Oya: Sister Art of Crochet

A publication called Sunday’s Zaman had an article this week on a needlecraft I’d not heard of yet. The craft is called oya. Apparently there are several different versions of this craft including a type that uses a crochet hook for creation.

According to the article oya is a form of Turkish needle lace that was first created back in the 8th century BC. It is a form of lacework that is used on everything from towels to headdresses in ancient Turkey and later in ancient Greece.

The motifs used in the craft are designed to reflect the nature surrounding the crafter as well as various other symbolic representations. And according to the article:

“Women used oya to show their feelings, their hopes, their state in life.”

That’s something that I think is true of needle arts for many women. Would you agree? For example, oya decorated with purple hyacinths represents that a woman is in love. Although we might not have specific symbols that we traditionally use in our crochet work today, there are colors and designs that definitely represent certain emotions (red hearts being the most obvious example although hardly the only one).

There are many different types of oya, some of which uses needles and others that use hooks. The kind that uses a small crochet hook is called Tığ oyası although it is also known simply as hook oya. It is reportedly a type of oya that is considered simple in comparison to some of the other options.

Have you tried hook oya? Would you like to?

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San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

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