HEREKE SILK FABRIC AND CARPET FACTORY
Hereke Factory, founded in 1843, went to production in 1845 by the name Hereke Fabrika-i Hümayunu (Hereke Imperial Factory) in order to meet the upholstery and drapery need of the palaces being constructed.
In Hereke Factory which was the most extensive factory founded by The Ottoman Empire in the field of silk fabric up to that date, manufacturing has begun by importing jacquard looms and designers from France.In 1891, the year which can be considered as a milestone for traditional Ottoman carpet business, Hereke Imperial Factory has started carpet manufacturing with hundred new looms, about half a century after its foundation. In the course of manufacturing, started with craftsmen brought from Sivas, Ladik and Manisa by Sultan Abdulhamid II (1876-1909), the craftsmen first woven the patterns provided by the palace, and later those patterns made a progress and an original Hereke style tried to be created. By this way, carpet weaving units have been added to Hereke Factory, who has been manufacturing silk upholstery and drapery for palaces and the foundation of world-famous Hereke carpet business has been started. It is known that, a weaving atelier known as Hereke Dokumahanesi, operating as a subsidiary of the factory, existed in Dolmabahçe Palace in that period.
Most outstanding products of Hereke Factory have taken place in Europe palaces as gifts to foreign royalties as well as have been used for decoration of palaces, kiosks and pavilions, which were showcases of the Ottoman industry. Hereke Imperial Factory, which has been operating as the most important establishment of Ottoman weaving industry since its foundation in 1843 and which dominated the last period of the imperial life with its products, has become a prestige brand in Europe soon after its foundation. The factory has deemed worthy of honorable mention for ribbons and cordons at 1855 Paris International Exhibition, of medal award for silk fabrics at 1862 London Second International Exhibition and of best award at 1892 Vienna, 1894 Lyon, 1910 Brussels and 1911 Turin exhibitions.
During the last years of the reign of Sultan Mehmed Reşad V (1909-1918), Hereke Imperial Factory has transformed gradually into a wool woven factory and increasing the numbers of looms in Baize, Serge and Thread Department from 20 to 52, high capacity manufacturing has started. Hereke Silk Fabric and Carpet Factory which continued operating under Sumerbank, attached to National Palaces within the scope of privatization law in 1995. At the factory, which continues manufacturing as a museum-factory today, characteristic Hereke fabric patterns are determined and lost patterns are remanufactured as a result of the studies carried out together with the researchers of National Palaces. Thus, original patterned fabrics can be used in the National Palaces. The wooden kiosk next to the factory is a prefabricated building prepared at Yıldız Palace for visit of Kaiser Wilhelm. The kiosk with its halls opening to sea and land sides, has been opened to visits as a museum-kiosk.