Turkish Hammams
Home Turkish Hamam Paints Hamam and Women History of Turkish Hamams Hamam Accessories
Hamam Architecture Hamam and Health Best Istanbul Hamams WHERE TO BUY PESHTEMAL Links Contact
Turkish Hammam Store
Bath Accessories
Pestemal and Soap


There are number of bath accessories that specific to the Turkish bath and are still used in. The bath gloves that made of palm root and the Turkish work of pestemals are the most indispensables of them.  Also the pumice stone which, used to rub the feet is always available in the hammam package. Inlaid copper, silver or brass bath bowl is one of the most beautiful examples of handwork.
Henna and kohl are the natural beauty supplies that used by women for centuries in the hammam or at home.
Nowadays, the disused bathroom accessories are the old soap boxes (kildanlik) and inlaid silver bath clogs.


What is Peshtemal?

Peshtemal is a woven cloth that used to cover the body in hammam or bath, or wrapped from the waist to prevent contamination of clothes while working.

Peshtemal has reached to the present from the historic Turkish hammam era. It has a history of nearly six hundred years in Anatolia.

How is produced Peshtemal?

Pestemal is a handicraft. Throughout history this Turkish towel was produced by weaving on hand looms by women in Turkey's eastern Black Sea and Aegean regions. Nowadays, pestemal is woven on advanced looms, because of the widespread use of electricity.
It produced by hand labor. It has got a rich color harmony. There are distinctive patterns on this Turkish type bath towel. Pestemal is also traditional clothes that used by all persons, old or young, especially, in the Black Sea region. Colors, represents the inhabited region of the person who wearing it.
The silk pestemal called as Fota. However, pestemal is usually woven by linen yarn or cotton yarn.


It is absorptive as terrycloth. Peshtemal also used as authentic beach pareo as well as it used as beach towel.
Peshtemal that succeeded in being the trend of recent times, after the beaches of Turkey began to be used on the world-famous beaches such as St. Tropez and Cannes. In these days a lot of celebrities seem with pestemal on the beaches.
Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, Robert De Niro, Steven Spielberg and Bill Gates among the celebrities that use Pestemal in the beaches. At the same time pestemal is used as home textiles such as table cloth or seat cover.

Some expressions about Peshtemal;

In Ottoman period; a ceremony was organized to wrap Peshtemal for the person that rising from the level of apprenticeship to the level of mastery by learning a craft in an artisans' guild. After this ceremony, the master that wrapped pestemal was renting a shop and he was paying goodwill (pestemallık) to the owner.
What is the meaning of having dream about peshtemal; if an unmarried young girl wrapped Peshtemal on her dream this means that she will marry soon. If the peshtemal is clean and good the marital will give happiness.
If someone dreams about Peshtemal who's already married, this is a sign of his/ her prestige will increase.

Where and how to use Peshtemal?

Pestemal primarily used as hamam towel in Anatolia. Sultans of the Ottoman dynasty were also wearing pestemal in the hammam.
According to the ancient Turkish traditions when a couple decided to marry they were giving to each other bath set as a gift. Pestemal was the most indispensable piece of this set.
This Turkish hand-woven has also been used for clothing in the old days. Even said that peshtemal has arisen as the main apparel of humanity. Later both was changed the form and was varied.
Nowadays, pestemal used as bath towels an as bathrobe at beaches, in saunas, baths and Turkish hammams. Women wrap the pestemal from the armpit and men wrap from the waist.
It is preferred in travel because of being thin and light and also very easy to dry.

We can say that Turkey is soap central. The most preferred and beneficial to the skin organic olive oil soaps are produced in large quantities in Turkey's Aegean Region particularly around Edremit.
So what is soap, why is it used and how is soap produced?
Soap is the general name that given to materials used in cleaning by combining with water. It is used as mold or liquid.
Cleansing effect of soap arises from the ability to gripping the fat particles by drawing water with a plate of thin.
Soap used for the manufacture of pharmaceutical and cosmetic, also in industrial areas such as paint, plastic and metal other than purpose of cleaning. The raw material of soap is salts of fatty acids. These fatty acids are obtained of herbal and animal fat. The history of soap is as old as the humanity. Until Phoenicians find the soap, ash and clay was used as traditionally cleaning tools. The soap that found in 600 BC sometimes was used as a valuable means of exchange and other times was used as a medicine.
Soap, became the most popular cleaning tool of women in the Roman period.
As demand has increased, the production of soap has also increased and soap manufacturers created a group of trades.


Can soap be made at home?

Yes, it is possible to make soap at home by putting accumulated herbal and animal fats to use.

Soap Recipe:


448 grams of coconut oil
532 grams of palm oil
700 grams of palm kernel oil
112 grams of mango butter
266 grams of sodium hydroxide
672 grams of pure water
0.15 cc natural pink coloring (optional)
1 fluid ounce of geranium oil, to smell nice

Pour the ash water in to the medium-temperature of pure water,
Add 1 oz of colorant on to the edges of the wooden mold that already prepared before and into the water,
Mix all of the oils and solutions,
Mix the filtered ash water into the oils,
Continue to add colorant until obtaining the color tone,
Blend until you find the enough density,
Add the geranium oil,
Leave out to dry, by pouring in to the mold.


In 10th Century, there was also a soap artisans group in the artisan guilds of Byzantium.
The archival documents say that production and consumption of the soap were quite common in Ottoman period. Soap was produced by traditional methods in the Ottoman Empire. Olive oil and tallow was the raw material of soap. As it is today, made of olive oil soaps were the most preferred soaps and had economic value.
In the old days soap was made with the reaction of fatty acids with the ashes of sodium and soda or potassium and salts. The modern soap manufacture has improved after the French Chemist Eugène Chevreul showing the soap is a fatty acid, in 19th century.
Since 1930 synthetic cleaning materials have begun to used and so that the concepts of soap and detergent were separated.

What is Pumice Stone
and how to use?

Pumice is a type of volcanic rock that could not be crystallized due to very sudden cooling down. 
The steam inside of the rock, during the solidification, creates a porous surface by erupting suddenly.
It has got a form of volcanic glass. The most widely used type is the acidic pumice in dirty white color.

Pumice Stone
Why the pumice stone is used?
Pumice stone is usually used for cosmetic purposes. It can be used after bathing on elbows, knees, soles and heels of feet to remove the hard dry skin.  The healthiest way of removing dry skin is to rub with a pumice stone.
Pumice stone is also used in the treatment of calluses.
The 85 percent porous form of pumice stone allows it to be light. It does not absorb the water and it is extremely hygienic.
Henna and Rastik (Kohl)

The indispensables of the old Turkish baths henna and kohl are also applied at home nowadays.

Henna in Turkish Bath;

Henna is an old Turkish bath ritual.
According to Turkish tradition, there is always henna set in the dower chest of brides. This henna is taken to the bride hammam before the wedding.
Moreover, a ceremony is held the night before the wedding by the family of bride. This ceremony that called as Henna night is the bachelorette party of Turkish girls. This party is for only women. The bride's friends and the women belonging to the family of the bride and groom come together in the hammam or in the bride's house. Henna is applied to the bride's hands. Songs are sung, meals are eaten and then the bride is prepared to the wedding.

In the old days, women were always dyeing their hair with henna in hammam to become beautiful.  
Today, henna (due to being healthy and organic) is applied to hair for both at home and in hammam.

Hair henna recipe;


200 grams of henna powder
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon (approximately 15 ml) olive oil or almond oil
Stewed onionskin water

Application Instructions;

Pour the henna powder into a bowl
Make a gap in the middle of the henna powder
Add the eggs and other ingredients
Pour slowly the onionskin water into the mixture
Mix it until reaching to the right consistency

Apply the mixture to your hair with a brush. After the hair dyeing process, wrap your hair with a bonnet or stretch film. After waiting for two hours wash your hair.


Henna is a powder that obtained by grinding the dried leaves of the henna tree. It has got very beautiful reddish color and a pleasant smell. Henna can also be used for the treatment, because of the effect of cooling and drying the body without disturbing and with the feature of muscle softening and pain relieving.
However, usually used for hair dye and temporary tattoo. It is preferred instead of the classic hair dyes because, it does not contain chemical substances, nourishes hair and gives the hair a wonderful ruddiness.

How to apply henna tattoo? (Anatolia Tattoo)

Temporary tattoo required materials;

Henna powder
Oxygen water
Armpit cream
Tracing paper (can be obtained from stationery store)
Tattoo pattern
Stabilo pen

Application Instructions;

Put two teaspoons of henna into a small bowl
Add the oxygen water
Mix well (mixture should not be too watery)
Put the tracing paper on the tattoo pattern and draw the pattern with Stabilo pen (this should be done very quickly, because the pen mustn't be dry)
Skin should be dry, clean and free of any oils or lotions
Put the armpit cream onto skin area where, you want to apply tattoo
Compress the patterned tracing paper onto this area
Take the mixture of henna with a toothpick and apply gently onto the patterns
Wait until it dries
To remove the henna rinse with warm water

Henna and Madonna
Rastik (Kohl);
Rastik is an organic dye that used by women for hair and eyebrows. It is made of Antimony powder. The main color of it is black. A ton of brown can be obtained by mixing with henna.
Rastik has got a hard consistency. Small pieces are broken off from the rastik. These pieces is diluted and applied to the eyebrows with the help of brush. 
It should be rinsed with plenty of water after waiting for a while. Eyebrows become evident with rastik. In the same way it is used for dyeing hair (especially for gray hair).
You must obtain our written permission to use any content.
All rights reserved. Copyright © 2010 - 2022