There is an unfortunate truth that throughout time immemorial millions of traditions and techniques from cultures around the globe become forgotten. Thankfully, in Turkey, Ottoman weavers still use the "looping technique" to create our beautifully crafted hand woven towels. This traditional technique of hand weaving was passed down from mother to child, transmitting this beautiful and endlessly useful art-form from generation to generation. However, this invaluable tradition was interrupted 40+ years ago when industrial-made textiles started dominating the marketplace.
At Lavender Road, part of our calling is to change that narrative by breathing new life into this endangered art. When you purchase our Turkish towels you are helping to establish a foundation for marginalized rural women of Turkey to learn the skills of weaving, spinning and dying; while cultivating the next generation of teachers. We are honored to serve as a bridge between cultures, helping create longevity in traditional craftsmanship.
Our Handwoven Towel Collection offers the Pestamel, the Peskir and Thick-looped style towels. Keep reading to see what makes them each their own masterpiece.
Pestemals are the traditional flat-woven towels used in the Turkish baths (hammams). Pestamel towels can be used for anything including, a towel, table cloth, curtain, throw, blanket, scarf, etc. They are hand-woven on looms using high quality Turkish cotton. This type of cotton needs to be broken-in to achieve highest absorbency.
Remember, before using pestamel towels for the first time, we highly recommend soaking in cold water for 12 hours or overnight. Following soaking, a gentle machine wash. Since our pestamels are 100% eco-friendly, we would love our customers to use hang drying methods which can also help save the environment. However, if needed, select lower level heats when using the machine drying.
Peskir are the traditional hair towels used in the hamam (the Turkish Bath). However, they can also double as beautiful dish towels or hand towels, not to mention a great size for a scarf. It may be smaller in size but it it equally as impressive.
Remember, our products consist of hand-loomed textiles where they can, sometimes, get pulled threads. When it happens, we recommend simply cutting the thread off. This would not damage the pestamel or peskir because of the way it’s loomed.
These luxurious thick looped towels are made of 100% GOTS certified organic Turkish cotton. Organic cotton has many benefits over non-organic cotton; it's more absorbent, releases the moisture quicker, has its own innate ability to deal with bacteria, will not go hard or smell musty over time, is easier to clean, healthier for your skin, uses less water in the growing process and does not contaminate the soil or those that still hand-pick it in Turkey. These pieces will last 4-5 times longer than those made with non-organic threads and will be more enjoyable to use during their extended life.
Though many factory machines attempt to replicate the appearance of our products, they fail at capturing the cultural significance and structure of pieces made on old-style-shuttled looms. Adding our Turkish towels to your space will add a fun colorful flare, while also helping to preserve a cultural artform from across the world.