All too often across the world, items are classified as “handmade” when they really are not.
When the term “handmade” is used to market items that are not made by hand by an artesian, many problems arise, and the buyer, the artesian, and even the commercial makers of related products suffer. The buyer often pays too much; the artesian earns too little; and the commercial makers have difficulty maintaining quality and production in their home area.
This has been evident in food as well as textiles across the world. For instance, when you think of cheese you might sprinkle lightly over pasta, do you think of a green can of Kraft Parmesan cheese sprinkles, a bag of shredded Parmesan cheese, or a heavy round of solid cheese inscribed Parmigiano Reggiano DOP?
The European Union recognizes different classifications of traditional food to make certain we don’t equate the green can of mass-produced Kraft Parmesan cheese with the round of traditional Parmigiano Reggiano DOP produced in the traditional manner in the cheese-making facilities of the Parma region, or (rarely now) in the farmhouse kitchens of Parma.
Ensuring the foods are classified and clearly labeled ensures buyers know what they are purchasing, where it was made, how it was made, and what ingredients the food contains. These factors drive, and help the buyer understand, the fair price range for the food. Obviously, Parmigiano Reggiano DOP is going to cost more than the green can of cheese, and a round made by nonna in her Parma kitchen rarer still, and more costly if were to sell in the local market rather than gift it to you.
Similarly, to protect purchasers as well as the weavers and economy of Sardinia, it’s important that Sardinian textiles are classified accurately with reference to the method and place in which they are made.
The textiles classifications Sardinian Arts uses and maintains are listed below. Any item I offer or discuss is accurately classified with integrity according to this system. I personally visit weaving studios, custom shops, and mills to meet owners and verify how textiles are made. I’m also advocating with weavers and others in Sardinia to adhere to this classification system to ensure the integrity of textiles “Made in Sardegna” and ensure the weavers, producers, and artists of Sardinian are treated with respect and that their items are sold in a fair and sustainable manner.
Hand made, Hand-decorated, and Mill-made Classifications
The classifications are
- Handmade textiles: Textiles made completely by hand, using looms where all the movements and beating are done only by hand/foot, and not by a hydraulic, electronic, or computerized loom.
- Hand-decorated textiles: Textiles made by hydraulic, electronic, or computerized looms, where all the beating is not done by hand/foot. The weavers stops the mechanical beating of the loom to make pibiones and/or add other decoration by hand.
- Mill-made textiles: Textiles made in mills, by hydraulic, electronic, and/or computerized looms with minimum human involvement, and often where many similar objects are produced at the same time.
All the classifications permit:
- The use of fibers prepared in mills.
- The use of a sewing machine, if the use is to make seams/hems after the weaving is cut from the loom and the seams/hems are not decorative.
The use of fibers prepared by hand without hydraulic, electronic, or computerized tools can be indicated with the label “Hand-spun fibers”.
If you have any questions about whether the textiles you are buying are handmade, hand-decorated, or mill-made, please contact me.
© 2013 – 2022 Kelly Manjula Koza | All Rights Reserved
If you would like to copy the textile classifications text to use on your own site or collateral, kindly include this credit and link: “Textile classifications as defined on SardinianArts.com.”