Buldan, Turkey

Picturesque  Buldan

Picturesque Buldan

Scattered amongst the pomegranates, figs and vines on an Anatolian hillside is the old village of Buldan in the province of Denizli, Turkey.   This ‘köy’, famous for its beautiful textile production, it has changed little over the ages and is still a major producer of quality loomed materials.  Buldan was once located on a major trade route and produced gorgeous fabrics that were used to make shawls and kaftans for sultans and ‘beys’ of the Ottoman court,  including a jacket for Young Osman; some of which can be seen in the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.
Ottoman silk kaftan

Many traditional Buldan homes still function as weaving workshops where for generation after generation, fathers and mothers have imparted their knowledge to their sons and daughters.  An unbroken chain of skills, experiences and work ethic passing through generations.

Yet it is a combination of the people and the materials that make Buldan textiles superior.  Nestled at the foothills of Babadaÿ Mountain, a plateau fed by the Menderes River produces some of the finest cotton in Western Anatolia.

Buldan looming in action

For the people of Buldan, weaving is a way of life and a source of pride.
The town’s history is closely intertwined with the fabrics woven here since the 13th Century. At a time when everything seems to be spun out by machines, it is reassuring to know that some vestiges of hand loomed crafts have remained alive and well in Buldan.  With looms still being used and not an automated process, the Buldan weavers have their chance to leave their own character on each piece, whether intentional or not.

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