Krolevets Handpicked Weaving

General Assembly of the Regional Centre Sofia
Milina – knowledge, skills and customs
Krolevets Handpicked Weaving
Domain: Traditional craftmanship
Element inscribed on the National Register of the ICH of Ukraine


The handpicked weaving was developed in the North-Eastern part of Ukrainian Polesia (Polissia) since XVII c. In the town of Krolevets (Sumy region), it had appeared from the settlement foundation (1601) and is practiced till now. The weaving technique is based on the hand picking of red and white cotton threads (up to 1870-s, linen ones were also used). Mainly, women are involved in this art transferring skills from mistress of weaving to apprentices. There are families today in Krolevets, including men and young men, practicing the traditional weaving. The pieces created in this technique are used for interior, as drapes, tablecloths, covers; for solemn ceremonies, like weddings (Krolevets wedding towels); for everyday use: bags, cinctures, items of clothing. The combination of bright red and white colours are typical for Krolevets weaving. The classical elements of Krolevets towels remain till now rhombus, triangles, “crackers” patter, “pinetree” pattern, octopus flowers, symbolic images of birds. The central part of the towel is filled with a distinctive anthropomorphic symbol that resembles the figure of a woman with raised hands or the shape of a candlestick that is eventually replaced by a “blooming flower pot”.