The hand-loomed cloth known as Ödemiş Silk Weave is woven in Birgi, a small town close to the city of Ödemiş in the province of İzmir. Birgi was the capital of the Aydınoğulları Principality in the 14th century. Numerous sources provide information about silk production and silk weaving in the region over the centuries. In particular Ödemiş silk weaving was praised by two famous travelers ibn-i Batuta and Evliya Çelebi in their writings. Furthermore, its frequent mention in historic records and Sharia registries shows us the extent to which the weaving was known along with its many uses.
Ödemiş Silk Weave is woven in plain weave using a silk thread for the weft on a cotton warp. Natural white silk is used in the weaving process and there are no patterns in the weaves. The fabric is still prepared in large quantities and made into items of clothing as part of a bride’s dowry. At a wedding each guest traditionally receives a handkerchief. Those for the women are trimmed on four sides with handmade lace while for men one corner of the handkerchief is embroidered with the same silk thread used in the weaving. Besides small and large handkerchiefs, bed sheets and hammam towels are also made from Ödemiş Silk and used extensively in the region.