As it is in many countries around the world, crochet holds significant importance in Turkey. Over generations it has served as a point of cultural preservation, economic opportunity and social connection all of which still hold true today.
Traditionally, young girls are taught how to weave, knit and crochet by their mothers and grandmothers - a skill used throughout their lives. Not only does this skill create economic opportunity but it provides a social and communal activity that women and girls can come together to do.
Over the years women learn many styles of weaving, knitting and crochet and produce beautiful handmade pieces that are both sold and used as gifts for family and friends. Handmade pieces such as blankets, sweaters, clothes, scarves, baby items and handbags are among the most popular but there is no limit to the creativity of what can be made.
While many women do sell their woven and crocheted products at local pazars, or open air markets, over the years crochet and the “hobby culture” have evolved in Turkey. While groups of women still come together to crochet and socialize, the use of social media has enabled a generation of makers to share their products outside of their local community.
Hobby culture in Turkey is a big business - all local markets cater to women makers, offering beautiful yarns, kagit, raffia, and every imaginable accessory and tool for handmade items. These stores are places where women come together to not only shop, but meet with other makers to share best practices, show off their latest works, and get new ideas for things they want to try and make.
We’re extremely lucky to have found two of these makers, Ipek Akdal and Adile Belet, to produce our latest handmade handbag drop. These women both have decades of crochet experience, and their precision and ability is second to none.
All of our bags are crocheted using dyed kağıt, a woven paper similar to raffia, and typical to Turkey. Our Aksam and Sehir clutches are both woven with a shell stitch motif and feature a beautiful fanlike pattern thought the bodice of the bag. Our Yarim Ay and Pazar bags are women in the more traditional single and double stitch motif creating a beautiful texture and design.
We’re excited to share a part of Turkey that has sustained, both economically and personally, generations of women. As every piece we produce is handmade, it is unique and one of a kind. Depending on the style, each bag can take a day up to a month to make. As such, our quantities are small and offered on a first come, first served basis.
Follow up on social media @shoppineandpalm to learn more about our bags and subscribe to our mailing list to be among the first notified of our small batch handmade drops.
*crocheted photos provided by Ihlamurcum*