1.3. Our Process

Everything we create holds true to our essential mission: to create elegant, luxurious, yet healthy and comfortable shoes and accessories that stand the passing of time. All AnatolianCraft products are 100% handmade and hand-embroidered, and no two items are fully identical. Through our extensive, intricate production process, each product becomes a rare find, a one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art, and a cherished heirloom that brings sheer joy to its owner for decades.

Materials

All of our materials are locally and ethically sourced for the finest quality. The soles, insoles, and lining of our slippers and mules are made of genuine leather. The embroidered surfaces of our shoes and bags are made of either velvet or Kutnu fabric, a natural blend of cotton in the warp and pure silk in the weft. 

Passing from Anatolian Seljuks to Ottomans, Kutnu has found new life on the looms of artisans in Gaziantep, Turkey today. This unique, shiny fabric is a truly hand-crafted and time-consuming product requiring different types of work at each stage of production. Many Ottoman-era kaftans worn by sultans were made of Kutnu. The weaving method has remained the same throughout the centuries. The silk and cotton content of this beautiful, rich fabric makes it a comfortable and healthy material to wear indoors and outdoors. Its texture and natural sheen make it an excellent material for creating elegant, luxurious shoes and bags. 

Design

All of our designs are first drafted by Bilge Can, our founder and creative director. Bilge is a trained architect with an eye for good design. Besides, she has been a passionate embroiderer from an early age. She brings her design sensibilities as well as her knowledge of color and texture into each AnatolianCraft design, treating each product like a work of art informed by the nature and history of the land she calls home. 

Once the design for a shoe or bag is ready on paper and studies for color, texture, and form are done, the embroidery prototype is created together with a master artisan. As the design is tested, adjustments are made to ensure the right fabric, right threads, and right color palette are used. In addition to hand-embroidered motifs, we also use hand-crafted fabric flowers on some of our models. In that case, the fabric is first cut out using Bilge’s design and then ironed, shaped, and stiffened to form each blossom.

Production

All of our products are hand-crafted and hand-embroidered in Istanbul, Turkey. Some of our artisans live and work in Anatolia, where a rich tradition of craftsmanship has existed for centuries. We custom-make our products after we receive the order. Each shoe and bag is made completely by hand using decades-old techniques, patterns, and equipment. Thus, we need 7 to 20 working days to make each item, depending on the complexity of the design.

Different parts of each shoe are made by different artisans. First, an embroidery artisan creates the embroidered fabric section. Then, the embroidered fabric goes to the master shoemaker who cuts custom leather soles from patterns according to the size you ordered. After that, he prepares the layers for stitching. Next, the shoes go to another master artisan who is specialized in leather uppers. He assembles the uppers using the embroidered fabric pieces and also crafts the insoles.

Then, the shoes are sent back to the first master shoemaker, who stitches the leather uppers and the soles together by hand. The shoes begin to take the desired form. After that, each shoe is shaped using a special mold for three days to allow the leather to tighten around the form and take its final shape. Finally, the heels are made, the soles are trimmed, the lining is added, and the edges of the sole are waxed and burnished to create a sophisticated end product. 

From start to finish, the process of making a pair of AnatolianCraft shoes takes many days, sometimes weeks, depending on the intricacy of the design. For us, creating each product is a gratifying labor of love that preserves decades-old embroidery techniques and shoemaking traditions.

Packaging

We believe God is in the details. We want you to feel as if you are opening a birthday gift when you receive your AnatolianCraft package. Once your product is ready, we gently place it in its special box, which is as unique and beautiful as its content, and start the shipping process. 

Shipping

We ship to locations around the globe from our headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey. We have quite a few happy customers in Europe, the United States, the Middle East, and many other places across the world. If UPS ships to your country, we can surely deliver to you. 

Once your order is ready for shipment, we hand over your package to the carrier and email you the tracking number so that you can look forward to the arrival of your AnatolianCraft treasure. You can also check the status of your shipped order by logging into your account on our website. When UPS delivers your order to your shipping address, we immediately send you an email confirming the delivery so that you know your much-awaited gift has finally arrived.