A Workhouse for Textile; Denizli

 The province of Denizli has a legacy of weaving pure cotton fabrics that spans back nearly 4,000 years as the recent archaeological uncovering of a textile factory has proven. Coincidently; the province’s most famous natural site is referred to in Turkish as Pamukkale, which translates to “Cotton Castle.”

 While the site, which consists of visually spectacular mineral-laden thermal travertine terraces, does not directly correlate to cotton fabric per se, the neighboring ancient Roman spa city of Hierapolis dating back to the second century B.C. coupled with the fact that the area was known to boast superior weavers as mentioned by 14th-century Muslim traveler Ibn Batuta can attest to what could be considered the ultimate bathing textiles in the world. 

Woven out of thick cotton yarn, the peshtamels and towels traditionally used in the Turkish bathing ceremony are all examples of “Denizli dokuması” (the Denizli weave). These fabrics are known for being moisture absorbent and breathable and come in an array of colors obtained from natural dying methods using walnut leaves, onion skins, sumac and acorns as well as many other herbal, root and plant sources.