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How we source our products

Posted on 28 May 2014

(Above:Turkish Hamam 1869. Image via pinterest)

When we first embarked on sourcing traditionally crafted Turkish pestamel (flat woven towels/throws/blankets), we were quite demoralised to find most were mass produced in factories.  Hard to believe when weavers in Turkey have been making these beautiful products by hand for centuries.  So we decided the only way to find what we were looking for was to travel to Turkey and search!

Once there, out of the four supposedly ‘hand loomed’ producers we narrowed down to, three still made most of their range using factory machines.  It was quite unbelievable how many claimed to have ‘hand loomed’ and ‘organic’ towels.  A complete load of rubbish and a real shame, as they sell this story to international stockists who then go on to say THEY have ‘hand loomed’ and ‘organic’ Turkish towels.

Thankfully, one producer (yes only ONE out of literally hundreds) was focussed on resurrecting the dying trade of weaving. Not an easy task when weaving families were throwing out their looms and becoming destitute.  Nine families came on board and started weaving again.  We instantly noticed these products were better.  They felt better, and the quality and intricacy of the weaves were incomparable to other products we’d seen.  All of the products were also made with the highest quality certified organic cotton, grown in Turkey.

So that was it, decision made. Why stock mass produced items when handmade is clearly better quality, while also supporting the livelihood of local artisans?

Ottoloom is the exclusive New Zealand distributor for these handmade products.

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