Kurds and Why

The first step is admitting I have a problem, right?

That I can do.

Unfortunately, I’m still unwilling to explore any of the steps beyond that.

Because I still quite like my addiction–

to textiles.

I don’t need knicknacks; I don’t need fridge magnets; I don’t need explanatory guidebooks.  What really warps my weft are things woven, embroidered, sewn, tatted.

Turkey is proving a delightful enabler.  Here are some ways it’s fed my problem:

This orange shawl currently covers some ugly wood down in our guest room (“The Courtyard Suite”) and, as does every bit of fabric or square of rug, helps to absorb the dust that is constantly being shed from the stone walls.

In the neighboring town of Ürgüp, there is a shop dedicated to the Ottoman art of Ebru painting, but it also contains shelves of scarves and tablecloths. I bought this cashmere shawl there; because it’s made of fairy wings and ground unicorn horn, its beauty doesn’t translate well into photography.

When we visited Istanbul, we spent some time in the Grand Bazaar. Just as we were exciting the massive conglomeration of stalls, I spotted this brightly-colored tablecloth and found myself drawn out of the flow of foot traffic. 

The pattern is traditional Anatolian.

The rustic feel of this tablecloth appealed to both Byron and me–although we have trouble imagining using it when we’re having spaghetti and meatballs with red sauce.

The pattern is hand-stamped with Hittite symbols.

This purchase is a shout-out to my mother, she who took a 2+ month cruise to Australia, stopping at islands all along the way…and then brought back gifts made in China. In the case of this mirrored wall hanging, I came to Turkey to buy stuff from India.

After buying this pillow cover, I sewed loops on the back so that it could be hung on the wall. Who wants to lean against something so pretty? I want to make staring eyes at it.

Another shout out to Mom’s training here: I went to Ankara and bought this purse made in Nepal. In my defense, it is made out of hemp, sewn with silk thread, and has cute little felted circley things on it.

Speaking of felted things, this little change purse has proven invaluable in helping me keep track of my lira and kurus.

Here’s another Grand Bazaar purchase–a wool shawl that makes me long for the cold to set in, just so I can cuddle up in it. Even more warming will be the memory of haggling down the initial asking price by 25 lira.


For me, this purchase is the crowning glory of the whole bunch: it’s Kurdish folk art, and it’s only for sale in one shop in Göreme (in contrast to most of the things for sale here which are seen everywhere, the same items in shop after shop). While I generally am not a fan of gaudy, something about the crazy quilt nature of this piece really appeals to me.

Because of all the spangles, beads, sequins, and glitz, it weighs maybe 8 pounds.

Who knew the lasting legacy of this year in Turkey would be a desire to bedazzle my walls?

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9 Responses to Kurds and Why

  1. The Hittite piece needs to lay over a round table, with a piece of cut-to-fit glass on top! Still visible, but safe from red sauce/red wine/ all the dangerous stain-y things. You will have plenty of time back in Duluth to wear the snuggly stuff, no?

  2. Jazz says:

    Oooohhhhh. Lovely! You seem to have the same problems with texiles as I do with paper…

  3. kmkat says:

    A lot of the wool yarn — various brands — that is sold in the US comes from Turkey. Just sayin’…

  4. Bob says:

    I went to Bahrain 3 times and each time brought back Pashmina scarves made in Pakistan. (ooooooh, but they were niiiiiiiccceeee.) Of course, I don’t think they make anything in Bahrain (other than aluminum and low-sulfur diesel) so I should be excused.

  5. lime says:

    to turkey….
    must have textiles.
    yes, you ARE my psychic sister. oh that orange anatolian tablecloth in particular….were i to visit you, you should hide that piece or it may find its way into my bag.

    now i need textiles to wipe up my drool….excuse me.

  6. Jim says:

    One of your more beautiful and understated sentences: “The pattern is traditional Anatolian.”

  7. Deborah says:

    I have Basque tablecloths, Provencal duvet covers, Greek kilims, Irish linens, Moroccan shawls, Italian scarves…. We should start a support group.
    But all my stuff (pretty much) get used/worn/walked on. So it’s not an addiction but a passion, right? Like I said to my youngest the other day, it’s only a passion when you can actually AFFORD to collect broken German sportscars.

    I particularly like the Anatolian tablecloth, and the Kurdish wall hanging. A lot.

  8. geewits says:

    Are you going to be able to bring all of that back with you? You are coming back, right?

  9. That’s one addiction worth feeding! That’s quite a collection you’ve started, and you still have quite a bit of time left to add to it. Now I’m just wondering how you are going to take everything home when your year is over. 😉

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