Hamam - Turkish Traditional Public Bath - Verna Artisan Works - Thoughtfully curated, consciously handcrafted items by artisans. Unique, ethical, sustainable, fair trade. Preserving culture, empowering women.

Hamam - Turkish Traditional Public Bath

Hamam is the traditional public bath, a prominent feature in the culture of the Ottoman Empire, as well as other regions and historical periods of the Muslim world. Many hamams still exist and are used by people who go there for a deeper, thorough bathing process. There usually are separate sections for men and women, or alternatively different days of the week for each.

There is a bathing process to be followed. After undressing and covering the body with a “pestemal” (a lightweight terrycloth), the bather enters the white marble covered “sicaklik” (the hot room), pours hot water all over the body using the “kurna” (water basins) set around the walls, and later lies down to relax on the “gobek tasi” (heated marble platform) at the center, under the dome.

After about 15 minutes, the body is softened and ready for scrubbing by the attendant (“natir” for women and “tellak” for men) with the use of the “kese” (a special mitten made for this purpose). Cold water will be poured over the body once the scrubbing process is completed.

The elegant “Hurrem Sultan Hamam” in Istanbul  (Commissioned by  Hurrem Sultan (Roxelana), the beloved legal wife of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century, it was designed and built by Mimar Sinan, the chief Ottoman architect.)

Then it is time for the bubble wash and massage by the attendant, the most pleasurable phase of the hamam experience. The process is completed by a hair wash.

Hamam by Ferzan Özpetek

If you're interested in this traditional bath experience, do not miss the 1997 production Italian-Turkish-Spanish film "Hamam", directed by Italian-Turkish award winning director Ferzan Özpetek, about the powerful transformations certain places can cause in people.

Towels, pestemal, soap, scrub mitten used at the hamam are among our products for you enjoyment, such as “Embroidered Wellbeing Spa Set”, “Crochet Patterned Towel Set with a Natural Soap”, “Crocheted Turkish Hamam Towel, Pestemal Set”, “Embroidered Wellbeing Gift Box”, “Cross Stitch Detail Hand Towel with a Natural Soap”, “Embroidered Wellbeing Gift Set” and “Cintemani Embroidered Wellbeing Gift Set”.

 Crocheted Wellbeing Gift Box

* Cover image by Wikimedia Commons

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