Traditional handcrafts

Weaving-spinning, sewing, bone-lace making

Weaving and spinning are the most widespread domestic industry activities even today. There are village houses where they still weave, especially in winter. Artisans' cooperatives try to meet the ever increasing necessity for the products.

The warm thick woolen blanket, the "cherghe" is also made at houses - in Sandominic, Frumoasa, Corbu, the Trotus Valley.

The coloured carpets, blankets, duvets, wall hangings woven from spinned wool are well-known and widepread on both sides of the Harghita mountain-range. The geometrical decorative motives and the reserved colours (rusty brown, tobacco-yellow, dark blue, raw white, sometimes light green and wine red) of the Szekler carpet preserve traditional character. The flowery patterned woven woolen pieces are the favourite products in the countries inhabited by Romanians. The coloured carpet-weaving renewed and practised - with richer colours and many different decorative motives- on a large scale - continues the tradition. These products are sold in folk art shops countywise.

Decorated towels, tableclothes, wall hangings and small cushions are woven of wool, hemp and flax or of their mixture. This domestic industry activity is known in every region of the country. In Danesti and Cristuru Secuiesc these pieces are produced on large scale using the traditional weaving technique and motives. The sewing of the pillow-clothes and table-clothes is characterized by the vast variety of the motives. The motive-collections of Praid, Casinu, Ciumani, Sanmartin and Miercurea-Ciuc have been renewed and the traditional folk decorative art thus produces wonderful pieces worthy to be viewed and taken by the tourist.

The colourful embroidery of the Mures Valley not only decorates the local Romanian folk costumes but the towels, table-clothes and cushions as well. This way of the embroidery-making is appreciated and looked for nationwide.

The unequalled richness of the motives of the Ghimes Csángós sewn on the back of the clothes also enrich the folk art of our county. The fur-coat embroidery belongs to the small crafts but it is also a folk creation through its decorative motives. From Bilbor to Kecset we can find many such fur-coats on which the stylized, geometrical elements combine with flowery patterns, making a real festive piece of cloth out of the "irha" waistcoat. The diaphanous bone-lace of Sancrai, the only village in the county where they make lace, is one of the finest manifestations of the folk creative talent.

Straw-spinning is also a folk activity, being traditional mainly in the southwestern villages of the county: Mugeni, Dobo, Taietura, Beta and Alunis. They make straw-hats for men and women, bags, wall hangings on a large scale. In Mugeni, practical lido-bags, mats and patterned wall-hangings are also made of tassel (of maize). In Simonesti, basket-making is widespread. The baskets, garden tables and chairs enjoy a great demand.

In Lupeni and Zetea beautiful figural carpets are woven of coloured rag-stripes. They are matchless examples of the primitive imagery.