Chuval Bags and Large Cushions

Chuvals (khorjin and ballisht) are bags made for carrying produce by hand or on a pack animals; donkeys, horses and camels and for storgage or as cusionss in a yurt, tent or house.

In Anatolia chuvals were traditionally proudly displayed hanging in rows, demonstrating to visitors the skill of generations of weavers in the family. A considerable amount of work and skill went into weaving them and some special chuvals were even woven as dowry gifts. See for instance the ala chuval made including silver thread between in the Malatya region between the 1880s and early 1900s. Huge hurc bags are the largest size and were large enough to double up as a shepherd’s sleeping bag in winter. Small bags called plow (cushion) in Turkish could also be used small storage bags (see the Cushions and Heybe albums). The weaving and embroidery (zili, çiçim and soumak) in some of these bags is very fine indeed. Çiçim and zili are techniques where wool is embroidered on top of a flatweave foundation or kilim. Soumac or sumak is a technique in which the embroidered wool is incorporated into the woven fabric.

Antique chuvals with natural dyes and good design are very collectible and complete chuvals can make excellent floor cushions or hard wearing floor kilims when opened up.

Detailed photos of some chuvals are can be seen by clicking HERE but please ask for detailed photos if needed.