Cheyiz is a collection of Eco-conscious, handmade products ranging from traditional Anatolian accessories to authentic Ottoman style Hammam towels and beachwear,
made with organically grown Cotton. The Cheyiz brand aims to support the local Anatolian artisans to continue this unique tradition of lace embroidery which was born in the Ottoman era. Each and every piece in the collection is handcrafted and/or goes through a hand-looming process by talented Anatolian artisans and are handpicked by the founder, Yasemin Blum, who takes a journey across Anatolia in order to find the best quality Anatolian handiwork.
Traditional Ottoman Needle-lacing, known in the Turkish language as, 'igne Oyasi' is a delicate, time consuming handcraft technique that is passed on through generations. This unique tradition is unfortunately a deteriorating one today, which makes it ever more difficult to find local artisans that are able to make such detailed pieces in good quality. Traditionally these Oya embroideries embody motif's of flowers or fruits and use various colours to signify stages in an Anatolian woman's life. These motifs and colours have, over time, become, kind of a secret language between the Anatolian woman; designed to convey their love, whether hopeful or hopeless, their happiness or unhappiness, their resentment or their incompatibility with their husband, or better yet their mutual love for each other.
The Story behind Oya Lacing tradition...
In the Aegean region, A woman who decorates her head with Oya flowers will be the best gift to a man, the type of flowers differ depending on her age or status. Older woman use tiny wild flowers whereas virgins, brides and young woman use roses, carnations, jasmine, hyacinths, violets, daffodils and fuchsia in their oya, each one carrying a message conveyed through their shapes and colours. A woman reaching fourty will use a bent tulip, a woman with yellow daffodils wrapped around her head will be declaring hopeless love. A woman whose man has gone abroad to work will wear wild rose Oya around her head. Girls that are engaged to marry the man they love will wear Oya's of pink, hyacinths and almond blossoms and a girl in love will wear purple hyacinths. Plum blossom oya is typically worn by brides and a new bride who has a disagreeable relationship will wear a red pepper Oya around her head.
In many other regions of Anatolia a girl will send a piece of oya edged printed cloth to her mother in law; if she sends a 'meadow and grass' laced Oya this implies that the relationship is cordial but if she sends a gravestone laced Oya embroidery it means ' the coldness between us will endure until death'. Since the Oya is seen by their neighbours at wedding ceremonies, it is the wish of all mothers in law to see their brides wrap meadow-grass Oya around their heads. These traditional Oya embroiled accessories are the most unique, meaningful pieces that you will find in the Cheyiz collection.
The Peshtemal (Hammam Towel) collection is an Eco-friendly line consisting of mainly casual, easy to wear beachwear and shawls. Traditional hand-looms are used to create each piece making it a very delicate and long process. Organic plant based dyes are used in order to achieve natural colour shades, creating a unique tone of colour for each product. The kaftan's and Robe's are all a part of the Peshtemal group, meaning each are designed out of traditional Anatolian Hamamm towels. The products are made out of 100% cotton or woven of Bamboo's which gives them a soft, unique feel and look.
Cheyiz is a brand that aims to support the Anatolian community to hold on to this unique tradition which was passed on through generations, of accessorising woman with a meaning and a way of 'silent' communication by using their imaginations to create this handiwork, and to take this journey across Anatolia, to hopefully stop this beautiful tradition to disappear and make this hidden talent of Anatolia last for many more generations to come.