Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kalotosezeg embroidery

Kalotoszeg is an area in Transylvania, Romania, most of which was at one time Hungarian. Folk traditions in this area are still abundant. I have been commissioning and sellling cushions embroidered in the traditional " writing stitch" for some time now and they are lovely. This type is called "writing stitch" , as the design is first drawn onto the fabric by the "Writing-Woman." These women drew hundreds of patterns free hand from memory for half their village. I am lucky enough to have found a few experts. Traditionally the pattern was first drawn onto the fabric with a goose feather dipped in water mixed with Soot. Now they use pens! Traditionally embroidered in red ( for marriage gifts) blue or black ( for funerals).

This evening I visited an embroiderer, originally from the Kalotoszeg region, I saw many things woven and embroidered by her mother and grandmother. It was explained to me, that under Cecescau the electricity went out at 20.00 in the evening and they wove and embroidered by candle light as recently as 20 years ago!