Krolevets towels

Krolevets towels

Krolevets weaving is an integral part of the intangible cultural heritage of modern Krolevets, the ancient territory of Novgorod-Siversky.

Krolevets woven towels, created in the technique of weaving, are works of art of traditional folk crafts of Ukrainians from North-Eastern Polissya. The rich geometric ornament of Krolevets towels consists of symbols corresponding to the Ukrainian outlook. You can recognize Krolevets towels among hundreds of others due to a combination of white and red colors with a thick ornament.

Weaving in Krolevets has been developing since the city was founded. According to the research, the weaving manufacture appeared no later than 1765. Avdiyikha Obolonska and her sons, who lived in the 1780s, are considered to be the first known weavers from Krolevets. The woven towels gained their biggest popularity in the second half of XIX century at the local fairs, including Khrestovozdvyzhenskyi Fair in Krolevets and Illinskyi Fair in Romny. Later, their popularity spread all over Ukraine as they were a vital element of wedding ceremonies in Sumy, Poltava, Chernihiv regions. The whole families of weavers worked in the town of Krolevets.

For the manufacture of a towel even nowadays the multi-heald machine with four stands is used. Such towels are woven with red and white cotton threads in a complex technique of manual sorting. For the base, the linen, hemp (and nowadays cotton threads) of white and red colors were taken. The threads were bleached and dyed in red with natural dyestuffs made of cochineal.

As for now 13 craftswomen, 11 of them are members of the Sumy regional branch of the National Union of Masters of Folk Art of Ukraine, who nurture and maintain the centuries-old tradition of hand-woven weaving in Krolevets, are the bearers of the element “Krolevets over-weaving”.

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