Where To Buy Cheap, Good Quality Yarn in Istanbul

As a knitter or crocheter, you’re probably always on the lookout for yarn. There’s no doubt that Istanbul in Turkey is an excellent place to buy your crafting supplies if you know where to look.

You’ll find the best selection of cheap but good quality yarn at Tarihi Kurkcu Han. It’s not easy to locate, but if you follow these step-by-step directions, you’ll discover all the yarn you’re looking for.

Be prepared to get creative as you enter a yarn lover’s paradise with lots of choices and great prices.

Lots of colourful yarn displayed inside a store at Tarihi Kürkçü Han.
Yarn At Tarihi Kurkcu Han

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Where To Buy Cheap Yarn In Istanbul

Close to the Grand Bazaar, Tarihi Kürkçü Han is an area that houses lots of shops selling cheap yarn. But it’s hidden away and maybe a little challenging to find.

There are two ways to get to Tarihi Kürkçü Han. You can walk up from Eminou or down from Cemberlitas tram stops.

These instructions are from Cemberlitas as walking down towards it makes it easier to spot the Nako sign, highlighting the entrance.

A sign advertising Nako yarn
The Nako, Gulum Yun Sign You Need To Look Out For

How To Find Tarihi Kürkçü Han And The Best Yarn Shops

To keep things simple, I am basing this walking guide on directions from the closest tram station, Cemberlitas, on the T1 Kabatas–Bagcilar tram line.

  1. When you leave the tram, you’ll see a large stone column, The Column of Constantine. With this behind you, keep walking straight ahead. You’ll walk on a slight downhill slope all the way to Tarihi Kürkçü Han.

  2. Keeping Gazi Atikalı Pasa Camii mosque (it’s a big mosque, you can’t miss it!) on your left and ignoring signs for The Grand Bazaar, keep walking straight ahead.

  3. When you come to a small crossroad, keep heading straight until you see the minaret of Nuruosmaniye Mosque (not a big mosque, but the minarets are noticeable) on your right.

  4. Follow the road as it veers slightly left and then take the first right. Continue walking straight ahead. At the end of the road, take a left.

  5. Walk as far as the first crossroad, turn right onto Mahmutpasa Street and continue walking straight down the steepish slope. You’ll pass an overhead sign pointing the way to ladies’ toilets and a shop selling very lacy children’s dresses.

  6. You’re now looking for a terracotta-painted building on the left with a faded sign for Nako (a yarn brand name), Gulum Yun and equally discoloured balls of yarn. Luckily it’s a tall building so you can see it above the shops. 

  7. This building with the Nako sign is your marker, although it’s not the building housing the yarn shops. But when you see it, you are almost there.

  8. Look to your left for a small, barely visible, arched passageway just before the terracotta-coloured building.

  9. The passage is called Tarihi Kürkçü Han. You won’t see any yarn as you are walking through the tiny alley, but you’ll probably see lots of women carrying bags of wool.
Tarihi Kurkcu Han, the best place to buy cheap but good quality yarn in Istanbul
Tarihi Kurkcu Han – The Archway Leads To The Yarn Stores

What To Expect At Tarihi Kurkcu Han

Pass through the arched alleyway, signposted Tarihi Kürkçü Han. Just before you walk into the open courtyard area, there are two sets of stairs. It’s up these stairs where you’ll find what I consider the best wool shops.

You’ll notice many shops selling bedding and towels in the courtyard, which tells you you’re in the right place. But, there are several yarn shops downstairs, so it’s worth checking them out before you go up.

A few yarn shops are visible, but keep your eyes open, as some are hidden away in the corners.

Yarn and accessories displayed for sale
Yarn And Accessories At Tarihi Kurkcu Han

What you can expect to find at Tarihi Kurkcu Han –

  • Cotton yarn

  • Double knit (known as light worsted in the US, 8 ply in Australia/New Zealand)

  • Chunky (known as bulky in the US, 12 ply in Australia/New Zealand)

  • Fancy yarns

  • Skeins of yarn wound to your choice of thickness and colours

  • Buttons

  • Ribbons

  • Knitting needles

  • Crochet hooks

  • Yarn accessories

  • Everything you need for Amigurumi

Why Tarihi Kurkcu Han Is Good For Yarn Shopping In Istanbul

Tarihi Kurkcu Han has fixed prices, so you don’t have to barter or haggle. The yarn’s not discounted; it’s always low priced.

And unlike a lot of other places in Istanbul, the sellers realise we like to shop in peace and let our minds mull over our next projects whilst making our choices. So there’s no hard sell and no one continually talking to you as you browse.

But always ask if you need help or can’t see what you’re looking for. The staff are generally friendly and helpful.

It’s not fancy, but don’t let that put you off. The shops are clean inside, and the staff are usually helpful.

Whilst it’s not the most straightforward place to find, Tarihi Kürkçü Han is worth searching for if you’re looking for good quality, inexpensive yarn.

Once you have found it, I’m sure you’ll be back for a return visit.

Lots of colourful yarn displayed inside a shop at Kurkcu Han, Istanbul
A Yarn Store Inside Tarihi Kurkcu Han

5 Of The Best Tips To Know Before Yarn Shopping In Istanbul

  1. Take a ball band of the yarn you are looking for. Whilst the yarn may weigh 100g, it doesn’t mean you’ll get the exact yardage/metreage.

  2. Some brands measure less; some measure more. So if you have a specific project in mind, ensure you buy enough yardage/metreage to finish your project.

  3. Always buy a little more yarn than you think you’ll need. The last thing you want is to get to the end of your project and find you don’t have enough yarn left.

  4. Take a small piece of yarn of the type you are looking for. It’s always best to feel the yarn you’re buying to ensure the same quality and thickness.

  5. Be prepared to buy more than you intended and take an extra bag with you to carry everything back to your accommodation. Yarn shopping in Istanbul is addictive!
A woman with open arms, surrounded by shelves of yarn.
Friendly Staff, Always Happy To Help

Where Is The Best Place To Buy Ribbon In Istanbul?

If you are looking for ribbons, your best bet is to head towards Eminou and the water.  Along the way, you’ll find shops selling extensive selections of good quality and inexpensive ribbons.

Where To Buy Turkish Yarn Online

Ice Yarns is a Turkish yarn supplier offering low prices, good quality yarn and worldwide shipping.

If you’re a yarn lover, take a look at the Ice Yarn website, I guarantee you’ll find plenty of inspiration for all your crafting projects.

Ice Yarns have an enormous selection of every type of yarn and crafting accessory imaginable.

Where To Buy The Best Handmade Afghan Blankets Online

Take a look at Phoenix Smiles Designs Etsy store to see all the cosy, colourful, handmade throw blankets I design and sell using Turkish yarn.

Every colourful crochet throw blanket is unique. No two will ever be the same. So if you’d like to brighten up your home whilst also buying something warm, cosy and practical, Phoenix Smiles Designs is the place for you.

My unique handmade crochet throw blankets are excellent gifts for someone special.

A crochet blanket made up of colourful circles, edged with black yarn from Istanbul.
Colourful Crochet Blanket by Phoenix Smiles Designs
Colourful circles edged with soft white yarn to create a warm and cosy blanket. Designed and handmade by Phoenix Smiles Designs
Colourful White Edged Afghan Blanket by Phoenix Smiles Designs

Find Your Perfect Place To Stay In Istanbul

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Istanbul, I recommend Ten Rooms at Taksim Square. It’s a small (ten roomed), friendly hotel with clean rooms in a safe, popular location.


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If you’ve found this post useful, please share it with other knitters, crocheters & crafters who may be interested in yarn shopping in Istanbul. 

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I’m Happy To Help Every Step Of The Way

Need travel advice or a confidence boost before your trip? I’m here to help! Ask me anything about travel, and I’ll guide you through.

Karen Smedley, the owner of Mature Adventures travel website on a plane.
Karen Smedley

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