Ηandkerchief of Kalamata

The Ηandkerchief of Kalamata that all Greek people have sang and danced, has its own story. Silk, raw material of handkerchief of Kalamata, for centuries was an important exporting product of the region. It contributed to the prosperity and development of Kalamata and was associated very early with the newest history. Throughout the 19th century there were numerous “factories” of silk in the city and in the late 19th century the nuns of the Monastery of nuns had 100 learners.

The nunnery to the southeast of the Castle of Kalamata standed out since its establishment (late 18th century) for weaving silk, being a center of local handicraft and precursor of Ηandkerchief of Kalamata. It is significant that during this period, the city had become the first center of producing silk in Greek state, while the famous fabric was exported everywhere. The nuns themselves bred silkworms and they produced 3 tons of silk per year! The products of the monastery were embroidered silk vestments, tablecloths, curtains and especially the silk Ηandkerchief of Kalamata.

The remaining looms in the monastery are open to visitors and still working, creating Ηandkerchiefs of Kalamata, using raw material that comes from Soufli. However, the ‘crop’ is clearly smaller and is limited in handicrafts for sale and impressive vestments.

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