Our lovely bath sheets (or peshtamels, also known as hammam towels) have been carefully crafted by master artisans. With each one taking around 50 hours to create, artisans families' weaving skills are passed down from generation to generation. Most often creating these beautiful towels from looms in their homes, with groups of ladies sitting together to tie the knots once the weaving has finished. It is an age-old tradition in Turkey, and an important part of rural Turkish culture.
Your peshtamel has been made to last 20-30 years of use. The good news is your towel will become naturally softer with each wash. Hanging your towel to dry as opposed to machine drying will increase its lifespan, and because of their lightweight nature, drying does not take a long time.
Pre-soak your Peshtamel
When you receive your hammam towel it is important to soak it in water first to help “break in” the cotton. This helps it to become more absorbent more quickly. Be sure the towel is completely saturated with water and really work the water into the fibres.
Soak your towel in cold water for 6-12 hours and hang to drip dry.
Never use bleach or fabric softener on your hand-loomed towels. Bleach can break down the natural fibres with each use, reducing the strength and durability of the fabric. You can however use natural treatments; adding 1/4 cup of baking soda and one cup of white vinegar to your wash will brighten up and condition your towel nicely.
Fabric pulls in your Peshtamel
Fabric pulls. This may occasionally happen - your towel will not unravel, however, and there are two solutions for mending the pull.
1) Just snip the thread close to the towel.
2) You can also follow the thread to the fringe knot, untie the knot and pull the threads to tidy up the pull. Then simply re-tie the knot.
The versatility of the peshtamel means once purchased, they usually are well-used. From table linen, to gym towel, sarong and bathing sheet... it can even be fashioned into a knot bag for a picnic.
With a little love and care, these lightweight, sustainable alternatives to towels can be enjoyed for many many years - and once they have eventually expired, they can be still be cut up used for many more years as cleaning cloths, giving the fabric another lease of life - or recycled. Buy consciously; discard with care.