Mahmutlar’s Wonderful Tradesmen and Craftsmen

 Lets celebrate the skills of the tradesmen and craftsmen in our town of Mahmutlar


As a child I remember taking pairs of ‘Clark’s Shoes’  to Mr Walker, the cobbler. Funny name for a cobbler but even more ironic because he only had one good leg and one wooden leg. Fascinated by this guy’s huge wooden leg I recall listening to him grunt every time he swung it up and around to take a step. I never saw the connection between the name and his trade – but that’s childhood innocence for you.

‘Proper’ Clark Shoes were my Mum’s only real extravagance when we were children. She insisted on them because she believed that our feet wouldn’t grow properly without good shoes.

Despite the best quality shoes my feet never actually grew much, probably because I never actually grew much either. So with small, perfectly formed, slow-growing feet I had more reason than most to use the services of a cobbler. My Mum knew it was  far more cost-effective to have new soles and heels fitted to my Clark’s shoes than to buy brand new.

Dying Trades

With modern lifestyles and increased affluence we now live in a throw away society where clothes, shoes and handbags rarely get worn out because we have so many different styles, shapes and colours sitting in our wardrobes. I can’t remember the last time I saw a cobbler in my hometown; yes you can get your shoes repaired but usually you deposit them in a small storefront and they are sent away. You can’t sit in the shop shoeless in your socks telling the cobbler you will wait because you need them NOW!!!!

Now you may think that this post is just about cobblers. It is, in fact it is a post about repairs in general and we are not limiting ourselves to the craft of shoe repairs.

This post is to celebrate the fact that here in Mahmutlar we are lucky to still have these great tradesmen working in the side-streets and back roads. There are so many little shops owned or rented by highly skilled craftsmen who are able to mend just about anything.

Cobblers in Mahmutlar

Take my leather boots as an example. They have seen 8 extra seasons thanks to the cobbler on Barbaros Cd, next door to the new Hanci. Each Winter he rejuvenates the leather in the top of the boots adding new heels and soles when needed. All for an annual service charge of around 30TL!!!

Tailors in Mahmutlar

We also use the services of a great tailor on Ataturk Cd, Just West of the Mevlana Statue. I have always had a problem with my legs, in that whatever clothes I buy, my legs are just too short for them. But here in Mahmutlar this is no problem for me because I have a maestro who can just cut the fabric and stitch them like new.


For the Winter I bought some cosy warm pyjamas  in Sali Pazari 82 Sale. They were good quality pure soft cotton with a ridiculously low price tag. I loved them. I didn’t hesitate to buy them, even though the legs were double the length I needed. Confident that they could be shortened to suit me perfectly I was happy to spend an extra 10tl to get them altered. Pyjamas for a total of 50TL  (40TL for the pyjamas and 10TL for the alterations). An unbelievable bargain and a perfect fit. 

Their service is fast and efficient. If there is an urgent job these tailor will get things ready the same day, if you are not in a rush then just go back and collect them the next day.  a

Leather Tailor

My latest find is the guy in the video above, who is an absolute wizard repairing leather goods and in particular HANDBAGS. Imagine my distress when my two favourite bags became unusable. The handles came off the one handbag and the leather was damaged on the handles of the other. I needed have worried though – I took them to this repair shop and 24 hour later they were perfect again looking as good as when they were brand new.

You can find this repair shop by turning to the right off Barbaros Cd by Durumcu. His shop is next to the printer’s shop.

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Lets do a big SHOUT OUT for all these talented guys; the tailors, the cobbler, the fixers – long may they continue with their trade and long may my boots and favourite handbags last.

We don’t need to be in a throw away society, let’s use these valuable services so we don’t lose them and lets actually start looking after the ‘stuff’ we buy.