Traditional handweaving studio

Antique weaving tools

Handweaving alive

We are reconstructing looms

Welcome to the hand-weaving studio of  Zapovednik's Handicraft House.

Our goal is to revive the tradition of hand-weaving and teach it to anyone willing to learn. We would also like to pass on the knowledge received from the old people within the villages, mostly from our ethnographic trips to the Kursk area.

Practical lessons are given on the authentic weaving looms given to us by the people in the villages.

Weaving is considered as one of the oldest women's handicrafts. In the past, almost every woman could and often had to weave. This skill was essential for survival.  Clothes, towels, bed linen, table-cloths, carpets, tapestry and mats were made of woven pieces of textile. In other words, women were creating things necessary for life, and not just plain pieces either, but beautiful ornamented and exquisite textiles considered to possess protective power.

 

One wove textiles from threads, spun from fibres of flax, cotton, nettles, hemp and wool of the house animals. Growing the plants the fibres were taken from, its processing, spinning of the threads and weaving was a big manufacturing activity that took lots of effort in a peasant household. However, it was for good reason, the welfare of the whole family depended upon it. The woman who had good spinning and weaving skills was freed from other work in the household.

We set our goal of reviving the folk handicraft of weaving. We do not want to loose this when the elders, who remember the craft, leave us. Furthermore, in our opinion there is a deeper meaning  in the very heart of hand-weaving, and this too we must not loose.  It's an important part of traditional folk life which kept Russian folk satisfied and happy.

To some it may appear that with the machine production of textiles replacing hand-weaving, there is no need to revive this craft.  However, when we create things with our own hands, we put our hearts into them, we warm our home and make it cosy. The wearing of hand-woven clothes is pleasant for the body and for the soul. Hand-made textiles have a long-life and wear better.

 

Zapovednik's Weaving Studio has 8 authentic weaving looms, collected from the ethnographic expeditions. Seven of them are fully restored and are in working condition and used for teaching and weaving. Zapovednik's woodcarvers recently made a gift to the Studio – they made a new creel stand! They used a drawing based on the description of the grandmothers who taught us. Unfortunately, we haven't found an ethnographic creel stand yet, they are extremely rare as most were burnt as rubbish ...

At the present moment, our Studio teaches traditional weaving during handicraft seminars alongside seminars of the Academy of Self-Awareness. It is also possible to study at the Studio in the time in between seminars if arranged prior.

 

What will you learn in our Weaving studio?

1. Basics of weaving – loom’s arrangement, preparation for weaving, loom set up, etc.

2. Different types of traditional hand-weaving - simple linen, runners, ornamented and healds textile.

 

The Hand-weaving Studio Leader Sokolova Natalia

 

We started from the runners

Then we became familiar with figured weaving

Заповедник народного быта

pismo@zapovednik.ws

Antique weaving loom in use