Experiments in home decorating, DIYing, and vintage furniture collecting.

The many uses for Turkish towels

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June 02, 2015

This post could also be titled 'how to make over a chair in 10 seconds' which is exactly how I use a big chunk of my collection of Turkish towels: at this very moment, I am sitting on a worn out Ikea Poang chair covered in a gray Turkish towel in my bedroom. It covers up a wine stain on the cushion, looks very Jonathan Adler, and pairs well with a Mongolian fur pillow all for a mere $35.

I have a white Turkish towel draped over an old wooden captain's chair in my living room that lightens up the dark wood and saves me the time and effort of refinishing it.

They also make great scarves, shawls, blankets - even a makeshift umbrella in one instance. They get softer (and more authentically Turkish-looking) with every wash. It's one of the only things that I am willing to pay retail, and I used to buy them at Eastern Market from a Turkish woman who sources them from a textile town in their namesake country (I now order them from her Web site).
For summer, I'm adding a couple new ones to my stash to use as packable beach blankets-slash-sarongs. In red and turquoise stripes that look great stuffed in a canvas tote (I'm ordering this one with my unofficially new initials).

When I first discovered these, my inner cheapo felt guilty for spending $100 on three (amazing) towels. The versatility almost cured me, and then I learned that each one is hand-woven in traditional looms in Turkey and the three ladies who run this company partner with local organizations at every stage of their production process to help women in the community become economically independent.

I'll take that over Target any day.

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