Since the Byzantine era, the province of Bursa, a former Ottoman capital, has been the capital of silk production in Anatolia. When Turks conquered the city, they elevated the silk weaving culture of Bursa to another level with sericulture techniques they adopted in Central Asia.
In its heyday, Bursa was a stop on the famed Silk Road and a world trade center for silk cocoons and silk fabric. The Ottomans spun the local silk industry into international fame, and by the 16th and 17th centuries, Bursa silk had become a highly desirable luxury throughout Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia.
One of the most important luxury items utilizing Bursa silk were the Bursa silk carpets that adorned the eastern and western palaces. However, eventually carpet weaving in Bursa fell victim to time. But with the project Bursa Silk Revives, the famous carpets of the province are back in production. Carpets are woven with a technique practiced by Turks for 4,000 years. Each carpet, which takes more than six months to weave, contains over a million knots, and 38,000 silkworm cocoons are used. As a part of the project, the first revived Bursa silk carpets were sent to the palace of the emir of Qatar.
Speaking to the press, Bursa Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Alinur Aktaş said Bursa silk is an important part of the culture of the city and a major tourist attraction. "Bursa silk was once the apple of the eye of the Ottoman court and European palaces. Bursa silk was always seen as superior to the silk of China and Iran. For the last 30 years, Bursa silk was hardly produced. With this project, we aim to bring back the glory of Bursa silk," Mayor Aktaş explained.