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Alexia towel stars in latest Will Young music video

I haven't been the most prolific blogger of late but this one we simply had to share. I hope you are enjoying the current Will Young song "Thank You" - at Ailera we certainly are. If you've seen the footage you'll be able to see that our Alexia hamam towel is pretty much the only thing all the participants are wearing.  The song was officially released on 24th July and is the latest to come from Will's number one album "85% Proof". Back in May we were contacted by the wardrobe people working on the production, who said they adored our hamam towels and were looking to use some in a music video. After some decision-making as to specific design...

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How to Make a Crushed Pestemal

Now that I've finally got round to uploading everything onto YouTube I'm able to share some lovely new footage and images from my most recent trip to Denizli. Please also check out the Facebook page as I'll post an album of a visit we made to a tiny museum which contains two wonderful old manual looms (pedal powered!) as well as a semi-automatic handloom in excellent condition. All of which makes you think it's tragically sad when you hear of these looms falling into disrepair or being turned into scrap metal.  On this visit I was able to see some red Crushed Pestemals being woven, which gave fantastic insight into how this extra-special hamam towel is made. The first bit of "atolye"...

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Events in Istanbul

There are more than a few raised eyebrows at the moment concerning the news coming out of Turkey, especially Istanbul. I don't wish for this blog to become involved in political discussion, however I will say that the true origin of the protest (over-development) has real merit, because every time I visit Istanbul I am both amazed and terrified at the amount of construction and the great seas of concrete which are enveloping the city as it grows. The over-proliferation of shopping centres and the development of ever-more spectacular residential compounds - which themselves contain shopping centres - is frankly incredible.  During my time in Istanbul I worked in the north of the city near an area called Levent, where...

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The Pestemal: practical or versatile?

Hamam towel sales start to pick up this time of year but because the weather has been so cold some customers frown and say it's hard to imagine something so "thin" getting you dry. But as I love saying to visitors at Smithbrook, switching to using a pestemal simply means taking on board a different way of getting dry. It's more of a poolside or gym thing, rather than that desire to envelop yourself in a big fluffy towel on a cold winter's morning.  Every seller of hamam towels will make mention of how these lovely products also double up as a sarong, scarf or throw (and more). But to turn to the main point of this article, I want...

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Childhood memories from a Fan

We're starting the first article of 2013 with a "guest speaker". I received an email a few days ago from Istanbul and it was just a delight to open it and read it. I've asked and received permission to post this, so please do read on: Hello Paul,   Greetings from Istanbul. This is Inalcan, I have been following your website Zarafet.co.uk and referring it to my peers, friends and loved ones for long.   Although I am an Istanbulite by birth, my family's hometown is near Denizli. I would like to thank you for this great exposure of the town. The September posts on your blog page, especially the short clips of the looms, have reminded me of my childhood, when almost every single alley in the...

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