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Touring and Automobile Club of Turkey

Kitre (Tragacanth) Doll

Kitre doll is a toy made using kitre which is the sap of a wild plant and cotton.

This handicraft named after kitre, its raw material, reflects culture of countries. Although this art which is among Turkish - Islamic arts goes back a long time and dates back to 200 BC, it is understood that it has been in production for only one century in our country. The first ever kitre doll was made by Zehra Müfit, one of Turkey's first woman artists.

Folkloric Kitre doll is an art branch that reveals countries' life styles, traditions and customs that survived to the present day and introduce their cultures with folkloric clothes used. Features of kitre dolls that differentiate them from toy dolls include their resistance against impacts and their lengthy and challenging production process. Also, working on these dolls according to sculptor styles is one of its most basic characteristics. Therefore, they are priceless artifacts with a high value of art.

Materials such as cotton, wood and fabric are used for making kitre dolls. Additionally, no mold is used for any part of it and it is shaped manually.

Each doll emerges as a product of the work undertaken in the form of layers. First, the head is made, then, hands and fingers are made as a result of a separate work. Two different techniques are used for making a kitre doll. First one of these techniques is tensioning the fabric placed over the head and shaping facial lines of the doll with needle.

The second one is using wire and cotton to form the face and head. Cotton is adhered to wires using kitre and left for drying. Finally, dried cotton is dyed.
At the final phase, clothes are made according to mockup clothing style, staying loyal to the relevant era's fabric and mold properties.

It is possible to find, today, the most beautiful examples of kitre doll at the Touring undertaking, at Sultanahmet Bazaar of Istanbul Arts.

Istanbul Handicrafts - Kitre Doll

Examples of the works of our artists;

The artists performing the art of Kitre Doll at the Istanbul Handicrafts Center are as follows:

Lütfiye Batukan
Lütfiye Batukan, one of the ancient artists of the Istanbul Handicrafts Center since 1986, has ...
Lütfiye Batukan
Selma Kadriye Yurtlu
Selma Kadriye Yurtlu was born in Edirne in 1961. Yurtlu, who learned the art of Tragacanth Doll ...
Selma Kadriye Yurtlu
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