Turkey has a very rich and traditional history in the art of embroidery. The Ottoman Turks who ruled Turkey many centuries ago patronized the art of embroidery and had master embroiders on their rolls, who worked with gold thread covered in satin and silk and produced outstanding pieces of arts & craft.
Over the years this rare art has been passed from one generation to the other, but even though time has elapsed the rich heritage remains unchanged, except for transformation due to influence from the West.
Turkish embroidery is rich and beautiful
The art of embroidery in Turkey was at its peak in the sixteenth century. Silken threads in beautiful shades were used for embroidery. Some traditional works that were popular at that time included a collection of handkerchiefs, used in the royal court, and embroidered in shades of pistachio green, pink, blue, or ruby red, and sometimes even with gold.
Another example is of a fine cotton embroidered bed sheet with classical Ottoman tulips and carnations in traditional Turkish embroidery art and form.
Embroidery motifs are drawn from nature
The designs for the embroidered items made for the royal palace were drawn by famous designers and consisted of flowers such as the tulip, carnation, rose and hyacinth, as well as stylized flowers and cloud-bands. Some designs had a Chinese influence with motifs of the tiger, leopard and lanceolate leaves.
Evolution of designs and colors in Turkish embroidery
Turkish embroidery underwent a transformation almost three hundred years ago.
During this time new plant and floral motifs were added to traditional designs, such as the pomegranate and the leaves of the grapevine and the plane tree. The central theme of these motifs is that they are typically arranged in classical court style, that is enclosed within ogival medallions. This composition is also popular in woven textiles in the form of tiled panels.
Colors have also undergone massive change. The ruby red and bright pistachio colors that were popular have been replaced with brick red and dark green colors respectively.
European influence on Turkish embroidery
With the advent of trade and cultural interactions between Turkey and European countries, European art and form slowly started influencing Turkish embroidery.
As a result of this influence floral motifs were encouraged but in a new style. This comprised of small bouquets arranged in rows or scattered over the fabric. Additionally, at that time there was a lot of interest in agriculture and cultivation of flowers. As a result, many flowery designs started getting adopted in embroidery. Examples included bouquets tied with ribbons, plates filled with fruit, and shadow painting.
Areas of application of Turkish embroidery
The fusion of Turkish and European art forms was highly successful and embroidery resulting thereform was very popular among the royalty and the commoners.
It found a wide variety of applications in fabrics worn by men and women of the court and wealthy people. Typically, embroidery was done on waist bonds and comprised small scattered flowers. Borders of head scarves, and sleeves and collars of undershirts were made with fine, elegant stitching. Apart from these items, Embroidered Bed Sheets, tobacco bags, and hand and bath towels were all made in new designs and colors.
Contemporary Turkish embroidery
Turkish embroidery is very beautiful and one of its kind in the world. Products that are embroidered with Turkish art and form are considered luxury and high-end. They are sold in premium outlets and in exclusive online stores. Most popular items that are sold are Turkish embroidered bath towels and embroidered bed sheets.
Turkish embroidered bed sheets are a work of art that brings back hundreds of traditional embroidery in the twentieth century. Consider yourself privileged if you happen to own one. You can also gift it to a close friend or relative who will cherish it.