Printed Scarves and the Last Scarf Maker

Printed Scarves and the Last Scarf Maker

The Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia endeavours to revive a trade that no longer exists, a craft that defined the traditional dress code for Cypriot women and men from the 18th c. to the mid-20th c. The Exhibition entitled “Printed Scarves and the Last Scarf Maker” opens at the “House of Educational Programmes”, offering a historical account of the art of printed scarves on the island.

But who is the Last Scarf Maker of Cyprus and what does his loss mean for the art and production of printed scarves?

Several scarf makers ran workshops in Nicosia, Larnaka and Famagusta. Their trade was year-round and well-paid. The last operating workshop was founded in 1936 by Evris Michael or Euripides Mantilaris, in collaboration with Leonidas and Kyriakos Kakoullis.

Evris Michael left the business in 1936. After the death of Kyriakos and Leonidas Kakoullis, the workshop was passed down to the three sons of Kyriakos: Dinos, Demetris and Nikos. Of the three, only Nikos Kakoullis carried on the production of printed scarves.

When Nikos Kakoullis, the last scarf-maker of Cyprus, 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 a twofold objective, by documenting on the one hand the making of printed scarves by means of tools and equipment used at the last workshop of printed scarves in Nicosia, and on the other hand by showing their diversity and distinctiveness.

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 exhibits come from the Collections of the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia and the Cyprus Handicraft Service. Some have been borrowed from the family of the Last Scarf Maker for the needs of this presentation. Euphrosyne Rizopoulou Egoumenidou, Professor Emerita at the University of Cyprus, has greatly contributed to the realization of the event as scientific consultant.

“Printed Scarves and the Last Scarf Maker” will be supplemented by a series of lectures and interactive educational activities for children and grownups.

The exhibition will be inaugurated on Tuesday, 3 March 2015, at 19:30, at the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia. It is scheduled to run until 30 August 2015.