I have been asked about woven bracelets from Trabzon. I am glad to be reminded, because
this type of wire work belongs to Trabzon only, a city at the north-east
Black Sea region of Turkey and should be in "My Country"
I have got in touch with the Chamber of Jewelers in
Trabzon. The president of the board Mr. Nevzat Şakar kindly have sent me some
information along with some photographs to present in my website. Also, I have received the kind
permission of Akdin Jewellery to make use of some photographs from their
brochure. I translated the information of Mr. Şakar as best as I could.
Jewelry Work in Trabzon
"There is no literature on jewelery manufacturing in Trabzon.
The information we have about this profession is only the elders stories and
what connection may be established with other related crafts.
The Tibarens who were part of Turans brought to Trabzon the
metal working as did the Elizans metal knitting and weaving. These professions
which developed to this day form the foundation of jewelry manufacturing in
After, Sultan Mehmet the conquerors conquest of Trabzon,
in its foundries gold and silver coins were cast with Trabzon inscribed
thereon. These coins have not survived to our day but they are remembered in the
lore of people. The gold and silver weaving is still continued as a speciality
craft of this province. It is not a jewellery manufacturing but feligree
After the proclamation
republic in Turkey the jewellers in this area worked in very primitive
conditions and manufactured cast earrings and rings. During that period,
jewellery making comprised of amulet receptacles, cup, glass, candy bowl
filigree ornaments and tray making. It is rumored that wire weaving is a
Through the Caucasian Turks who came to Turkey in
1870s with the Czarist armies, and who settled in this area after the
war, this became a native hand craft.
First masters of weaving
in Trabzon were Haci Mehmet from Dagistan and Ibrahim Horolu from
Caucasian Turks which proves that this art comes from Caucasians. The first
Turkish woman who weaved the gold lace was Melahat Hanim.
- Silver Weaving Art
916 karat is made by adding copper to fine gold. The fine gold is melted
and reduced to 22 karat and formed into sticks. Then, they are drawn to 110
micron and finally to 30 micron. This thin wire is given to the weaver ladies in
10-15 gr lots each. Using a special kind of crochet hook they make 5, 7, 11, 15,
17 rows of gold weave.
After checking for any faults and correction
the finished products are prepared
as bracelets, necklaces etc.
is entirely hand crafted and
there is no machine involved at any stage.
In Trabzon today there are 800-1000 woman
weavers. Women do this art work as a side job to help the family economy.
20 years ago this was a good source of
livelyhood. There was 100 ateliers. But the economical conditions, high
workmanship fees and the weight of a bracelet (70-80gr) lowered the demand.
Later the ateliers closed. Today maybe there are 10 15 ateliers which still
continue in this fine art.
This art which is particular to Trabzon needs
to be protected and supported by the Ministry of Culture. As in other
manufacturing one needs to exploit external markets. And this requires financial
address of Trabzon Chamber of Jewellers;
Kuyumcular Odası, Kunduracılar Cad. Ferit Çarşısı, No.3 Trabzon Türkiye