Havva abla knits carefully, diligently and precisely. Again and again she sends photos and videos of the process, mostly with unmistakable music from the Black Sea region of Turkey in the background. I always have to laugh about it. "It has to be," she says. She collects and archives old Turkish motifs in order to save them from fading into oblivion. When she's not teaching, she knits at her home in the mountains at 2,500 meters in the middle of a picturesque landscape.
I fell in love with them years ago when I was allowed to spend a few days with a family from Rize, eat with them - and only when you can actually grow them yourself in this region, for example no tomatoes - with walking them - always in the opposite direction that the bear paws were pointing on our way - and spending time with Leyla - the jealous cow who used to come running in the pasture when you wanted to pet another cow. The lady of the house even got her “Puşi”, a traditional cloth from this region, a 150-year-old heirloom, from her wooden chest and tied it around my neck. I felt like a princess and of course a Puşi could not be missing from our NOA collection. Havva abla has worked on it night after night, meticulously embroidering the border bead by bead.
At these altitudes it is quite fresh in the evenings, even in summer. At the beginning of September I already had to put on thick socks and so I got my first pair of Rize-style wool socks, which the women in the mountains had knitted. Because I remember this time so incredibly fondly, these socks could not be missing from NOA. They are all wool and have floral or kilim motifs and when Havva abla knits them with her five knitting needles it always looks quite adventurous to me. In fact, she works on a pair of socks for days until the beautiful patterns are completed. The "Reyhan" socks with the flowers are called "Pullu" and are the most elaborate. Havva abla and her friends spin the wool for them themselves. Absolute eye-catchers!
Our cardigans are inspired by the tree of life motif from Turkish mythology. The Tree of Life (Hayat ağacı) symbolizes eternity, the search for immortality and the hope of life after death. You see it everywhere in Turkey: on the walls of mosques and palaces, on porcelain paintings and prayer rugs, as necklaces and blankets. Meral abla knitted this motif for us for the first time and we just love it.
With clothing and accessories that have been made by hand in countless hours of work, produced slowly, sustainably and fairly, we want to do our part to counteract the effects of fast fashion.