In the spinners’ room the damsels sit like angels
Singing and spinning their threads:
“Spin yourself spindle,
Spin yourself thread
Spin yourself silk
Wind yourself long
Wind yourself longer
Longer and longer to remember…”
Beautifully performed famous Moniuszko’s nursery rhyme can be listen to here .
Polish children have sung this old rhyme since the 1800s as the art of creating textiles has long been an integral part of Polish culture. Through centuries of change, the textiles produced have provided a sense of comfort, security and identity and have been interwoven in every aspect of Polish life.
Despite often harsh and changing political landscapes, Polish artisans have been able to maintain and adapt the handmade textile traditions of the past so that today, they remain a significant aspect of Polish culture.
In Warsaw, crafted willow basketry industries have flourished across the generations. Changing with the seasons, the muted shades of the 75 varieties of wicker have been used to create beautiful and sturdy vessels and installations, and are woven into the fabric of ceremonial and daily life.
The Wawel Castle in Krakow is famous for the tapestries of Sigismund Augustus Jagiellon, which date back to the 16th century. Woven in Brussels, these tapestries amazingly survived centuries of wars, displacement and stormy journeys and remain a Polish national treasure. This unique collection consists of 138 large arrases, 136 being kept at Wawel, together with other unique examples of fine tapestries, textiles, garments and embossed leather wall decorations. Also Wawel Castle is a home of the Art of the Orient collection, which demonstrates examples of Far East decorative arts in the culture of the old Polish Commonwealth.
Zakopane is the regional centre of the traditional Tatra Mountains people, whose unique folk art developed through history as a response to the merging of the East and West. From carved and inlaid timber, painted beads and glass, felted wool garments heavily embroidered with traditional motifs and decorated with embossed leather to metal jewellery and accessories, these handcrafted pieces reflect the beauty and history of one of Poland’s traditional cultures.
As someone born and raised in this magnificent country, with my own passion for textile art, Experience Poland is close to my heart. These personalised tours offer a unique, once in a lifetime travelling experience to anyone with an interest for the creative, the historical or the cultural. My local insight and networks allow visitors to discover hidden artisan treasures they probably wouldn’t if traveling on their own and allows them to share in the celebration of folk art that has provided joy and inspiration to Poland’s rich, multicultural heritage.
There is so much to be learned from these regional Polish creative industries, and I can’t wait to help you discover the truly unique aspects of this magnificent country and its culture.