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The end of a scarf era

By Maria Gregoriou

The Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia will bring to light the exhibition Printed Scarves and the Last Scarf Maker as of today, which will offer us all a historical account of the art of printed scarves on the island.

The exhibition attempts to revive a trade that no longer exists and a craft that defined the traditional dress code for Cypriot women and men from the 18th century until the middle of the 20th century.

The museum gives an insight into the last scarf makers in Cyprus, Nikos Kakoullis, who ran the last operating workshop in Nicosia, which was founded in 1936 by Evris Michael, Leonidas and Kyriakos Kakoullis. At the time, the trade was well-paid and was a year-round source of income.

Michael left the business so after the death of Kyriakos and Leonidas Kakoullis, the workshop passed down to Kyriakos’ three sons, Dinos, Demetris and Nikos. Of the three, only Nikos Kakoullis carried on the production of printed scarves.

When Nikos Kakoullis closed the doors of his workshop in 2004, the craft of printed scarves that once made Cyprus known to both East and West, reached its end.

The exhibition serves to document the making of printed scarves by means of tools and equipment used at the last workshop of printed scarves in Nicosia, and also aims to show the diversity and distinctiveness of the scarves.

The range of colours and shades, mostly of dark red and green, as well as the wealth of decorative floral patterns are characteristic of the “handicrafts” presented in this exhibition, and they reflect the fashion and tradition of a relatively recent reality.

The items on display come from the Collections of the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia and the Cyprus Handicraft Service. Some exhibition pieces have been borrowed from the family of the last scarf maker for the exhibition.

The exhibition will also be supplemented by a series of lectures and interactive educational activities for children and grownups.

Printed Scarves and the Last Scarf Maker
A historical account of the art of printed scarves on the island. March 3 until August 30. The Leventis Municipal Museum, 15-17 Hippocrates Street, Laiki Yitonia, Nicosia. Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-4.30pm. Tel: 22-661475

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