Ottoman Silks draws its inspiration from the colourful history of the illustrious Ottoman Empire.

With only 100 metres of pure silk cloth commissioned at a time, our fabrics are just as exclusive as their original influences and have been congratulated by academics and textile producers alike for their quality and authenticity.

They are still woven in Bursa on jacquard silk looms and tailored in our Istanbul workshop within sight of Topkapi Palace.

Power

The Ottomans ruled a vast empire spanning six centuries and three continents, from North Africa, across parts of Arabia, the Balkans and up to the gates of Vienna. 

This mighty dynasty was governed from Topkapi Palace on the Golden Horn of the Bosphorus, Istanbul, up until the dissolution of the Empire in 1922.

The Sultans’ power and influence was immense, inspiring generations of weavers and artisans to produce opulent and luxurious textiles to reflect their imperial status. 

Wealth

At the peak of their power between the 15th and 16th century, hundreds of beautiful motifs were commissioned by the ruling Sultans. Characterised by delicate peony blossoms, undulating stems and pomegranate fruits, these precious fabrics were so valuable that they came to be treated as currency.

As a show of the Empire’s wealth, elaborate ceremonies were often conducted through the streets of Istanbul. Emerging from the Sublime Porte of the Topkapi palace and dressed in a new silk design for the occasion, these spectacular parades involved every member of the court; from the children and family of the royal household, to the Grand Viziers, right down to the Sultan’s elite soldiers known as the Janissaries.

Silk

These fabulous textiles are made from pure silk, from the fibrous glue used to make a cocoon by caterpillars feeding only on mulberry leaves. When unravelled, this cocoon can produce up to 1500 metres of continuous silk yarn.

Historically, yarn produced in Northern Persia was passed along the Silk Road to Bursa, Turkey’s silk capital, where it could be weighed, graded, taxed and dyed. The most talented artisans and designers were then sent to Topkapi palace to weave these beautiful fabrics into soft furnishings and clothing for the imperial household.

So desirable were these fine fabrics that they were also made into honorific garments for courtiers, foreign ambassadors, and visiting merchants supplying secular and ecclesiastical robes to the palaces and churches of Europe.