Ailera Blog — pestemal RSS



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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The Fast-evolving Turkish Hamam Towel

First posted May 26th 2012 The weather is brilliant so it's the perfect moment to talk about Turkish Hamam Towels (often written as "Hammam" Towels). The actual Turkish name is Pestemals (pronounced "peshtemals"), and a dictionary defines them as a waistcloth or a loincloth - so a very traditional and simple wrap-type garment associated with the Hamam culture. But these lightweight towels are a great example of how a really traditional product has leapt over into fashion territory. Villages in Southern Turkey have been making pestemals for literally centuries. I've read recently that villages around Denizli are the home of the Pestemal, and I'm hoping to finally explore some in a few weeks' time. I never managed it during my...

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