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Traditional ”YEMENİ” Leather Shoe-Making Today

In the past, yemeni shoes were worn by everyone in Gaziantep, Adıyaman and Kilis, even children, women, and the elderly. With the spreading of modern shoes, they are now only worn by people who are wearing traditional folk costumes.
As yemeni shoes are made entirely from natural materials, they prevent such ailments as corns and foot odour, by allowing feet to breathe and dispersing sweat. For this reason, yemeni shoes are worn by people wanting to wear natural products, and members of traditional folk dance groups.

Yemeni with Fantasy Tongue Flaps

Plain Fantasy Yemeni

Lacey Ramblers

Motifli Yemeni
Fantasy Tongue Flaps

Antep Sandals Macedonian

Saddlemaker Yemeni Sandals

Seeing yemeni shoes on the feet of world-famous film stars in box-office hit films was fascinating for everyone, but in particular for the young generation who know nothing about these traditional shoes.
Yemeni shoes were produced in huge quantities and sent abroad for use in films such as Lord of the Rings, and Troy, and this has increased interest in the products considerably.

Farewell Rumelia

First steps for the apprentice of a yemeni shoemaker :
After the yemeni shoe has been stitched, the sole is banged with a muşta (tool for flattening leather), a process known as kayim çalmak. This, and the coating of the stitching twine in beeswax, are the first jobs given to a yemeni shoemaker’s apprentice. Later, the apprentice learns how to stitch the sides of the shoe, and finally, when a sufficient level of skill has been reached, the apprentice begins to stitch the reverse side of the yemeni shoes.

The contents of this publication, which has been funded through the 2010 Economic Development Financial Support Programme of the Silk Road Development Agency, does not represent the views of the Silk Road Development Agency and/or the Ministry of Development. The Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce is the sole bearer of responsibility for the contents.