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Turkish Scarves


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Catalog (Scarves & Shawls)


These beautiful traditional Turkish scarves are called yazmalar {that's plural -- one scarf is a yazma}. Another name is Anatolian yemeni scarf. The fabric is a finely-woven lightweight cotton similar to cheesecloth or butter muslin.  The texture ranges from very silky to coarse, but all scarves get softer over time. The scarves are made in a craft industry town well-known for traditional folk arts of weaving and printing fabric. 

Historically, floral scarf designs were hand-drawn and hand-painted; later craftsmen printed the scarves with natural local dyes on hand-carved wooden blocks. Today, the scarf fabric is printed by modern serigraphy. Most scarves are about 36” square, although they vary a bit.

Traditional floral designs are typically printed around the border of the scarf, leaving a solid color center. Newer scarf designs cover the scarf with flowers, or combine flowers and wild geometric elements. These may look too wild when seen flat, but are quite lovely when folded into a triangle, and draped around the neck.



Turkish women purchase ready-made, unfinished scarves. After making a rolled hem on the two raw edges, they decorate the entire perimeter with beautiful hand-worked lace enhanced with little flower motifs or other traditional shapes called oya (plural, oyalar). This lace is made a thin needle and fine polyester or nylon thread.  Often attached to the scarf with a green foundation row, the edging usually repeats colors in the scarf’s pattern. 


Yazmalar are hand-washable in cool water and mild detergent. The trim and the scarf dyes are usually colorfast -  I’ve had only one black scarf whose color ran a bit.

Even if you’re not a “scarf wearing” person, yazmalar are appealing. The versatile scarves are easy to manage, and add pizazz to any outfit. It takes no previous "scarf experience" to wear one as a shawl, cowboy bandana, or just draped around the neck. The ends may hang loose, slightly twisted to show off the edging, or may be gently tied. Yazmalar make charming head scarves, too. They are quite warm at the neck of an open jacket.

Yazmalar sell too fast to list individual scarves.  Ask me if you want a particular color scheme, and we'll see what's on hand. The prices reflect the quality of the edging as well as the size of the scarf and range from about $24-36. 



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