Milas carpets and rugs are Turkish carpets and rugs that bear characteristics proper to the district of Milas in Muğla Province in southwestern Turkey. There are also a number of variants within the definition of Milas carpets. These variants are called under such names as Ada Milas, Patlıcanlı, Cıngıllı Cafer, Gemisuyu, Elikoynunda depending on the style, colors and other characteristics.
Classical Milas carpets and rugs are those that can be said to have kept the essentials of the original 16th century prayer rugs, with a usually rectangular niche (“mihrâb”) in their fore to indicate the spot where the front of the faithful touches the rug at the moment of kneeling during the prayer. The inner frame of this niche is garnished with plant motifs and above the niche is a specially designed field called âlem, with references to heavenly promises.
The type called “Ada Milas” is one of the oldest examples of classical Milas rugs. The name may have derived, according to different versions, from the queen Ada of Caria, a native of this very region and a contemporary of Alexander the Great, or from a hypothesis according to which this type of rugs was first woven by immigrants from the island of İstanköy (Cos), “ada” meaning “island” in Turkish, or from the stylized carnation bouquets (another signification of the word “ada”) sometimes depicted as placed on a branch around the rug.