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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Made in Turkey Hammam Towels

Have you been to a hammam? I have, first time ever was in Egypt and it was quite an experience. There were 4 of us, all girls, backpacking at that time. Our sense of adventure led us all to try a traditional spa which we thought would be soothing and a sweet ending to our two week holiday. That was the opposite of what we got. For starters, we were all told to strip down to our birthday suits and one by one, was man-handled by this nubian woman built like a house.

It was very bizarre but after the whole treatment, I remember that my skin felt like baby skin but I wouldn't go back there again. When I saw people entering the old school hammams in Turkey, I wanted to scream out DON"T DO IT ! Even the locals don't go into these places, they are not exactly the most hygenic places and if you want a real visual, think of the scene in Borat where he was wrestling in the hotel room with the big naked guy.

I think you get the idea.

Anyway, these days, modern hammams that are in hotels and spas are less disgusting and I found myself in one not too long ago, in KL. The ladies were very gentle and the massage at the end was conventional and extremely relaxing. I blogged about it ages ago here.

Walking around the bazaars, we noticed plenty of towels for sale, big fluffy cream towels that were pure cotton and dye free. They were priced between 30-50 liras ( about USD 26), organic ones cost 3 times more. We bought some but also noticed a different range of towels that were thinner. The shopkeeper explained that these were towels used in turkish baths and were also great for the beach because of their high absorbency and were so thin, they dry quickly.

The small sized hammam towel was a good size for me when I wrap my hair up after a wash. As I picked out a few at 12 lira each, we thought we might as well get a few more for when we build our dream beach house.

At 25 lira (USD 16) each, we bought 6 in 3 different colours, turquoise, tangerine and oatmeal. The design is very simple, with a thick vanilla stripe at the end and is finished with hand knots.

I have been using the smaller towel to dry my hair and it's just brillant. I use it as a turban to wrap my hair and it is so lightweight. Wish I bought more now especially when I saw the prices that are charged by online stores for similar towels.

These ones come from Laviva Home and they cost USD 55 each. The designs are more detailed than mine but that's what you pay for I guess.

ScentsandFeel has these ones in their catalogue

Pretty for the pool but costly, between USD 54-65 and over USD 100 for those with additional embroidery.

These ones on Le Souq are the cheapest that I have found online so far. They sell them at 18 GBP (about USD 28).  

I like the ones we got, especially because of the texture and muted organic colours. You could travel with them because they are so light and use them even as a blanket or sarong too. Maybe as a baby travel blanket ?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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You nicely summed up the issue. I would add that this doesn’t exactly concenplate often. xD Anyway, good post…