How are your products made?
We source our lightweight 'hamam' Turkish towels from a group of artisan weavers in Turkey. While many Turkish towels claim to be handloomed, most of them are in fact not. Our weavers are some of the few remaining artisans that truly make their products on old fashioned shuttle looms that are manually operated rather than mechanized.
The weavers source the cotton locally, buying only Turkish cotton threads that are g.o.t.s. certified organic and dyed in a g.o.t.s approved dye house. [Since they are making these towels by hand, and often in their own homes, we are not able to get the towels themselves g.o.t.s. certified at this time, but hope to be able to get certification all the way to our finished product in the future as we grow.]
After the towels have been woven, they are imported to the U.S. and designed, cut and sewn into the finished product by local independent seamstresses, often working out of their own homes.
Why Turkish towels?
The lightweight Turkish towel, known also as 'hamam towels', 'peshtemal' / 'pestemal', or 'fouta', is believed to have been the first towel ever created, and dates back to the public bath houses, known as the 'hamam', in present day Turkey. These hamam towels were designed to provide privacy, while being absorbent for bathing, breathable to remain comfortable in the heat, lightweight for easy transport, and quick drying, while remaining fashionable and beautifully showcasing the artisan's weaving handiwork.
The towels were traditionally woven on shuttle looms, and for hundreds of years there were weaving villages throughout Turkey where weaving families would pass down the craft from generation to generation. Traditionally the men would work outside of the home in commercial weaving, and the women would weave on the family's own loom inside their home and teach their children, and it was also the women who would tie the fringe or tassels of each towel by hand. It was this way for many years, until about 20 years ago when demand for this style of towel began to grow, and mechanized looms were designed to replicate the weaving process. Many of the weavers went out of business.
We choose to source the real authentic hamam towel from some of the few remaining artisan weaving families in Turkey because their beautiful craftsmanship + quality simply can't be replicated by the cheaper imitation product. Particularly important when being used for baby care, the handmade product is much more breathable, softer, and durable, and we feel that this craft is something we simply cannot allow to go extinct.
Why are the prices so different for different patterns of the same product?
The towels we source as our fabric are all woven by hand by artisan weavers, and weaving the towels is very time consuming. A single towel can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to make, depending on the intricacy of the design. In order to ensure the weavers are being compensated appropriately for their work, the price of a towel with a more intricate design is higher than that of a more simple design, and this is reflected in the price of our final product.
While prices for some items may seem high, our mark up is actually lower than what would be considered normal for our industry and we try to ensure our pricing is fair for all parties - from our weavers, to our seamstresses, and of course our customers.
Are Turkish towel products hard to take care of?
The short answer: No! For the most part, you can just throw your item into the wash along with your regular laundry. With the exception of a few specialty products, we just recommend washing on a low spin/ gentle cycle, with cold water, and tumble drying with low heat. We do suggest not over drying as this will cause the cotton to loose absorbency and feel stiff (temporarily, until it re'blooms') - so please make sure not to leave in the dryer for too long. It is important to not use bleach, or fabric softeners, and we recommend using natural alternatives for spot treating stains (you can just apply equal parts of baking soda and clear vinegar onto the spot before laundering).
Because our fabric is woven with organic Turkish cotton that hasn't been chemically treated, it will naturally get broken in and become softer and more absorbent the more you use it. We call this process letting the the cotton 'bloom'. If you want to expedite this process, you can simply soak it in cool water overnight (or up to 24 hours for very thick towels), then wring it out and allow to drip dry before laundering as usual.
What do I do if I get a snag?
If a thread from the woven fabric gets pulled and creates a snag - you can simply cut off the loose thread to the same height as the base fabric. Because of the way the fabric is woven, it will not cause the whole towel to unravel.
What do I do if a tassel comes untied?
It is very unlikely that your tassels will become untied - but if they do, you can retie it fairly easily. Simply separate the thread into two equally sized sections, twist each section clockwise, and then twist both sections together counter clockwise, and secure with a simple knot at the end. If you want to avoid the knot from coming untied again, just make sure you tighten the knots before washing [and washing on a lower spin cycle should help prevent this as well].