Until now, this historical kroj fabric was only available in heirloom pieces cut from existing folk costumes – a surprising fact considering that this particular brocade is a basic element of a robust folk costume tradition in the southern Moravian region known as Slovacko, or Moravian Slovakia. Weaving this type of brocade is very technically demanding and this is the first time this fabric has returned to regular production in over a hundred years.
Historical sources reference this folk textile under several different names, which the folklore researcher may have encountered: Zlatohlav, which translates as cloth of gold, the historical term for gold threaded brocades; kupensky, a colloquial term that renders roughly as traders’ brocade, a nod to this textile’s exotic content and origins; ornat, the Czech word for chasuble, a part of the clerical vestments that was typically made of ornate brocades; and, most common among local sources, stromovy brokat, or tree brocade, a descriptive designation for symmetrical florals, usually in gold, with large, contrasting blooms. These mirrored floral motifs were often featured on the vest, or lajblik, of the regional folk costume, where the symmetry of the pattern helps pull the costume together esthetically.
The exact pattern in this reproduction fabric was painstakingly pieced together from multiple folk costume pieces, each of which contained a fragment of the full motif. Surviving vests from historical kroj in Moravian Slovakia served as a primary resource. Similar patterns are also found in nearby Slovakia, particularly the Trnavy and Piestan regions. The original source brocades referenced for this project date to the mid 19th century and were most likely produced by the Viennese textile works of Josef Giani.
This historical brocade reproduction is woven by hand on a Jacquard loom in a blend of pure silk and rayon (for added volume). The pattern is formed of gold-plated metallic thread. The combination of premium materials and heavier weight makes this brocade sturdy but soft, gentle to the touch, and breathable. The gold thread will not tarnish or lose its shine. Reproductions of period brocades such as this are perfect for sewing historical costumes and also bring something special to modern interiors or contemporary fashions.
This brocade has loose threads on the back. We recommend lining it with a natural material such as silk or fine linen. To add stiffness, try silk organza or crepeline.
Because this fabric is hand woven and hand designed, there may be slight irregularities in the weave. These tiny imperfections are not considered defects, but rather a natural feature of hand crafting.
We recommend dry cleaning this fabric at a reliable dry cleaner. In our tests this fabric stood up to gentle hand washing. If you risk hand washing, use lukewarm water and a delicate detergent for woolens; do not wring or squeeze dry; block dry on a flat surface. Dry iron on the back on the lowest setting.