Oya is an antique and traditional oya hand embroidery found all-over Turkey and can be traced few centuries back. There are many different motifs, shapes, and colors of oya; taking the meaning from their makers, usually inspired by elements of nature around them. For many women, oya became a tool of communication, especially at times when they could not express their opinions openly. By creating and wearing these precious embroideries on their scarves, they revealed a different language; expressing emotions and thoughts through their choices in motifs and colors.
The oyas for the scarves and accessories are created in collaboration with embroiderer Kumru Mısırlıoğlu, inspired by old embroidered scarves collected from elder family members.
“It is admired, collected, used, and made,
reflecting the skills of the women who have continued this
three-dimensional embroidery art
for many centuries.”
“I have been making oya ever
since I can remember – maybe since 7 years old.
I saw my grandmother and my mother embroidering
often which is how I discovered it
but I have learned the techniques by practice – on my own.”
“ So as this craft evolved,
the ensuing symbolic language emerged accordingly
—a secret communication between women.
It is a form of expressing one’s emotions,
whether happy, sad, or desperate
through specific combinations of colours and designs.”