Europe

The ancient craft of Pirot weaving

Published 1053 GMT (1853 HKT) December 22, 2014
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3D printed textiles are all the rage now, but can they rival the allure of traditional handmade fabrics? Intricate and full of charm, Pirot carpets -- aptly named after the town in which they're made -- are still being crafted in Serbia. courtesy of Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade
Pirot carpets are carefully woven with strands of wool and the art itself can be traced back to the middle ages. Each carpet is unique and often tells a story through it's detailed patterns. Courtesy of Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade
Only a handful of women still craft these detailed rugs and it is feared that these carpets will soon face extinction. Courtesy of Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade
"We were born on carpets and we grew up in homes filled with Pirot carpets" says Slavica Ciric, a Pirot carpet weaver. "We realized about ten years ago that there is a danger that Pirot carpet weaving could soon disappear" she adds. Courtesy of Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade
A special breed of sheep provide the strong wool strands for the carpets. Unfortunately, there are only a few hundred left. Courtesy of Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade
In order to keep the art alive, it is up to new generations to learn and hone the craft. Ceric is schooling her granddaughter in carpet-making. Courtesy of Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade
A national symbol and a physical embodiment of Serbian history, the Pirot carpet blends craftsmanship with a unique form of storytelling. Perhaps, with efforts of weavers like Ciric, the age-old craft can be preserved. Courtesy of Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade