Most of us are aware of the incredible benefits of Turkish towels, but their history is a little less known. While these stylish and lightweight textiles are commonly spotted in carefully curated boutiques, spas, and fitness studios, their popularity dates back to the 14th century, way before they became a regular fixture in your Instagram feed.
The first Turkish baths or Hamams, were built in the 14th century, and included hot steam rooms, and cold water for bathing; the Turkish towel or peshtemal was the main material used in the Hamam.
The quick drying properties of the peshtemal, and it’s light weight, made it the perfect towel to dry the body after bathing. Men wrapped them around their waists, and women under their armpits for modesty.
In the 17th century royals and their courtiers wanted the peshtemal with a more ornate design, and hired weavers to create them, by hand, on a loom. The design and colours woven into the towel often indicated which region the people were from. This tradition continues today and is part of what makes enjoying the Turkish Towel or peshtemal so special; not only is it a stylish and functional lifestyle accessory, but it’s also a longstanding element of Turkish culture and history.
As a brand, our focus has always been on bringing beautiful handmade and fair trade products to the global marketplace, and on helping to preserve the ancient traditions behind these art forms. By shopping ethically with brands such as ours, which support artisans and their deep cultural traditions, we as a whole preserve these beautiful and ancient practices, and have the pleasure of enjoying the stylish simplicity and multi-functionality of the Turkish towel in our modern lives.
Thank you for shopping handmade & ethically!
Stray & Wander Team