Posted on 1st Aug 2012 @ 7:36 PM
Ever since the Industrial Revolution, the amount of true hands-on laborers has continued to diminish. As machinery was created to fulfill the needs in every industry possible, less and less people needed to do manual work, despite the fact that some of this manual work was one-of-a-kind; unique; priceless; Work that a machine simply could not do. While machines are fast, they are not intricate, and they cannot fulfill the loving touch of a handmade item.
Though the invention of machines is definitely nothing to frown upon as they have cheapened commodities and made working a lot easier, the invention of them has all but wiped-out age old traditions. Take for instance the hand loom, a skill and tradition that is now slowly being replaced with more modern machine looms. With less people having time to hand-weave items and even less people willing to do so, the existence of the hand loom is slowly but surely slipping away.
Before the time of machines, items, including textiles, were made by hand. One notable example is the towel. In the Turkish culture, the towel has incredible meaning and purpose. Handmade towels were once used for the ceremonial bath of the bride before she became a wife. Towels were also valued and prized by the royal members of the Ottoman Empire. During the empire’s rein, the weavers were pushed and encouraged to hand-make as many tiles and other textiles as possible. With so many weavers and so many towels, it was no surprise that new designs and styles quickly came about.
Not only did the size of the original towel become much wider, once the 18th century came, the weaving technique known as “looping” was the latest and greatest. As more towels, also known as haylu, and other pieces continued to be hand woven with more creativity in each one, the design and weaving technique continued to evolve into what is now seen on modern day towels.
Despite the obvious success of the hand loom technique, over time the tradition has died-off. It is said that there are only two Turkish families who know the original technique that was once used on the olden day looms. Though the technique of covering an entire towel in loops is well-known, it is only known after it is programmed into a machine. You surely will not find someone who personally knows how to handcraft a towel; except for our workers here at Turkish-T.
With this said, it is quite sad to realize how such a valuable and history-filled tradition has all but become an ancient part of history.
Here at Turkish-T, we thrive off of the goal of being able to preserve old age hand loom techniques. We do not use machines to create any of the products that we sell to our customers. While we know that using machinery would make the process of creating bath towels, clothing, and other items that we sell a lot quicker and easier, we value the art and craftsmanship behind hand crafted products that are unique and nothing short of beautiful. There is nothing more valuable and special than an item that is made with two hands, thread by thread.