Our Weaving Partners
The people we work with & the relationships we develop are at the heart of everything we do. Partnership is what we so love at Pazaar...
When we began our journey exploring Turkish handwoven textiles, we spent a week in Denizli, visiting the most talented master weavers and family run textile ateliers in the villages of Buldan, Kadıköy and Babadağ. The region is famous for its cotton growing, weaving & peshtemals. Our visit to the village of Buldan was the most memorable; every back street was a hive of activity as weavers worked away on their looms and the windows of every shop on the streets of Buldan adorned with beautiful Turkish towels, throws and blankets.
Saadet & Ecem
Based in Buldan, Saadet, Ecem and their family produce the most beautiful handwoven peshtemals and throws. Their business has been in the family for generations, first weaving peshtemals in 1933. They weave a mix of traditional Turkish chevron and diamond designs, as well as a stunning contemporary range with the most gorgeous natural dyed colours and intricate weaves. Our favourite is their Dokuma peshtemal made from 100% Turkish cotton. With its intricate basket weave design, it is named 'Dokuma' which means 'woven' in Turkish. Woven by their Buldan artisans on semi-automatic looms, the delicate pattern in the weave creates a stunning texture to this peshtemal. Each tassel is carefully twisted and knotted by hand.
Last September when we visited Saadet & Ecem, we whiled away a lovely afternoon together in their workshop, drinking endless glasses of çay (Turkish tea), learning all about the cotton growing in the region and how the cotton threads are spun & dyed ready for weaving their peshtemals.
Our very first visit was to Haki, whose peshtemal weaving business is based in the small town of Buldan. Just dipping our toes into the notion of setting up a business, we were so nervous as we headed off to meet him. The world of buying peshtemals, importing them to the UK and creating a website for our Turkish products was all new territory to us.
A beautiful drive from Denizli to Buldan, through vast sweeping plains & fields of cotton; we could see how cotton & hand-woven textiles had become such an important product for the region.
Any anxiety we had just evaporated when we arrived & Haki welcomed us. Nothing was too big a problem. A day of learning about the history of the family business and meeting his family & staff. Followed by a guided tour around the looms, the peshtemal tassel twisting & knotting room, the pressing & folding room & the store rooms piled high with the most beautiful multicoloured cotton threads & textiles. Peshtemal heaven for us! Not forgetting the beautiful lunch, shared together with Haki & all his staff.
Our overarching memory is one of falling in love with their peshtemals, but also discovering how much we love hearing the stories and getting to know the makers.
Their weaving business started in the 1960's with traditional Turkish tablecloths, sold locally in Denizli & has now expanded to peshtemals & throws. Their tablecloths are still a firm favourite and can be bought all over Turkey. Family owned for generations; Haki's father, mother, uncles, aunts and brothers all still work together to run the business
Our beautiful Arzu peshtemals are made by Haki's weavers and have been a constant favourite ever since the Pazaar doors opened.
Elcin, Rukiye and Tayfun
Based in Denizli, sisters Elcin and Rukiye and their brother Tayfun produce beautiful blankets, rugs and throws. The discovery of their textile designs is where our love of Turkish blankets and throws all began when we discovered ‘The Hamsi’. Woven on shuttle looms and using more than 20 different coloured yarns, this stunning striped cotton blanket epitomises all that we love about Turkish textiles.
The genius behind the designs is Elcin, who along with her team creates the ideas for their beautiful collections of blankets, throws and Turkish towels (peshtemal, fouta and hammam). Rukiye and Tayfun work behind the scenes on production, ensuring that Elcins' designs are beautifully created to the highest standards.
They are passionate about keeping the art of weaving alive, their principle being that the spirit of their textile production should remain in the villages. They work closely with the weavers in the villages surrounding Denizli to nurture and retain the skills and traditions for future generations: Villagers want to work where they grew up and learned to weave. Their family centred business enables this to happen by providing them with looms they can use in their homes and ensuring that production is kept local. In this way, the art of weaving is kept alive and families are able to nurture and support their children’s education in the traditions of weaving!
Ümut, Mustafa & Zümra
Ümut and Mustafa are based in Denizli and also work closely with weaving ateliers in the village of Buldan to curate the most beautiful collection of Turkish towels. When we visited them in Denizli, they introduced us to Zümra who lives and works in Buldan. She runs their shop and oversees the production of their textiles locally. She took us on a magical whistle stop tour of Buldan helping us to understand why Buldan became the heart of the textile industry in Turkey. We were introduced to the weavers and their families and shown round the village; store cupboards piled high with cotton threads in every colour you could ever imagine, bustling rooms full of weavers working on hand and semi-automatic looms, groups of women carefully tying and cutting the tassels and finally, the last stop off for all their textiles; the workshop for quality control, pressing and packaging.
When we began our venture with Pazaar, this is where our first samples came from. We were like children in a sweet shop, and left with boxes full of beautiful Turkish towels, blankets and throws to bring back to the UK.
Bekir & his beautiful peshtemal & pike (pee-kay) shop
Bekir is our ‘go-to guy’ and expert on all there is to know about Turkish textiles. He & his shop were our inspiration when we first headed off to Denizli to source peshtemals!
When we have a question or need some advice, it's always Bekir that we turn to. He always knows the answer and whatever we need doing, he gets done quickly and well. He has become not only a business partner, but also became a good friend when we lived in Turkey. A creative and wise businessman, he grew up helping to run the family business and in recent years has taken over the day to day running of the business from his father. His shop is an Aladdin’s Cave full of meticulously folded and stacked Turkish towels, blankets, rugs and throws in every design and colour you could ever imagine. He is a master at tracking down new textiles for us and is forever sending us photographs of his latest textile discovery. Bekir has worked with us from the early days of Pazaar, helping us source our traditional chevron and diamond Turkish towels, blankets and throws.