09 August 2013

A Favorite Item for Any Season: Turkish Towels from Banyo

Turkish Towels from Banyo
In my neighborhood there is this little shop that just pulls me in nearly every time I pass it. Even when it's closed, I'm enticed to peer through the windows to see what is new.  I thought I'd tell you about it.

The shop is called Banyo and it's run by some Turkish owners who love traditional textiles.  They just moved to New York from Turkey.  They sell basically three items:  Turkish towels, blankets, and robes.
Turkish Robes from Banyo

For years, I've been wanting to buy some thinner towels for the humid summers here in New York - towels that would dry out quickly, opposed to thick terry towels.  And, I guess the thin towels make me nostalgic for my time spent in Europe where they just know how to do summer towels.  :)

But, you guys - these are not just your typical thin towels.  They are GORGEOUS and made of the most luxuriously soft cotton.  They are made BY HAND in Turkey.  And the entire shop is just full of stripes.

The prices are unbelievable.  The towels start at $15, which is literally a steal.  Other places would charge 3 or 4 times this amount for something so authentic and beautiful.  

The towels are actually called "Pestemal", which is the proper name for a Turkish towel.  The tag on each towel says that "Pestemal is one of the oldest pieces of garment known to man kind.  Today it is used in bathrooms, beaches, spas, saunas any place refreshing and recreating water meets human body. Cotton growing in the soil of Anatolia is farmed and turned into yarn which is hand-loomed, washed, dried and turned into pestemal by able hands of master craftsmen and women. Pestemal is light and soft.  It takes up very little space so it's easy to carry.  Pestemals are elegant and come in exquisite designs and colors."

AND, the best part - the towels have sooo many uses in all seasons...

Scarf. (Yes, most are thin enough to use as a scarf, which is so handy in the Spring, Fall, & Winter.)

Picnic blanket.  (Perfect for the park or the beach...they are so lightweight and easy to put in a bag.)

Shoulder Wrap.  (I love the look of them draped on my shoulders in early Fall or Spring. And now you've seen our unkept spare room. :)

Baby blanket.  (I'm convinced they're the best blankets as they are so THIN and SOFT.)

Breastfeeding Cover. (Soft, nice looking, easy to carry around.)

Extra blanket for the home. (Great to have handy for cuddling on the couch.)

Sarong.  (Love them wrapped around my waist on the beach or as a skirt for walking around beach towns.)

Baby/Wedding/Birthday/Mother's Day/Housewarming Gift.  (Such a unique and thoughtful gift.) 

Towel. (Ideal for the home or the beach as they dry so quickly. We've been using ours as bath towels all summer.)

If you're in Brooklyn, I recommend stopping into the hole-in-the-wall shop for the full experience (Banyo on 7th Avenue at 14th Street in Park Slope.  F Train to 7th Ave.)  But just as of recently, you can also order these towels on-line, too!!   

UPDATE:  So sorry to say, the towel shop closed recently! 

P.S.  Oh my gosh...Danny is such a stud to me.  Best part, though...he doesn't act like it.  Ever.  Love that about him.

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  1. I love these.

  2. how beautiful! Love the purple ones in the beach pictures. what a great discovery, thanks for sharing!

  3. Those are beautiful - I really love the patterns and colors. I can see why you get pulled in every time you walk by the shop!

  4. Good to know!! Thanks for sharing this wonderful company.

  5. Pestemals are amazing! We found this beautiful shop called Jennifer's Hamam in Istanbul. She sells all handmade organic hamam products (similar to what this shop does)sourced from independent weavers in southern Turkey. Recently a Brooklyn Flea vendor started selling her products,too http://myturkishtextiles.com/

  6. absolutely gorgeous! thank you so much for sharing these, they are high up on my "to purchase" list once husband and i have a bit of extra cash for spending on ourselves. i love the ones in the beach photo of danny. actually, i love them all and understand why you always want to peek into that shop. :)

  7. Oh! I actually fly out to Turkey TODAY! I'll have to keep an eye out for these at the Grand Bazaar! I have my heart set on bringing home a new scarf anyway; why not one that doubles as a towel/sarong/blanket? :)

  8. Yay! So excited to see these are for sale online! I've been wanting some turkish towels but like you said the prices are usually much, much higher.


  9. I LOVE my Turkish towel! I bought mine in Charleston, SC and it was perfect for the beach there. I now live in Switzerland and feel like I really fit in ;)

    Thanks for the great tips on its various uses!
    xxo and happy weekend, Kristina

  10. I dream about stores like this. Love, love, love!!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing these! I have been looking for additional pestemals and you're so right - what a steal these prices are!!

  12. ooh, these look awesome! just been looking at their site and i wish i could feel them. :)

  13. What size is the one around your neck in the close up (the blue and white)?? I looove how it looks as a scarf, and the blue/white pops with you lipstick...makes me want one too! :-)

  14. What a beautiful little shop. I love it when a shop specializes in something really great instead of carrying a million products just because.

  15. These are really lovely. Thanks for sharing!

  16. I love this! I especially like how you are wearing it as a scarf.

  17. I love this post! I've been wanting a Turkish towel for ages. I'm happy that I can go to Brooklyn and pick one up without paying for shipping -- if I have enough money I may get some for gifts. I love the way the blue-and-white one looks as a scarf too.

  18. Thanks for the post! I've been wondering what the fuss was about Turkish towels for a while now, you've got me convinced - especially at these prices!

  19. One of my most fave parts of NYC...the shopping and finding unique items like this! Love it :)

  20. I'm lucky enough to fly in and out of Turkey regularly for work (in the lounge waiting to fly out right now...). I love Turkish towels so much that I only actually have one real towel. I've given many as wedding gifts and it's always interesting to see how people choose to use them (I never specify they are towels.) I've gotten Thank You notes for tablecloths, blankets, etc... I'm going to have to start labeling them as gifts- but really they are so multi-functional.

  21. This would (seriously) be the best present for my husband. I can't tell you how he'd love this!

  22. You look beautiful, Mara! Love everything you post and I miss you so so dearly!

  23. They are the best! I picked up several (and a robe) in Istanbul and love them. And to your reader flying to Turkey...check the Spice Market, too. I found a shop there with a better (nicer) selection for really reasonable prices. I can't wait to pick up more in Brooklyn!

  24. I have been wanting Turkish bath towels for such a long time. I have heard they are much better for drying your hair too!

    I'm off to check out that website.

  25. Oh, I LOVE these! I need to definitely get one...or three :)

  26. nice blog.never thot towel will be so stylish. I must buy towels turkish one.i will get one...

  27. Is this place still open?? There is another one that I walked by in Williamsburg a few months ago but it wasnt open...I think maybe on Roebling or something. Do you know which one that is? Id love to check out Banyo but their number goes to voicemail and yelp says its closed :(

    1. Yes - it closed. I was so sad to see that recently. I need to update the post!

  28. Superb post you have shared here. I really like your post, well! I've been using a Turkish towel which is found it lovely. I'm happy that I can go to Brooklyn and pick one up without paying for shipping -- if I have enough money I may get some for gifts. I love the way the blue-and-white one looks as a scarf too. Keep sharing useful post. keep it up.

  29. I LOVE REALLY IT ! I should get one .when i'm searching i found these beautiful colors.


  30. Nice post!. Turkish towels are great in practicality and they are now getting more and more popular everywhere. You can find some unique turkish towels at : Koza Turkish towels


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