https://fiberartistjourney.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/E4C99EBE-DB5F-40B8-BB7D-43DCF0162AC8-scaled-e1628028284243.jpeg 338 450 Christina Fairley Erickson https://fiberartistjourney.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Christina-Fairley-Erickson-575x156-300x81.png Christina Fairley Erickson2021-08-04 04:11:302021-08-04 04:11:30Istanbul Adventure Aug 2021 – Part 1
Picking a Real book out for travel is always important to me… I don’t want to rely on my iPad’s ebooks, as you never know whether you’ll be able to charge your device or have other technical difficulties. So I’m starting my current adventure to Turkey with this one: “The Embroiderer” by Kathryn Gauci. It follows a family of Embroiderers from the early 19th century to the late 20th century during the downfall of the Ottoman Empire.
Some of you may recall that my daughter-in-law, Zeyneb, is Turkish-Canadian. She and my son Ryan moved to Istanbul in March of this year, where Ryan is attending school for 2 years. After having them live with us during the Co-vid lockdown so they could save money up for their living abroad, it was horribly difficult to see them go. So, I got myself a ticket and here I am braving the sizzling August heat of Istanbul.
Before I go on a trip, I try to do some research into textile experiences, museums, shops, and people to possibly meet. Since I visited Turkey twice before (most recently in March 2019, with my kids), I have already done a lot of research on their embroidery and textiles. So this time I thought it could be fun to visit some shops frequented by modern Turkish Embroiderers.
I got in touch with an Instagram buddy who is a self-taught embroiderer here in Istanbul -@needleandbroomstick@needleandbroomstick She kindly gave me information on a few embroidery supply stores. We decided to tackle going to one my first day here. Now, in my defense, I didn’t really know exactly how large Istanbul is. Compared to my native Seattle region of about 4 million (and only 775,000 in actual Seattle), Istanbul has a whooping 15.46 million people! It was quite the adventure to traverse the city with walking, taxi, ferry and bus all playing their part. Not only was the distance considerable, we actually crossed continents- that’s right, one part of Istanbul in in Europe, the other in Asia.
The ferry boat ride on the Bospherus was beautiful. With the temperature in the high 90’s to low 100’s, and being unused to wearing a hijab, the cooling breeze was quite welcome and helped re-energize us. The ferry took us to Kadıköy, only a short walk away from the district where there were several shops with embroidery, craft, yarn and fabrics.
Our first shop was one recommended: “Bursa İpek Masrafçı, Tuhafiye, Goblen.com” They specialize in hand embroidery, but have lots of fun & fascinating supplies such as these:
I found some exquisite finely woven white cotton that I purchased for dyeing and stitching with my students at such a price… only about $2/ meter! And I couldn’t pass up getting some of the rayon embroidery thread, both in solid and subtle variegation.
We went on to another shop, but that will have to come in Part 2… jet lag has a way of sneaking up on you!