Latvia, Una Rozentale, Weaving
Una Rozentāle handweaves large wool shawls on an old traditional floorloom. The shawl is a traditional piece of Latvian clothing, which is still an essential part of the national costume. These shawls are worn around the shoulders. Wearing such a shawl allows one to feel a connection with the country’s national heritage. They have both an aura of antiquity and function as a modern and practical accessory. The Latvian people have very wide craft skills. Weaving is an ancient traditional skill that was relatively common in almost every country house. Only 100-150 years ago, looms were a daily tool for every housewife, helping to provide clothes for the family. Traditionally, the clothes were made of wool and linen. Flax was grown and processed on the farm itself. There was also a flock of sheep on each farm, which helped to provide the household with a sufficient amount of wool. All processing of raw materials took place at home.
Rozentāle creates her own scarf designs. The original ideas are based on traditional scarf samples in folk costume books, but she is increasingly trying to expand the boundaries of her imagination. She experiments with colours, trying to find new combinations that create unusual moods. Sometimes, an idea slowly percolates in her mind before being realised. Sometimes, she combine colours based on requests by the client. And sometimes, a clear fully-formed idea suddenly and quickly pops into her head. However, every time the experience of creating a new design is exciting and a bit unpredictable. She loves working with bright colours, often using more than ten colours in one scarf, which together form a dynamic design. With the help of colours, it is possible to make the traditional cultural heritage desirable and lovable for modern people. Her brightest scarves are also customers' favourite. In rare cases, she imitates ethnographic patterns, thus honouring traditions and authenticity.
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