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Culture Traditional forms of Art - Professions textliles Epirus Metsovo

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Weaving, water beating and the mantani


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The Ipirus woven textiles and especially those of Metsovo are not ‘woof-faced’, namely their woolen warp can be seen and is not covered. All the decorative themes are worked until the same point at each change of the shuttle. The various coloured areas are connected with the connection of the strings of the woof.
The ends or hems are created with a simple turning of the woof around the last warp. The woven textiles have a clear ‘good’ and reverse side. The ends of the warp are wound without being tied and are sewn underneath with a simple stitch creating a smooth finish on the woven article. For heavy woven articles (blankets, rugs) the ends of the warp are tied in a knot and left to hang.
The creation of woven articles is not completed with the finishing of the weaving. A series of activities are required also after the weaving is completed. Certain woven articles must go through beating in the nerotrivi (tristella) and the mantani, a device where they are beaten with wooden paddles in order to ‘shrink’. Each woven article depending on its density needs a different duration of beating.
For the tristella and the mantani to work there must be a lot of water and quite a bit of pressure. After the beating the woven articles remain stretched out for a few days in order to dry.