Cypriot Arts and Crafts: Weaving
Phyti weaving is the most important type of Cypriot weaving and its name derives from Phyti village.
The origins of phyti weaving are lost in the ages, but it has evolved through time, having undergone changes brought about by the history of the island. Geometric patterns similar to motifs used in phyti weaving were used since ancient times as can be seen from pottery of the Geometric period.
Weaving was heavily developed during Byzantine times and during the Venetian and Lusignian dynasty. In those days, Cypriot valuable silk and woolen fabrics were renowned for their high quality and were exported in great quantities to Europe.
In Cyprus, phyti weaving was part of the dowry of young girls which was necessary for their marriage and future life. As a result, weaving formed a means of talent expression and craftsmanship.
To this day, the main features of phyti weaving are the colorful, geometric textured designs or “ploumia” as they are called by the weavers, which are made on natural cotton cloth.
The “ploumia” mainly have strong primary colors: blue, red, green, orange, and yellow; they are made while weaving by using thick colored threads of “fytilia” which are placed by the weaver among the wrap threads.