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“My Favorite Motif Collection” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Motif Collection

Motif Collection
Kabasakal Caddesi, Istanbul 34122, Turkey (Sultanahmet - Old City)
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Ranked #2 of 388 Shopping in Istanbul
Type: Specialty Shops, Shopping
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Owner description: With 20 years experience, Motif Collection provides the best quality fully handcrafted carpets and kilims. While predominantly Turkish, our collection also features carpets from around the world, antique pieces and rare fragments. We also sell hand crafted Turkish ceramics and unique Turkish giftware.
Minnesota City, Minnesota
1 review
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“My Favorite Motif Collection”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2014

Istanbul was a city that I had longed for.
I also wanted to buy some antique Anatolian kilims in good quality in Turkey.
So, I asked my friend who had been to Turkey for many times when I bought air tickets to Turkey.
She recommended me Motif Collection.
She told me that she has been a customer of the shop for 12 years long and satisfied with the items they are dealing very well.

I could easily find the shop next to Yesil Ev (Green House) Hotel on a tiny and attractive alley behind Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam (the famous Roxelana's hamam).
It didn't betray my expectations.
The owner Hamit Balkir was very kind and gave me a lot of information of carpets and kilims.
I was especially interested in the meanings of their motifs and asked him some questions about them.
He gave much more knowledge than I was expecting, not only about motifs but also material, dye, technique, etc.
He really has astounding knowledge.
The talk with him was so fantastic, but I didn't have so much time, so I gave it up and concentrated on choosing kilims.

Though I was planning to buy two pieces, I bought five old and antique ones.
They are all wonderful and in the best condition.
Motif Collection make me very happy and became my favorite place.
Strongly recommended.

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York City, New York
1 review
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“What a Treasure, not to be missed if in the market for a carpet!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

Last summer I was in Istanbul for a few days before boarding a cruise. On a previous trip to Turkey more than 20 years ago I purchased a handmade woolen rug from a "school" and I still love and cherish that carpet. On this trip I was hoping to purchase a silk rug. We went to a few stores but immediately I was turned off with the pushy salesmen and their lies. I wanted to have my nephews learn about the art of rug making but every place was more interested in trying to sell me an overpriced, mass produced rug made in China.

On our last day in Istanbul, we had no plans and had a few hours to spare before boarding the ship. Out of curiosity, I looked through Trip Advisor to see where others recommended purchasing rugs and came across the Motif Collection which was located just a few blocks from our hotel. As we walked there, at least seven rug stores approached us on the street, trying to drag us into their stores "just to look and have some tea". It took us time to find the store, it is TINY, but when you locate the street with all the carpets hanging from the walls, you have found the place. When we got there, the store had just opened and there was a gentleman vacuuming the floor and he called someone to come over. There were four of us and it was a little tight, but the next two hours were some of our best vacation memories.

I was interested in silk, which is more difficult to find than wool. We were shown about one dozen of the most beautiful rugs I have ever seen. I had only intended to purchase one rug, but after not being able to make up my mind, I bought two. The prices are not really negotiable, there will not be hours of haggling. This is not the type of place that won't let you leave - you are welcome to stay as long as you like, there is no pressure whatsoever. He provides you with a price and knows that if you are not going to purchase it, someone else will. While not cheap, the prices are very fair and in comparison to the other rugs being sold in Istanbul which may or may not be made in Turkey, here you know you are getting the real thing. I was thrilled that the children enjoyed themselves as much as they did - we spent quite a bit of time learning how each color is made and what the designs on the rug signify. As a token of appreciation, he threw in two small rugs for each of the boys and a lovely pillow cover for my Mom. The boys were fascinated by everything (12 and 14 years old) and report that this was one of the best parts of the trip. When we left the store, the boys announced which rug they wish to inherit and they want to save enough money to buy a rug of their own!!

Fast forward a few months. With the realization that obtaining high quality Turkish silk rugs is getting more difficult, I emailed the store to see what they had in stock. In return, I received high quality photographs of approximately eight rugs, one more beautiful than the next. With each photo was a description and a price. It was so difficult to make a decision, but in the end, I purchased three rugs, sight unseen and had the funds transferred to their account. To be honest, I was slightly nervous. However, the rugs were sent via FedEx and three days later, the rugs arrived. They were more beautiful than I could have ever imagined, so much so, they brought tears to my eyes. Each description was 100% honest and heads on. I am extremely pleased with my purchases. Recently he obtained some new rugs which he emailed photos to me and there was one rug that is the most beautiful piece of artwork I have ever witnessed, unfortunately my home is not large enough to accommodate the piece.

If one is in the market for a high quality, handmade Turkish carpet (the type they do not make anymore) and planning to visit Istanbul, a stop at the Motif collection is a must. Do not even waste your time going to the other stores. He has stock for all different budgets so no matter what you can afford, they can find a beautiful carpet for you. If unable to travel to Istanbul, I would have absolutely no reservations whatsoever recommending Motif and buying after reviewing pictures from the internet. This is not the type of establishment to cheat or scam you - they want you to be happy with your purchase and to come back again - since I have no immediate plans to visit Istanbul again in the near future, I will purchase additional carpets based on the photographs sent.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“great buying experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

On a recent trip to Istanbul, I decided rather last minute to buy a Turkisk carpet. However there is a prevailing sentiment that everyone in the markets and stores is out to scam you. So I spent a few hours in my room reading online how to buy a Turkish carpet and what to look for. I was thrilled by the previous good reviewes of Motif collection, so armed with my new knowledge and confidence in the store, I set out. It is a very easy place to find... if you are standing facing the Hagia Sophia with the Blue Mosque to your back, head right accross the square to the road... if you turn left you get to the Topkapi palace. If you turn right and go down the street 2-3 stores, you get to Motif Collection. It is a tiny store, only about 10 feet wide by 15'ish feet long, but the walls are piled high with carpets. Hidir was most helpful, friendly, and (I feel) honest in our dealings. He asked me where the carpet was to go in my house, and very quickly told me that he only sells antique carpets because true carpet making in Turkey no longer exists. It is an artform that has been lost and is now done mechanically by big industry, not by hand. After looking at a stack of laid-down carpets that was about 2 feet thick, I narrowed down my choices to 3. Hidir then told me the history of these 3 carpets, where they were made, what the design meant, what organic products the dyes were made from, and pointed out the flaws in the carpet where the dye-batch of the wool likely changed or the person making the carpet ran out of wool and used what ever was on hand. He told me how to care for/clean the carpet (as I intend to use it at the front door) and after about 2 hours of deliberation, I picked my carpet. The price was non-negotiable, but I was quite comfortable with what I paid. However I do wonder if I 'goofed' a bit in my dealings with Hidir as he asked me how much I paid at home for the NorthFace jacket I was wearing and I foolishly told him the truth. I wonder if this set a 'standard' in his mind of what I would pay for product and therefore changed the 'price' of the carpet. Regardless, I was content with the price, and it was much lower than 2 other places I had visited that wanted more money for a smaller carpet. After agreeing to a price, I asked about putting the cost on my visa and this was not an issue and the final price included shipping home by FedEx. The day after my purchase, Hadir sent me an email with the FedEx tracking number and asked me to email him when I receive the carpet. I left the shop that day with photos of my carpet, a certificate of autheniticy and a satisfied feeling that I received a good deal for a wonderful piece of art! For anyone thinking of buying a carpet in Istanbul, skip the scam-artists in the Grand Bazaar and the other shops (that are everywere) and just head to Motif Collection. But do give yourself enough time because the selection is daunting when you first walk in the tiny store.
Marni Wesner
Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Pole
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
76 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
146 helpful votes 146 helpful votes
“A very educating experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

A visit to this small shop turned out a most pleasurable and stress-free experience. I'd highly recommend it to any visitor. The store only specializes in Turkish handmade pieces, selling some at fairly low prices, some at medium. There are many kilims as well. Hamit is a collector and a dedicated man with wonderful manners; he enthusiastically shares his knowledge and does absolutely no salesman talk. If you end up not buying or taking a break to think it over (always a good idea), you'll still find yourself enlightened about what you want and what there is on the market at what prices.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ulm, Germany
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“The little shop with big results”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

We recently got back from a trip to Istanbul in which, like many others, we purchased our very first Turkish carpet. Before going out to the shops and bazaars we read the many reviews and advice on the internet about how to purchase an authentic carpet. We tried out a couple of other shops first, then we went to the Motif Collection because it was highly recommended. We met with Hidir Ates and right away we felt comfortable and like we were in good hands. He really took the time to explain his principle and ideology about carpet making in Turkey. Just like all the other reviews, we felt he was honest and trustworthy. We are very cautious people so we went to a couple more stores after his but were immediately convinced that Motif Collection was the right place for us. We went back the next day, where again Mr Ates took a lot of time to help us find the right carpets for us. We now proudly display our carpet at home and are still convinced we made the right choice by shopping at Motif Collection. We had a small question that we forgot to answer at the time of purchase so we emailed Mr. Ates and he answered us immediately in still a very friendly manner. We would highly recommend the Motif Collection. It deserves the high praise it gets.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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