HISTORY OF THE INTERNATIONAL ŞİLE CLOTH CULTURE AND ART FESTIVAL
The International Şile Cloth Culture and Art Festival takes its name from the geographically marked product Şile Cloth. Şile Cloth forms the infrastructure of the economy and art of the region, and Şile Cloth Culture and Art is one of the oldest festivals in Turkey, continuing since 1984. Although it was postponed due to natural disasters and war from time to time, the International Şile Cloth Culture and Art Festival is one of the most rooted festivals in Turkey, which has been held for 38 years.
The festival was first started to be held in 1984 under the name of Şile Cloth and Youth Festival. Later, as a result of the countries and teams involved in the festival, its name was updated as “International Şile Cloth Culture and Art Festival” and in the first periods of the festival, up to 80,000 participants who came as tourists from outside were hosted.
The festival, which creates great excitement every year, hosts concerts, competitions and various events, starting with the cortege march that turns Şile Üsküdar Street into a carnival area. The festival is also culturally mixed with workshops, art talks, panels, fashion shows and national-international dance groups, which attract great attention on Şile Cloth and Handicrafts. Local people are involved in the stands, especially with Şile Cloth weaving and other handicrafts. In this enjoyable event, motif competitions, which especially women from Şile participate, are the focus of attention in the festival program. The festival included the category of handicraft fair, with participants from many different countries of the world and from different cities of Turkey.
While continuing the mission of protecting the value and culture of Şile Bezi, the International Şile Bezi Culture and Art Festival aims to promote and protect other handicraft values to different countries and cultures, and to ensure the economic and social development of the local people. During this ancient festival, Şile Cloth will continue to preserve its value as well as increasing the commercial and tourism potential of the region by bringing vitality to the Şile destination.