I’ve just read the latest update on the Phitiotika Facebook page posting a link to the blog Threads that Connect Us. This is another project set up with some European Commission funding connecting several European partners, including Cyprus, in a project to promote and encourage learning of the traditional textile skills to enable them to continue through the next generations. In many of the regions taking part these traditional skills are looked on as something of the past, anachronistic and not relevant to the society of today, therefore not of any interest to the younger generations and so the skills are not passed on as they once were.
In the village of Lefkara the skills of their particular kind of embroidery have been passed down from mother to daughter and in some families is still today.
Textile skills such as: preparation of yarns, weaving, embroidery and so on are all activities that require patience as well as skill and necessitates the practitioners to have a certain mindset that is not generally encouraged by our fast paced living with the need for instant gratification. But the very fact that it requires sitting still and focusing on something gives it a meditative quality which is surely something that could benefit us all from time to time. A place to rest the mind from the pressures of modern life. Maybe it should be prescribed as an antidote to burn out… now there’s a thought.