When you arrive in Gozo you will see how weaving is one of the oldest crafts of the island. Alda Bugeja is the prime weaver on these Islands and for that she was presented with the prestigious national award for Achievement in Industry in 2000.
Alda Bugeja is very well know both in Gozo and Malta for her mastership of this craft and for her works in Macramé (a form of textile-making using knotting) and Kumihimo (a form of rope making by interlacing strands). During different workshops she provided hands-on demonstrations of weaving on a traditional loom, and how cotton and sheep’s wool thread were spun in centuries past.
As early as prehistoric times the Maltese weavers were famous for their craftsmanship. For many centuries weaving remained an important industry in these Islands. Every family had its loom and every member of the family gave his share of work in this craft, men planted and harvested cotton, children helped in washing the local sheep’s wool and women worked on the looms. All family and house necessities such as clothes and blankets were woven at home. In fact the Maltese national costume is entirely made from hand woven material. However during the last decades of the 20th Century weaving lost much of its household use and did not remain so popular. Presently very few weavers still operate in these islands and an effort is being made not to let this noble craft die a natural death.
Weaving has been part of Alda’s life since her early childhood. Watching her mother and older sisters deftly weaving intricate patterns it did not take her long to start experimenting on her own.
As time passed on weaving became her main hobby and she became a talented weaver. Although nowadays one can find electrical weaving equipment Alda has opted to continue using traditional equipment and methods while spinning the sheep’s wool, preparing the warp and weaving. However, although using traditional equipment, it does not mean that Alda has not diversified her range of products. She uses all types of yarn and in all shades of colour for her woven items always keeping in mind to use the appropriate material and colour for the intended finished product. In order to adapt to present modern requirements apart from traditional rugs, blankets and national costumes she nowadays also produces among others, wall hangings, curtains, and lampshades. She is often commissioned to weave articles for churches and other organizations. While weaving mostly in traditional patterns she has also created and often designs original patterns so as to meet the specific tastes and requirements of her clients. She is always striving to create new patterns and ideas while adhering to traditional weaving. Alda’s main aim while producing her works is the high quality of her products as she believes that every serious artisan should do.
Address: Dun Pawl Micallef
Tel: +356 21552907, +356 79552907