Once the rain stopped, we decided to visit the famous ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus. We drove to the base of the site and a friendly gentleman loaded us in his 'free' bus to take us to the top so we could walk down instead of up. The only catch was that we had to stop at a rug-making school and see a demonstration of how Turkish rugs are made. It proved to be very educational. We were told by every person who worked there that we were NOT under compulsion to buy anything. That's nice. We usually get offers to buy rugs, but this really was a rug school run by the Turkish government. We watched the weavers tie knots of thread, all by hand, one at a time, until a row was complete. Then they use a metal tool to push all the ties in that section down as tight as possible. They also clip the excess thread after each time of tying a knot. There are hundreds of knots per square inch. The rugs can be made from wool, cotton, or silk. Persian rugs are all made from silk. You could easily spot them, for there are thousands of knots per square inch when silk is used. The silk for the rugs is gathered from the silk worm. Each cocoon can provide 5 miles of silk. The lady pictured above was part of a family who had done this for a living for several generations. She would take the cocoons and boil them in a huge vat (see photo), which would kill the worm and loosen the silk. She then pulled the strings of several cocoons and hooked them together to make the nice thick silk thread they use. She pumped the machine with her foot that gathered the silk strings into one and created the thread. Each of the girls got to keep a cocoon. Eva told me there was a 'bean' inside as she could hear it when she shook it. Realizing she got absolutely nothing from our little field trip, I said, "Eva! Remember, it's a silk worm inside." (Strange look.) "There's a bug in there, Eva." She dropped her little cocoon and didn't want to have anything else to do with it, even though I told her it was dead. I think that spooked her even more. The rugs are beautiful and after seeing how they are made, I think they deserve every penny they get for them!