Sunday, November 1, 2009

Talismania Scarves!

The Creative Caravan is taking a small detour this month in to the land of Talismanic block-printed scarves!

Hand block-printed designs and the Turkish evil eye, designed to ward off jealous stares of others who want your new good-luck-infused fashionable scarf!

Rene and I recently took a trip to the Topkapi Palace and spent a lot of time looking at the talismanic healing shirts worn by Sultans. Inscribed with Quranic verse, The “healing shirts” were believed to be able to cure disease and to protect the wearer from evil. The Ottoman sultans believed their shirts would protect them like armor, and often wore them on the days they would be engaged in battle. Since there wasn't any blood on them, they may have actually worked!

Ottoman talismanic healing shirt.

Modern day talismanic scarves made with love in Istanbul: maroon 'peace' in five languages,
purple and red Turkish flower scarves designed and printed in our living room.

After leaving the Topkapi palace, we grabbed a coffee and talked about the shirts, my eyes rested on two women at the next table. One was wearing a Turkish evil eye bracelet, the other, a funky scarf that is the height of fashion in Istanbul these days. The inspirational discussion began, and before we knew it, we were embarking on our mission of creating good luck-infused and fashionable (and practical) lucky charms: The talismanic scarf!

Off to a good start!

Combining all of these good luck symbols and the idea of the inscriptions of the healing shirts, Rene and I came up with talismanic funky scarves, block-printed in Turkish inspired designs. Some have Rumi quotes, and all have their own evil eye hand sewn into the corner.

The evil eye army. We feel the power radiating off these little jewels, I swear.

The project has just begun, we are up to our elbows in carving block prints, printing scarves with fabric paint and sewing the evil eyes in a prominent place of protection. I'll post more pictures here as we go, but I wanted to share this special project with you before Christmas, as these work-of art-scarves are perfect for sending in the post.

The block I carved reversed in the mirror so you can read it:
"When I am with you we stay up all night. When we are apart I cannot sleep. Praise these two insomnias and the difference between them." `Rumi

I carve, Rene prints, with a little give and take here and there.

"We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust." ~Rumi

The scarves will be sold in Istanbul in our Sultanahmet living room or at your place of convenience until the end of November,(at 25 lira each) and will be in Canada after that, at the Naramata Craft Faire on December 6th, and during a side trip to Vancouver and Victoria just before Christmas. (25 CDN including taxes.)

Contact me or Rene for details!
We really hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed making them.

XXMelanie (and Rene)


  1. Wow! They are awesome!!
    I like `Maroon' and `Purple'one.
    Yes, I can see Peace in Japanese★
    Great job, girls!!

  2. You devils, these scarves are wonderful. Although I didn't see any gypsy girl or funky coffee pots, the prints are great, especially the Rumi quotes and peace symbols. Love the colours, with their matching dingle balls, the evil eye jewels, and the swagger that wearing one would give you. What a perfect way to end your waning Istanbul days. Bravo! Two thumbs up!! Aferin!!!

  3. Beautiful, well done, elinize saglik.. :) They look like they'll protect the wearer with sheer positive funky energy..

  4. YES PLEASE !! I'd love a deep RED one. The Canadian girls need some beautiful "upbeat" fashion so I'm sure you'll not have any trouble selling in B.C.

    xxoo Jan