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Home Cariati Handcrafts Weaving and textile craft

Weaving and textile craft

Textile producing is the craft activity best known and most interesting of Cariati. It has a  very ancient origin and was imported from eastern places by those people who managed to return to the country after being  deportated in Turkey, following a number of pirate raids during the  fifteenth century. According to a popular legend, very dear to people of Cariati, the art of weaving was introduced in our city by a young woman, Laura, in 1544, during the siege of the pirate Dim Khir called  Barbarossa, she was captured and brought to Constantinoply where she became the favorite of the Sultan. The beautiful Laura lived for many years in eastern land, there she learned the wonderful art of weaving rugs and blankets of different shining coluors on the frame, but her thoughts were always turned towards the beloved land of Calabria,to her Cariati. On the death of the Sultan, when she was finally able to return to Cariati, Laura made known to her villagers the wonderful art of weaving that’s still a boast of a 'craftship in Cariati. Weavers were once many in Cariati and produced rugs, tapestries and carpets, brightly coloured and very intense with special designs: baskets, bouquets roses, stars,rhombs and other designs that recall the Magna- Greek art. The visit to the weaving workshop of Mrs.Maria Russo, a skilled weaver of Cariati and interview has led to a complete knowledge of this wonderful art in via of extinction.

The frame

The handloom weave of Cariati is of ancient workmanship, built by local craftsmen. Today in Cariati  there are perhaps a dozen, but once in every family there was a frame. The frame is made of chestnut wood and through the action of levers and pedals and the sliding of the shuttle in the warp, allowing the weaver to weave the yarn of cotton, wool, silk and pearls. The frame  parts are many and all important for its use: nigghiulu, palummedde, sugghiordituru, Lizzi, Cruci, mbrighedda, Peracchi, mortalaru, Cassita.

The work on the frame

The stame is purchased in rolls, unwinded with the 'spinning wheel (a Nimule) and then transferred  in the frame through a complicated system that sorts them into bands arranged also the weft thread, the weaver starts its work which may be: smooth (if the design is uniform in texture) and with pizzilunu (which is obtained by raising the points by hand with a big needle). For blanket work  three separate frames are used then  are  joined  with invisible hand stitches. The wonderful thing is that the blanket once finished, seems to have been made once all at the same time because the pattern is unique,infact the central part (Zemp u) is worked in a wide square, around it is a wider strip (paranzula) and one narrow(u pizzettu) bounded by profiles (Pamfilo) the finishing is a fringe around the borders.

The Zempere

The Zempere are samples which designs are taken from to make blankets, mats and carpets and  are a treasured and passed through generations, some are invented by weavers  observing an object and are jealously kept because they are considered an exclusive creation of the  Gnura mastr in words the master weaver . The  Zempere  best known are: the bunch, the vineyard, the hunt, the 'air Stidda ,a voculidda, u prat ,il'angeli , rasta'cu oceddi, u crapiu , u per'ira Cerza, and a Greek. From the frame come  beautiful blankets that are highly valued and searched  by tourists and lovers of handcrafts.



For Info and Reservation:

Via G. Garibaldi, 59 (CS)
87063 Cariati Old Town
Mob. +39 333-4045284
Off. +39 0983-968734
Fax. +39 0983-532976



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