His active involvement in folklore groups led him to come up with the idea of starting an ethno workshop in Šiljakovina. He is a food technology engineer by profession and works at a company involved in bakery supplies so this job is something he does because he loves it. Weaver Marija Malčević from the village of Kuče taught Vlado how to weave and thanks to her the workshop earned the “Originally Croatian” label.
In addition to producing handmade cloth, they also make and preserve folk costumes. Linen, cotton and silk cloth are woven by hand. Folk costumes are custom-made according to characteristics of a particular region, while the techniques used encompass embroidery, machine embroidery and weaving. They also make folk costume jewellery and women’s head decorations. The weaving technique consisting of doubling linen and cotton, a technique native to Turopolje, is what sets them apart from others. Vlado is more than happy to put up educational workshops to pass on his skills and know-how.
Photo: Slavko Midžor/PIXSELL
”My wife and I divided the workshop assignments between ourselves so she’s in charge of making souvenirs and jewellery, while I’m focused on weaving, embroidery and making cloth. We’ve invested a lot of money in updating our workshop. Aside from old tools, we have sowing machines and software embroidery machines. There’s plenty of work and we look forward to every collaboration. At the moment we have established the best collaboration with the Croatian diaspora”, Vlado explains.
We’re currently building a new space which will be made of an exhibition area and a workshop maintenance area. Vlado takes great pleasure from passing on his knowledge to all those who’ve expressed an interest in learning this ancient trade. Vlado says that, should everything go according to plan, they aim to expand their activities and employ new staff who will help them in preserving heritage.