When the saddle-making profession has succumbed to time, the last two masters continue their profession with alternative products such as bags and ornaments.
In Mardin, which is one of the important centers of handicrafts, when saddle-making or palan making fell out of time, dozens of masters were unemployed.

According to the news of Ahmet Kanbal from the Mesopotamia Agency, when the cargo transportation business with donkeys and mules was finished, saddle masters turned to alternative works. Only 2 known saddle masters remained in Mardin.

The remaining masters continue their livelihood and profession by producing saddles needed by donkeys and mules used to collect garbage in rural areas and Mardin’s narrow alleys. Masters who want to continue their craft are looking for apprentices.

It wants fine craftsmanship
Fikret Doğan, who has been a saddle maker in Artuklu district for 27 years, learned the profession from an Armenian master. They use reed, rugs and felt in saddle making, felt is imported from Urfa, reed is specially imported from Bitlis, and rugs are imported from Adana, Batman and Urfa.

Expressing that the key of a saddle is a cane, Doğan says that the cane should be soft and explains why:

It is for the comfort of the animal. When he walks when the load is loaded, this is pressed like a sponge. It does not put pressure on the back of the animal when 200 kg is loaded. It consists of two stages. It should be millimeters so that the animal is in balance.

Expressing that their work is fine workmanship, Doğan says that before making a saddle, they take the measurements of the animal for which they will prepare a saddle, just like a person goes to a tailor and measure.

After measuring, they go into cutting and sewing.