Handicrafts, which is accepted as one of the fields in which a nation expresses its cultural values, history and understanding of art in the best way, has presented us the life stories and works of the regions from past to present.
Şile Cloth, which has a history of more than 150 years, was produced to meet the clothing needs of the local people until the 1950s. It is known that Şile Cloth was woven for the first time in the villages extending from the town center to the Black Sea coastal villages of Kabakoz, Karacaköy, Bozgaca, Kızılcaköy and Yeşilçay. Looking at the history of Şile Cloth, the following information is obtained:
In her book titled “Life in Şile Before the Population Exchange” published by Natalia Adamantidu, it is stated that women wove woolen, cotton and silk fabrics to prepare dowry for their daughters before 1923. They sewed handkerchiefs, shirts, tablecloths from these fabrics and then decorated the fabrics finely. In this period, women obtained silk from silkworms and made weavings from unwashed wool.
In the early 1970s, approximately 1500 women working on more than 500 looms in Şile were producing an average of 130 thousand balls or 2 million 600 thousand meters of Şile cloth. In 40 villages of Şile, there were also 350 hand looms, which were quite primitive, capable of producing narrow-width cloth.
In 1971, approximately 30 million lira of Şile Cloth was exported to West Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States. In these years, clothes made of Şile Cloth, which the hippies liked and wore when they visited Turkey, and which they bought to give as gifts to their relatives on their way back to their countries, spread to Europe. In 1971, when eastern motifs were in fashion in Paris, clothes made of Şile cloth decorated with handcrafted motifs were sold in famous boutiques in Paris for 60 French francs (200 lira).
In 1972, some sellers in England placed advertisements in magazines and newspapers about clothes made of Şile Cloth. It was written in these magazines and newspapers that they could design clothes made of Şile Cloth from Turkey with special orders for their customers. In the same year, blouses made of Şile Cloth were sold for 2.75 British pounds (100 TL). Zuhal Yorgancıoğlu, a famous fashion designer of the 1970s, stated that with the popularity of Şile Cloth in the 1970s, she entered into a great competition with the European designers who dominated the world fashion. Şile Cloth was produced by fashion designers both as swimwear and beachwear in 1973. Italian fashion announced the beach colors as blue and yellow in the summer of 1973, and unembroidered Şile Cloth clothes were also frequently used in beach wear.