Gaziantep, a conventional Turkish metropolis close to the Syrian border, might sound an unlikely base for a wildly profitable up to date trend model. But this fascinating place (additionally the world’s pistachio capital) has at all times been an necessary industrial heart. It was on the historic 4,000 mile Silk Road, the important commerce route that linked the Western world with Asia. Today, Gaziantep is house to Kutnia, a singular life-style model that creates beautiful womenswear and homewares. Gaziantep-born founder Jülide Konukoğlu needed to protect the dying artisanal weaving methodology that produces Kutnu, the prized silk and cotton cloth distinctive to Gaziantep. By cleverly adapting this conventional cloth for contemporary makes use of, the Kutnia model has turn out to be a roaring success.
Launched in 2018, with a handful of workers and a small manufacturing workshop, Kutnia has achieved outstanding development in a brief time period. The firm now has over 100 workers and has skilled an outstanding 70% development in gross sales. The model has 11 shops, together with two opening this April within the resort city of Bodrum and is accessible on-line globally by way of their very own and companion web sites, together with within the UK and US. The weavers of the Kutnu cloth have at all times been and nonetheless are males, as are the younger apprentices however Kutnia’s senior group and all of the designers are Turkish ladies, an encouraging truth in a rustic that has turn out to be more and more conservative below President Tayyip Erdogan.
The heritage artisanal woven cloth of Gaziantep was as soon as referred to as “royal fabric” because it was prized by the Ottoman Court and dates again to the Sixteenth-century. It was as soon as a thriving commerce with 1000’s of hand looms producing Kutnu cloth. Woven available looms and dyed utilizing a extremely specialist course of, the material had virtually died out when Kutnia introduced it again from the brink 5 years in the past. Typical Kutnu cloth is striped, made up of a vertical silk warp and horizontal cotton weft. The new model was created to make use of sustainable manufacturing strategies, with an emphasis on timeless luxurious, reasonably than the quick trend Turkey is usually related to. Producing the hand-woven and dyed materials for the Kutnia model is extremely specialist and regardless of some modernisation within the Kutnia manufacturing unit, nonetheless very labor intensive. Each weaver produces solely 14 meters of Kutnu cloth every day. And it takes an apprentice a mean of six months to be taught simply one of many many duties concerned within the weaving course of.
Kutnia is turning into immediately recognisable in the identical method Scotland’s Harris Tweed or Italy’s Missoni are rooted in a specific cloth and extremely prized for high quality. The purpose is to protect, promote and safe the way forward for Kutnu as an internationally necessary cloth, full with its distinctive look and artisanal methodology of weaving and manufacturing. Each Kutnia cloth is woven by Kutnu masters in Gaziantep and bears its grasp’s signature.
Kutnia goals to be each subtle and enjoyable, with a mixture of joyful colours. The model’s ethos combines three parts: bringing the previous into the current, connecting east and west and making a significant social and sustainability venture. The two feminine designers, Gunseli Turkay and Selen Sahin, have labored with Kutnu consultants to develop an improved and sustainable Kutnu cloth that washes nicely and is long-lasting. The model produces two seasonal collections every year, together with able to put on collections for girls, textiles for the house and a brand new Marine (resort) line launched in 2021. Key items embrace beautiful silk blouses and clothes and skirts and trousers that characteristic the Kutnu silk and cotton striped cloth.
The designers take inspiration from vibrant Gaziantep with its wide selection of crafts discovered within the historic bazar, together with enamel, textiles, leather-based and steel work. Also necessary from a design perspective is Gaziantep’s Zeugma Museum, the world’s largest mosaic museum which homes 1000’s of Roman mosaics. Each season there’s a “Zeugma” assortment with motifs and designs taken from the mosaics.
Kutnia is a outstanding Turkish firm, an amazing industrial success and instrumental in saving the traditional cloth Kutnu. The model seems to be attaining its purpose of turning into well-known in Turkey, it’s gaining followers in western Europe and little doubt has its eye on the Asian and North American markets within the not too distant future.