The secrets of creating an Orenburg downy shawl were presented in Belgium

Orenburg Regional Museum of Fine Arts
The secrets of creating an Orenburg downy shawl were presented in Belgium

On January 28, 2021, the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Brussels and the Orenburg Regional Museum of Fine Arts hosted a joint event - "Orenburg - the Heart of Eurasia". 

An audience from different cities of Europe and Russia gathered on the virtual platform. The meeting was broadcasted in two languages - Russian and English.

Yuri Komlev, director of the Orenburg Regional Museum of Fine Arts, Margarita Eremeeva, a researcher at the Orenburg Downy Shawl Gallery, and Roza Gumerova, a hereditary Orenburg down knitter shared with the audience their experience. 

The head of the Russian Centre Vera Bunina and the director of the Orenburg Museum of Fine Arts Yuri Komlev opened the meeting.

Yuri Komlev spoke about the activities and collections of the museum and presented two movies about the museum and the history of the art "Orenburg downy shawl".

After watching the films, everyone took part in a demonstration master class of Rosa Gumerova on puffing.

Since the end of the 18th century in the Orenburg region, in the very center of Russia, on the border of Europe and Asia, there has been a world-famous craft "Orenburg downy shawl".

This is a warm heavy scarf - a shawl and a thin, lightweight, openwork scarf - "cobweb". In an amazing agreement, they combined the unique features of the fluff of the local breed of goats and the popular understanding of beauty, harmony and order. Nowhere in the world are there such warm, light and thin lace scarves. Like 300 years ago the scarf is manually made. Women manually scratch a goat with a comb, spin thread on a spindle and knit a scarf by hand on knitting needles. Orenburg downy shawls were exhibited at World Exhibitions in Canada and Japan, at international fairs in Algeria, Belgium, Syria, Greece, France, England, Austria, Spain, India, Germany, Switzerland.

Roza Sakhabovna is a participant of numerous art exhibitions in Russia and abroad. Her scarves are presented in the collection of the State Historical Museum (Moscow) and the Orenburg Museum of Fine Arts. In the Orenburg Museum of Fine Arts, there are scarves made by their son Roman and daughter Rita Gumerov.

The craftswoman told about the process of making a downy shawl, showed the tools: a comb, goat down, spindles, knitting needles. The main elements of the ornamental pattern of the downy shawl were also demonstrated. During the meeting, several elements were made, such as peas, deafness and fish.

Roza Sakhabovna and Museum Researcher Margarita Eremeeva were happy to answer questions from the conference participants. There were a lot of questions and on different topics - about the history of down-knitting craft, goats, ornaments, about the current situation and fashion trends, etc.

The art of the Orenburg downy shawl is a system of openwork knitting worked out for centuries. With its patterns, motives, secrets and folk wisdom.

You can watch the presentation video here:

https://ruscentre.be/events/orenburzhe-serdce-evrazii-onlain.html

For those wishing to study in more detail the technology of down-knitting, a training video project "Knitting a Legend" is posted on the YouTube channel of the Museum of Fine Arts: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6SyJ8DF20k&list=PLd8UFwYfymNBuqPzgq2iB5cc-oa-h9gaN

 

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