Konverents "Traditsioonilised kampsunid Läänemeremaades"
The International Crafts Conference ‘Traditional Knitted Sweaters around the Baltic Sea’ was held on the initiative of the Department of Estonian Native Crafts of the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy from 16-18 May 2013. During its three days, the conference focussed on the kinds of sweaters that have historically been knitted around the Baltic Sea and how they reflect our common history. Almost all craft researchers who delivered presentations came to the same conclusion: the tradition of our knitted sweaters started from the knitted silk night sweaters exported from England in the 16th century, which people in the Nordic countries started copying using local materials. The function of the sweater changed from nightwear to an everyday piece of clothing.
The conference was attended by around a hundred foreign guests from the Shetland Islands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Latvia, Germany and the United States, plus more than a hundred guests from Estonia. The heads of the national central folk art and craft unions of Finland and Sweden also attended, as Estonia handed the status of the lead state of the Nordic Folk Art and Craft Association over to Finland at the conference.
Approximately 450 people attended the Omamood 2013 fashion show, which took place on the first day of the conference. The second international competition in knitting whilst walking, ‘Walk & Knit’, was also held within the scope of the conference. The success of the conference is a good reason to start planning new international events. This model – where the same event includes looking back at historical items, while considering the implementation of this knowledge in contemporary creations – fulfils the mission of the Department of Estonian Native Crafts and will help to inspire our crafts circles.
Keywords: sweaters, knitting, Nordic Folk Art and Craft Association