Mirrored Groom

An Art Beyond Cleaning: Groom Making

Though seen as a tool of cleaning by many, groom-making profession is an art that carried many other values and signs in the past.
Being a handcraft unique to Edirne, "hand-made groom" may have lost its value as a cleaning tool against the toys of the technological advancements, it still preserves its value as a traditional product of art. In the past groom makers used to gather in places named "Groom-makers’ House" to use their skills for producing masterpieces, though that part of the tradition has long faded.

Production Process

Groom fibre gathered from the farms are chopped into suitable size. They are then cleared of seeds and leaves, brought together into bunches after which they will be sent to the market for sale. These bunches are then purchased by the groom-makers, placed in water for softening and easy processing. This is called wetting or finishing.

The wetted fibres are placed in sulphur ovens. After keeping in oven for up to 2-3 hours, the fibres are then seperated into four categories by a chooser (traditionally called “zahireci”) where thin and weak ones are for processing, worn-out pieces are for trash, thick ones for election and those with short bottom and long sizes are seperated fort he top side of the groom.

The categorised fibres are formed into first shape by a bender. This process is called “çatılı”. There are three binders in the making of groom. The groom which is in “Çatılı” form is taken by the binder, receives first form in their hands which is called “forked groom”. This process is followed by the thinning and shaving of the top side (handle).

The sewing master is tasked with sewing the groom, finalising its production. Placed in a jackscrew and fixed in place with the handle coming on top from the skirts, the body and the handle are then sewn together.

Mirrored Groom has an important place in the traditions of Edirne:

A big-header nail called "kabara" placed on the handle indicates the intended user is a lady. When hanged outside the house’s door, the groom symbolises that a young girl resident is ready to get married...