With several galleries and shops over Bratislava, Uluv aims to promote the traditions of the Slovak culture to visitors as well as within the country to generations who have begun to forget these cultural skills.
I visited 3 of the venues and saw a small exhibition on the traditions of basket making. The shops were also a source of information and learning. Textile traditions are strong in Slovakia and I became more and more interested in the skills of Slovak Blueprint. This was a technique of resist dyeing with indigo, the artisan would used a secret mixture called ‘pap’ to print elaborate patterning onto cloth that was then dyed in indigo vats. When the fabric was rinsed the ‘pap’ would wash out leaving white.
This interesting Pdf download is a great resource for more information.
I also bought a beautifully illustrated book about the subject that is in Slovak but the photographs make it worth the purchase.
I looked for a recipe for the ‘pap’ used and it seems to be a closely guarded secret. There is a guide within the Pdf download. I researched the subject a little more and the same technique is used in a number of other countries. In the book ‘Textiles – A world tour‘ it mentions the use of river mud mixed with Gum Arabic and Lime by Chhipa Walla’s in India. I would be interested in trying this technique at some point, I really like the simplicity of materials to produce something so beautiful.