Ukrainian Christmas Gifts from Carpathian Mountains

November 30, 2016 • Articles, Ukrainian Services • Views: 1310

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This Christmas we are offering the warmest gifts from Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains.

All the listed items are carefully selected and delivered from Ukraine by a UK-based company called “Experience Ukraine”. The company is run by a young family living in Herefordshire, England, consisting of both Ukrainian and English nationalities. They are supporting community based projects in remote rural areas of the Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine by organising unique travel opportunities and selling handmade products from the area. Some of them, we think would make an excellent Christmas gift!

If you have any questions or want to make an order, please email ukrainianevents.london@gmail.com

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Hand knitted wool socks

Hand knitted from undyed unprocessed sheep wool produced in Carpathian Mountains. One size fits all. Design and colours are slightly different.

Size 4-11 UK sizes

£13.50-a pair + postage.

Customer’s review:

Hands down the most amazing socks I’ve ever owned. SOOO warm, thick and gorgeous! My puppy tries to eat them, though because they’re unwashed wool, and she thinks, “mmmm yummy sheep!” I cannot recommend these highly enough!

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Handmade soap from Transcarpathia, Ukraine

Two options: with lavender and another one with red clay and aniseed. Hand made in Nyzhniy Selyshche, Khust region, Transcarpathia, Ukraine by cooperative called Longo Mai. Boxes are handmade as well.

Price: £6.00 + 2.80 for postage.

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Herbal tea

Handpicked in wildflower meadows of Transcarpathia. Herbs had been dried in the beehive.
It gives a unique honey flavour to the tea.
£6.50 for 40gr of tea in hand embroidered linen gift bag + postage (£2.80-second class, £3.50-1st class).
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Wool rug from sheep yarn (small)

Handwoven wool rug/blanket from Carpathian Mountains. Hand made from pure unprocessed undyed sheep yarn.
Size: 70cmх140см approximately. Design and finish may very based on availability.
Price:£80+£10 postage
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Handwoven Wool Rug/Blanket

Lizhnyk – handwoven wool rug/blanket from Carpathian Mountains (design and finish may very based on availability). Handmade from undyed unprocessed sheep yarn that still has lanolin in.
Size: 150x200cm
Price: £155 + postage £16 (price may vary based on the size of each item)
Size:200cmx225
Price:£225 + £15 postage (price may vary based on the size of each item)
If you have any questions or want to order any of the listed items, please email ukrainianevents.london@gmail.com

What is Lizhnyk and how is it made?

Lizhnyk – traditional woollen handmade blanket/throw/rug from Carpathian Mountains, Ukraine

Lizhnyks are woven on handmade wooden looms. With deep respect for tradition the primitive looms are created with as much care as the lizhnyks themselves. The process of weaving begins with the selection of the highest quality local Carpathian wool which is then washed. Spinning wheels, vereteno, are used to spin the wool. Wool for the wefts is loosely spun and woven into a weft faced plain weave, this allows for the subsequent “softening” of the wefts in the valylo. Many different sizes and formats are produced from small items up to large bed covers to ward off the bitter cold of Carpathian mountain winters. Lizhnyks are made from undyed unprocessed sheep’s wool. Only organic process used to create these beautiful wool items.

After the lizhnyk is woven it’s taken down to the nearest stream and plunged into the “valylo”. Water is channeled along the stream in a wooden structure known as a “dzholob”. Water gains momentum for some distance before it smashes into a water wheel inserted into the valylo. The lizhnyk is churned about in the valylo, also known as Valylo, until the loosely spun wool wefts take on a felt like consistency. Once this intensive process is completed the lizhnyk is retrieved and dried in the sun. The final hairy woolen form of the lizhnyk is created by combing the rug in a similar manner as Anatolian and North West Persian blankets named after the town of Siirt in South Western Turkey. Lizhnyk fibres are teased up forming a nap on both sides unlike the siirt’s where the nap is only teased up on one side to form a raised design. The year 1515 is the earliest date where the use of the valylo is recorded. The method was known to ancient slavs in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Variations exist in the description of the process at the valylo, some simply describe this as a hole made in the river bed where the fibres of the lizhnyk are beaten until soft.

Only few villages in Carpathian Mountains are still making Lizhnyks. The whole process takes up to 2 weeks.

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