sounds like these foldable rugs are silk rugs perhaps? The rugs I own are wool Persian Heriz and I really know very little about Turkish rugs. I will be looking for a 3x5 and also a smaller size rug. How much does it cost to have a rug shipped?
I bought a 3' x 5' wool rug in Istanbul. It was about 7 years ago and I don't remember the amount to ship it, I just remember at the time that I thought it was very reasonable. It arrived in a timely manner safe and sound and the rug merchant even called me at my home about a week later to make sure it had arrived and all was o.k.. Very nice man to concern himself like that. And you're right, the wool rugs are thicker and heavier than the silk so it wouldn't fit in my carry-on. ps: I love my rug!