The Turkish textile industry has been around since the reign of the Ottoman Empire. By the 16th century, textile production had advanced and become widespread, which proved advantageous to Ottoman rule. As the years went by, this established industry opened up to foreign markets and grew to become an integral part of the Turkish economy.
This article highlights the numerous reasons why the Turkish textile industry is revered worldwide to date.
Understanding Turkish Fabrics and Their Popularity
A country’s fashion and textile industry can help you understand the people’s culture. In the early 1500s, the Ottoman Empire made Busra the hub of the textile market and ensured the state controlled the sale and manufacture of textiles. Additionally, the state enforced strict rules which all Turkish merchants had to follow to sell their merchandise in Busra.
This rigorous supervision ensured all Turkish textiles were of premium quality with time. Below are factors that have positively contributed to the popularity of the Turkish clothing and textile industry.
Quality of Cotton
There’s a reason why the towels used in 5-star hotels feel softer and fluffier than those from inns with 2-star ratings - the quality of cotton and blends used! Turkish brands consider how their cotton blends and fibers affect the texture, overall performance, and longevity of use. Below are the cotton varieties and blends commonly used in Turkey.
Turkish cotton is arguably one of the best quality types of cotton in the world. It has super-long fibers and is grown exclusively in Turkey. Turkish cotton also has low absorbency, which is excellent for hand towels as they are meant to dry fast for reuse.
Egyptian cotton still retains the title of the best cotton worldwide, thanks to its extra-long and dense fibers. Egyptian cotton towels are revered globally for their high absorbency and luxurious feel and are popularly found in hotels, luxury spas, and boutiques.
This cotton variety grows in southwestern regions of the US, Peru, and Australia. Pima cotton is of higher quality than conventional cotton, producing smooth fabric that’s wrinkle-resistant and soft. It is also ideal for people with super-sensitive skin.
Organic cottonCertified organic cotton doesn’t use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers and is harvested using sustainable methods. Although towels made from organic cotton may look and feel similar to conventional cotton, the biggest selling point is their reduced carbon footprint.
BambooBamboo is a sustainable material as it is fast-growing and doesn’t need pesticides. Bamboo and cotton blends produce soft, color-fast, and luxurious fabrics that are also anti-bacterial.
Variety of Turkish Fabric
Turkey doesn’t only make carpets and towels. The Turkish are also known to create stunning textiles in different colors, styles, and designs, from lightweight fabrics to embroidered velvet. Here are some of their creations.
This lightweight, airy cotton fabric is woven on a hand-loom and used to make summer clothes, tablecloths, and bed linen. This natural fabric is typically not dyed; instead, it’s embellished with symbolic crochet or embroidery.
Yazma means “writing” in Turkish, which explains why this fabric is usually hand-painted or block-printed using wooden molds. Yazma fabrics vary with each province as people use different materials and colors to create unique designs and styles. They are used to make traditional baggy salwar pants, headscarves, and summer dresses.
SuzaniThis is a colorful, embroidered fabric that nomadic tribes brought from Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Suzan means “needle” in Persian and owes its origin to the beautiful, colorful, symbolic embroidery that people would use in traditional dowry ceremonies.
The Type of WeaveUsing quality cotton is one thing. The crucial part is how you spin the cotton fibers, which affects the quality and durability of the end product. Below are some of the standard yarn construction methods used.
- Combed cotton is passed through a series of straight metal teeth, so the fibers lay parallel to each other. This process removes tangles and separates short threads from the longer, stronger ones ideal for making high-quality products.
- Ringspun cotton is made by tightly twisting long and short-staple fibers together to create a smooth, strong yarn. This method is ideal for making products with a luxurious feel.
- Twisted cotton is made when fibers are twisted at different rates to achieve varying results. A low-twist yarn works well with long fiber cotton to produce a smooth, soft finish, while a high-twist yarn results in a robust towel that’s not smooth.