Pure Mohair for Women's Employment Project



Production of Siirt blankets, which created an income for around 500 families in the past years in Siirt, has almost been over. The main reason was the competition among the shop owners who began to use fiber instead of pure mohair in the threads when weaving Siirt blankets. The use of fiber materials not only reduced the interest in Siirt blankets, but also caused economic difficulties for the few weavers left, as well as among the women already having financial difficulties after migrating from rural areas to the city. All these people were pushed out of active business. Additionally, husbandry of mohair goats had been reduced. All these issues resulted in threatening of a century old craftsmanship special to Siirt.

Specific Objective

To ensure the production of Siirt blanket from pure mohair again not only to make an economic contribution to the families, but also to ensure the continuity of this craftmanship.

Main Objective

To ensure the continuity of pure mohair weaving, a tradition of Siirt for over a hundred years.

Project's Details and Results

Gelder took part in the project with the support of the Ministry of Development's Social Support Program in 2010. A workshop was established through cooperation with the Ministry of National Education Siirt Public Education Center and Evening Art School. In this workshop, 10 weaving looms were purchased within the scope of the project, and the last 10 blanket masters in Siirt were hired for 12 months to run the workshop. In this way, the craftsmen felt financially secure while they were allowed to produce pure mohair blankets. In addition, approximately 50 women spun threads in Siirt's neighborhoods to be used in the production of blankets. The blankets that were produced within the project were sold to all over Turkey through a newly made website. The public institutions in Siirt were also encouraged to prefer pure mohair blankets when giving presents.

The demand for Siirt blankets, which were produced from pure mohair, was increased after the project. Siirt University, due to this increasing demand, created its own blanket workshop after the project to meet this demand. Some of the weaving masters who had been working on Gelder's project were hired to work in the university workshop which is still continuing to sell products made of pure mohair as of today. Some of the other masters set up their own workshops. Gelder distributed the weaving looms and other machinery used in the project to support these people. Production of pure mohair woven products is still continued in these special workshops.

Lessons Learned

Sale of pure mohair blankets produced within the scope of the project could not be done through the shop owners in Siirt. Because of the fact that profit margins in pure mohair blankets were less than fiber blankets, our produced blankets were not sold in the market. However, since we had predicted this situation in the beginning of the project, going into e-commerce and making a sales store solved this problem.

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