Weaving is an art known since antiquity. In the Homer’s Odyssey, the legendary Penelope was weaving constantly waiting more than ten years for Odysseus’ return from the Trojan War. It is an art of movement, imagination, memory and skill, still existing in many villages of Crete.
The weaver first imagines the plan and then has to make it. This process sounds simple, but working on the loom requires a great deal of hand power and motion coordination since the weaver uses both hands and feet at the same time.
In the past women had to weave preparing all the essentials for the family: fabrics for clothing, woven for the needs of the home, such as sheets, towels, curtains, tablecloths, but also woven for everyday occupations, such as sacks for goods carrying.
One of the finest samples of woven in all of Greece, is the Cretan red “patania”, with elaborate designs, adorned on the wedding day, on the walls of the bride’s house.
The yarns used were of vegetable and animal origin. Such as cotton, wool, silk etc. To dye the yarn were used plants known for their pigment properties. For yellow-gold color pomegranate peel, for brown soft walnut peel etc.
The Cretan woven, with centuries of history, still continue to monopolize the interest because of their unique beauty and aesthetics, as well as in the vibrancy of their colors. Across the island of Crete there are many shops that sell Cretan woven, for every taste. After their growing demand, handicrafts have been established in recent years which continue to make woven with the same passion, thus continuing the tradition.