The art of weaving and embroidery, an exclusively feminine sector, has always been a vehicle of meanings that go beyond the simple executive technique and the beauty and refinement of the artefacts.
Spinning, weaving and embroidery have always been a tool at the service of women, a tool used to “break the silence”.
Embroidery for women is a form of writing.
This kind of art that dates back to ancient times is a typology of writing that uses other codes to spread messages, to express feelings, to represent the nuances of the soul, fix images and communicate with the outside world.
The needle and the frame are like paper and pen and the figures that come out are real stories to read, full of meanings.
In the past the woman was dedicated to the care of the family, her role was closed, marginal and historical. The daily life of a woman was cyclical, monotonous, characterized by repetitive gestures carried out in the silence of the house. Man by contrast instead communicated more freely and had an activity that developed outside the house.
The textile and embroidery sector has remained unchanged over the centuries, but the garments made are always full of different meanings and stories!
The refined art of embroidery has always been handed down within the domestic walls to protect its exclusive authenticity but not only, it also had the practical purpose of making the feminine outfit. The trousseau or dowry, from the earliest times was the most precious asset that every girl worked for many years to identify her place and social identity for this unique event that they so much awaited.
Obviously, over the centuries, the trousseau has lost its social and cultural function and the role of women in society has also changed.
Today we can witness a real rediscovery of the unique piece, of the artifact, an enhancement of the craftsmanship as artistic specialties and not only, also as productive activity.
Weavers and embroiderers are no longer confined to a domestic activity but open to the whole world by creating opportunities for themselves and society by exposing and selling their work to the public.
With the explosion of the internet in recent years, contacts and exchanges have been created also between the different cultures and the artifacts “travel” in different countries also suffering influences from other cultures or simply penetrating markets other than that of belonging creating real “trends” in the fashion sector.
Embroidery in Afghanistan
We all know the history of Afghanistan. For a long time in this country women did not have access to work and expression.
In the countries in conflict, there is a daily challenge to create something, to develop the small local economy. This development gives people the chance to be self-sufficient in the market and in a country like Afghanistan is difficult to achieve.
Here, within the walls of the house, women began to express themselves with the most ancient form of art, weaving and embroidery, reflecting regional differences in their manufacturing that can be identified in the particular use of colours and in the different forms of drawing. Silk and cotton are drawn by hand or embroidered and depending on their use can be traced back to the region of origin.
This art form is developing more and more in Afghanistan because it allows women to create an independence that also gives them the possibility to contribute to the education of their children.
Goldozi is a project born from the desire to give freedom to Afghan women who have lived in a context where dignity and independence are often denied.
“tradition, beauty, uniqueness, genius, excellence. high craftsmanship, for an experience that combines sight and touch”
The Goldozi project will assist women in and around Kabul, Afghanistan, to increase the commercial potential of their traditional embroidered products. Goldozi, which is Dari for embroidery, will build the capacity of women embroiderers and entrepreneurs of both genders who represent the embroiderers in the market.
Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, FHI 360, the Goldozi project will form alliances with chambers of commerce, business federations, export agencies and local service providers to build a strong brand that promotes the ethical and authentic production of Afghan embroidered products made by Afghan women.