June 10th, 2014 – afternoon
We ended our tour, today, back in the port town of Kusadasi. Here we were treated to a carpet weaving demonstration. Hand woven Turkish carpets have been prized all over the world. They were found in the Sultan’s Palace and other lavish homes, and have lasted centuries, increasing in value with age.
We had been told what to expect, and to not feel obliged to buy a carpet or rug. Then, we were given a wonderful cup of apple tea, and introduced to one of Turkey’s main industries…….hand woven carpets.
We were shown how silk is extracted from the cocoons of hundreds of little silk worms.
The cocoons are soaked in hot water, then ‘snagged’ with a bristle brush……
Until a number of strands can be bundled together and unraveled on a sort of spinning wheel. Over 1 mile of continuous thread is unraveled from each cocoon.
The company employs many artisans working mostly from home in a ‘cottage industry’. This woman was available to provide a demonstration.
We were shown many, many lovely finished carpets……all so very beautiful!
And we ended up buying a small rug for our cabin. Some people felt that these demonstrations were just a hard sell gimmick. We were actually pleased to have a chance to learn more about this ancient art form, and end up with a special souvenir.