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The Miller's trade in the Loka region
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Linen trade« Back
A culture of linen was once very extensive in Loka territory, to which the serfs' tributes listed in land registers from the 12th. century onwards bear witness. In the 18th. century Škofja Loka was the center of Gorenjska's linen trade. In this town by the middle of that century there were 21 weavers, and 374 in the countryside. Town weavers, with a master's  or  assistant's education, were weaving linen of better quality, sometimes even printed linen. In this way Jožef Bernik from Škofja Loka, in his books from 1878, had drawings and descriptions of 76 patterns for weaving towels, napkins, tablecloths, clothes and upholsterers' textiles. The trading with linen was busy from at least the 15th. century onwards. At the end of the 17th. century, and in the 18th. and 19th. centuries, sales expanded even more, since citizens and farmers were selling linen and thread to Germany, Friuli, Trieste and Rijeka, and from there further to Venetian Istria, Dalmatia, Venice, the Italian provinces of Romagna, Naples, Apuglia, and on to Sicily. In the second half of the 19th. century Loka's linen trade started slowly to decline. There were many reasons for this: in 1858 the protective law by which domestic weavers were protected from foreign competition was abolished, industrially-made cotton fabrics were more and more prevalent, and, since sailing ships were replaced by steamboats more and more, the demand for linen sailcloth started to decrease. Yet flax  was not only used for linen, they were pressing linseed oil from the seeds, used as a remedy, for whitening, preparing oil paint and for lighting.
•  photo.: Linen trade Collection (D/607)
•  photo.: Weaving pattern drawn in a book by Jožef Bernik from Škofja Loka,  1878.
• photo.: A woman sitting at a spinning wheel, spinning linen thread, another is winding it on to the winch, a third one is folding a piece of linen, and the last one is sitting next to a special device made from a wooden frame on which the linen threads are tied, which the woman is interweaving with her fingers. A detail from the Sv. Nedelja fresco in the church at Crngrob near Škofja Loka, around 1460. (M/4060)





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Loški muzej Škofja Loka, Grajska pot 13 , 4220 Škofja Loka
tel.: +386 4 517-04-00, fax: +386 4 517-04-12
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