that will capture your heart AND save the planetOur Distinction
Step back into a time where quality, natural & organic were not choices, they just were. This is a time where craftsmanship and the work of a true artisan was appreciated. At Jennifer's Hamam, we work with some of the last families and individuals that still have a weaving tradition in Turkey. All the textiles we sell are woven on old-style-shuttled looms using natural materials such as GOTS certified organic cotton, linen and silk. All fibres used and all the artisans are Turkish and all the weaving done within Turkey.
Just 40 short years ago, weaving villages around Turkey were chocker-block full of many old-style shuttled looms. Even in Istanbul, looms making the famous looped Turkish towels (plush terry towels) could be found.Most of these people between then and now have moved on or gone bankrupt and lost their livelihoods in weaving. Where these people went and what they are doing now, we do not know because sadly, we never had the chance to meet them.The remaining artisans can be found in a few villages scattered from the south to the southeast of Turkey.
A woven item is very special in today's market, not just because of its beauty, but due to its endurance: flat-woven towels (pestamel) outlast factory-made by almost three times and, in the case of thick, looped towels, between five and six times longer. When you combine this strength and integrity with the highest quality natural fibres, plus that aspect of a human soul that weaves its way into a handmade piece, you then have a product with a level of quality that is exception and a rarity these days.
Jennifer's Hamam works with these artisans directly to create beautiful hand woven thick-looped Turkish towels, pestamel, peskir, kese, robes, bedcovers, blankets, throws, table & bed linens. Our designs are unique and all most all are limited edition. The threads used in our products are all natural sustainable materials including Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) certified organic Turkish cotton; the best quality linen we can find on the market; and, stronger than steel, hand-reeled silk and hand-spun silk threads.
Come explore, learn and enjoy your journey with us into a quality from the past!!
We are an example to the world of how to empower people, save cultures, heal economies, sustain the planet, and have an amazing time!!
The finest products that uniquely fuse exceptional quality and design while remaining eco sensitive.
Natural materials grown and produced in Turkey under sustainable conditions.
Distinctive local good of uncommon value, hand crafted by passionate designers and artisans.
Partners and suppliers who share our values and work to make a positive difference in the world.
Our inner human spirit and its natural desire to celebrate life by honouring old tradition and culture.
In July 2009, after 6 days of driving and search, Jennifer found one man working on an old-style-shuttled loom. This serendipitous meeting led to learning about 8 other small workshops weaving on looms. It was shocking to discover that the art was almost completely lost and even more startling to know that had she waited just a short 10 days, the 'looping' technique would have been completely lost and the famous Turkish, looped towels would no longer exist in the world. A short wait of just 6 months and the entire art of weaving in Turkey would have been completely extinct.
Thanks to all of our amazing clients who have supported us and been our best marketers over the last 10 years, Jennifer's Hamam has been able to expanded the art to roughly 600 working looms and about 3 times that in artisans who have been pulled back to the art after going bankrupt prior to the birth of Jennifer's Hamam .
With all this in place and with the knowledge that a larger number of people care about quality and the sustainability each and every day, now it's time to address the larger problem of actually saving weaving. It has been more than 40 years since anyone learned how to weave and it is Jennifer's dream to build a weaving school in the near future to actually save the art.
Our cotton threads are all spun from GOTS certified organic Turkish cotton and purchased by Jennifer personally to ensure quality standards are always met.
In comparison to non-organic, organic cotton takes a lower of amount of water to grow, does not contaminate the soil or the people who are still hand picking in Turkey; it's far more absorbent, releases the water more quickly, will not go hard over time and does not smell musty.
Our linen threads are all sourced in Turkey and purchased personally by Jennifer to ensure the best quality available on the market. Linen was the choice fibre for thousands of years until industry came and it's hair, uneven character made it impossible to run on the fast factory machines. A weaver must slow down 50% to weave in linen. On the scale of absorbency, breathability, last ability, linen wins every time.
Our silk threads are hand-reeled and hand spun by the last family still doing the entire process of silk by end for end product use. The silk threads they produce surpasses all other silk threads available on the market today.
When silk is hand-reeled using proper temperatures, it is stronger than steel. Today's modern day silk is reeled using very high temperatures and decreasing the strength of the fibre leading to threads that break and frey easily.
Jennifer Gaudet, is the founder and owner of Jennifer's Hamam. While running her first business (a cafe/art gallery) she learned about many different Turkish handicrafts - ceramics, carpets, textiles - and the one that was mentioned often but did not exist in the area was the famous Turkish (looped) towels made on looms.
The idea of opening a shop selling these extraordinary towels stayed in her mind as a 'next project' idea. Shortly after the sale of her first business in June 2009, a colleague alerted her to the fact that a shop in the Arasta Bazaar was for sale. She had to move fast to not lose the opportunity. Before she knew it, she had a shop, but nothing to put in it. Of course, the idea of towels filled her mind. She headed out into the Turkish country-side to find the weavers. It quickly became apparent the entire industry was all but extinct.
The initial idea of selling high quality textiles soon grew to a higher purpose of saving the art of weaving. The doors to Jennifer's Hamam opened August 1st, 2009. Jennifer always loved textiles, but admits that although she loved textiles, she really knew nothing about them. She states; "My entire and ongoing textile education is thanks to all my wonderful artisan weavers."
Jennifer firmly believes that if we are to save the planet, we need to lighten our carbon footprint and stop using things that are in constant need of replacement. Her focus on products that will last longer and be more enjoyable to use is paramount when she buys threads and determines designs. "We are so lucky to have caught these artisans before the entire weaving culture was lost, but the real credit belongs to the clients that have supported us over the last 10 years and continue to recommend us. Without them, weaving would have already disappeared completely."
Influenced by music, art and travel, her designs are filled with soul. An ever ending array of beautiful neutrals to fantastic rainbows of colour. Whether exotic, eclectic, neutral or contemporary, there is something to please all taste; the most difficult part is choosing. Most say one visit is never enough and when they return home wish they had chosen more. The years of enjoyment brought from such quality items will keep reminding you of Jennifer and her weavers again and again.