DOBAG is a Turkish acronym which identifies the Natural Dye Research and Development Project. The project is a women's carpet weaving co-operative that celebrates the traditions of Anatolian weaving.
The seeds of DOBAG were first planted in 1960 with the arrival in Istanbul of a German professor of sciences, Dr. Harald Bohmer. Dr. Bohmer was taken with the richness of the material culture. But while frequenting the carpet bazaars and museum collections, he became aware of a shift in color harmony around the time of industrialization. With the introduction of synthetic dyes and a growing demand for production in the world market, carpets began to lose their natural (plant based) sympathetic color harmony. With the aim of reintroducing natural dyes the DOBAG project was born.
Over a period of approximately 20 years the co-operative has developed into what it is today - the heart of a thriving cultural tradition. It is also a self-determined collective which empowers its members and offers worldwide appreciation for a superior quality contemporary craft. With the help of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Marmara University, his wife Renata, and fellow enthusiasts Dr. Serife Atlihan and Dr. Nevin Evez - Dr. Bohmer began reintroducing natural dye processes into the village districts of Ayvacik and Yuntdag. The communities were well equipped to shear, spin and weave the wool - occupations which were already integrated into daily life - and they enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to return to traditional dye practices, and take part in the DOBAG project.
Now the carpets which meet the exacting standards set by the co-operative's elected board are collected internationally. They have been exhibited in London, Dubai, Osaka, Vienna and are in the permanent collections of the British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, All Souls College at Oxford, the Academy of Sciences and De Young Museum of Asian Art in San Francisco, National Museum of Ethnology - Osaka, the Museum fur Volkerkunde, Vienna and Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. They are represented commercially in Norway Ireland, California, Colorado, and Australia, and now - Canada.