Originally Posted by Iain
As always, it relates to cost and quality. Did Hadramaut have water driven hammers? One of the main reasons behind the economical production of blades in Solingen from a fairly early period... The ability to produce quality blades locally isn't necessarily an indication they could be produced cheaply or in a competitive volume.
By the 16th century Solingen was already making use of water driven mechanical hammers to increase the production of blade blanks. This was unusual in Europe at the time and as far as I know was not an industrial technique common in the Ottoman empire or Yemen... This industrialization only increased with time. I would also point out, to my understanding the Ottomans lost control of Yemen in the mid 17th century (principally Sana'a)?
Mechanical production of blade blanks increased production time about 5-6x over hand forging.
Solingen was the force it was because of the industrial tools they employed - allowing for a competitive edge, even when long distance transportation was factored in.