Silk is the noblest of all natural fibers--it is delicate durable and shines like gold. No other woven textile equals it’s beauty.
The Silk Road caravans found their way to Armenia, as well, and Armenian merchants brought the secret of sericulture home.
In Western Armenia (Ottoman Empire), as well as in present day Artsakh, the mulberry tree is abundant and, hence, local production of silk from cocoons thrived as well. During the Soviet Era, along with many folk traditions, the art of sericulture died, too.
Fortunately, today, Folk Arts are experiencing a revival in Armenia. The young generation is embracing the folk traditions and crafts with enthusiasm infusing into them their contemporary creativity.
Having this revival in mind, two years ago Folk Arts HUB Foundation sponsored a silk weaving workshop by inviting Mr. Avak Shirinian from Istanbul to Yerevan. Mr. Shirinian is a world renown master silk rug weaver and he had expressed his desire to transmit his knowledge and craft to the new generation of the young Republic of Armenia.
Two looms and big bundles of colorful silk threads were shipped from Istanbul to the Silk Road Hotel in Yerevan. Also, two traditional designs were provided by Hratch Kozibeyokian, President of the Armenian Rugs Society, in the U.S.
Mr. Shirinian and his long time assistant, Ms. Kadife, conducted silk weaving workshops for 10 straight days. Thus, the challenging and magical craft of silk weaving took root and is continuing to this day.
Presently, we are also offering workshops for ceremonial silk belt weaving which requires a different technique from the historical traditions of Kars-Karin. We are excited and optimistic that this new seedling of silk weaving art and craft will grow to be a healthy tree…
Text by Levon Der Bedrossian