Time and again during the trip our conversations land on the same theme: how people no longer appreciate traditional craft, and young people prefer to learn other skills. “Nobody wants to summon up the patience required to do this,” says Zorin, the weaver. In the past everyone in the village had a loom at home, and all textiles, whether clothing, blankets, table linens or carpets, were manufactured at home. In every household there was always a room filled with trousseau pieces. It was proof of the diligence and skill of the women of the house. Today, handmade textiles are of no value to most people. Everyone agrees that the end of communism was the big turning point, after this local craft lost its importance. As a source of income in any case, but also as lived history, as a means of conveying identity. Gladiola, the needleworker, didn’t use to be interested in tradition either - until the Dior thing opened her eyes. “When I busy myself with craft work, things speak to me,” she says. Gladiola likes to explore the roots of a technique, a motif, to understand the simple, old forms. “The essence!” The fact that people prefer to buy cheap goods in bulk doesn't bother her too much. She is convinced that “future generations will appreciate it again”.

Text:  Jasmin Jouhar
Photo(s): Nafez Rerhuf