Tie dyeing patterns from Orava

Tie dyeing patterns from Orava

Elena Beňušová

Blue print penetrated into the Orava region as early as the late 17th century. In this region, it was the Páltiks‘ dyeing shop in Veličná that had been in operation at the longest until 1956.

The Páltiks were dyeing homespun dowlas but also fine linen cloth for women from southern and northern Orava. Among the specific commissions the Veličná dyeing shop had to accommodate were also the special requirements of women from Zázrivá for tie dyeing cloth which they used mainly for aprons. The fetched cloth was folded into halves, or even once again into quarters, according to the purpose, and the women were mechanically (manually) making tie dyeing patterns on it. According to the selected pattern the cloth was gradually arranged into the required shape by small knots with a diametre of 1,5 – 5 cm which were banded on the circumference and strongly cramped by means of a linen thread of a thin rope. Then the dyer dipped the tied white cloth several times into the indigo dye in the vat. The dyed cloth was then washed in water with added sulphuric acid and, subsequently, thoroughly rinsed in the running water in the brook. Undoing the knots, the required white pattern appeared because the indigo had not penetrated into the tied patterns. In the end, the dyer dried and mangled the cloth.

In addition to a rich collection of blue print blocks and blue printed textiles, the tied aprons from Zázrivá represent a small, but the more precious, part of the collection fund in the Orava Museum of P.O.Hviezdoslav in Dolný Kubín.