Weaving of withy

About the craft

The craft of weaving of willow twigs is one of the most ancient. People began to weave using natural materials when they did not yet have tools and equipment for creating complex household items. In Vladimir land withy was an available material: willow thickets were abundant on the banks of the Klyazma, the Oka, numerous rivers and lakes. Peasants used young willow shoots for weaving baskets, fishing tackle, hedges, cradles, sledges and much more. At the end of the 18th century European fashion for wicker furniture came to Russia, which stimulated the development of the trade. In the 19th century the Vladimir province has become one of the largest centers of weaving in Russia.

Nowadays the traditions of withy weaving are preserved in the works of individual masters of Melenki, Vyazniki, Yuryev-Polsky, Murom and other districts, in studios at the district houses of folk art, at cultural and leisure institutions.