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Step back into a time where quality, natural and organic were not choices, they just were. To a time where craftsmanship and the work of a skilled artisan was appreciated.
Jennifer’s Hamam works with the last families and individuals that still practise a weaving tradition in Turkey. The textiles are all woven on old-style-shuttled looms using natural materials such as, GOTS certified organic cotton, linen, and silk. All fibres used and all the artisans are Turkish. The families and individuals left in a few villages scattered from the south to the southeast of Turkey, work directly with Jennifer to create beautiful towels and textiles of a quality that you can no longer find in the country and in designs unique to Jennifer’s Hamam.
Just 25 short years ago, weaving villages around Turkey were full of many different kinds of old-style shuttled looms, even in Istanbul, looms could be found making the famous thick-looped Turkish towels. All these artisans, except nine, went bankrupt between then and the time Jennifer went looking for weavers eleven years ago. The decline of weaving was a direct result of the faster but lower quality production of modern industrial machines.
Since the opening of Jennifer’s Hamam in 2009, the art of weaving is again thriving, but is still in danger. The expansion has occurred by dipping into the pool of artisans that had already gone bankrupt pre-2009 and bringing them back to looms working for Jennifer’s Hamam.
The current issue is that no one has learned the art for more than 40+ years. When the women gave up home-weaving and threw out their looms, we lost our teachers. The weavers that Jennifer’s Hamam work with are the last of the mail commercial weavers in Turkey. Jennifer says, “Currently, we are just delaying the inevitable extinction of weaving. To save it we must start teaching people and in particular bring women back into the art.”
It is Jennifer’s great hope to start a weaving school. A foundation application is in the works and Jennifer hopes that once the pandemic has passed, the necessary funds can be raised to build a weaving school and start down the path of saving the art.
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