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One of Kruja’s famous talented craftswomen, Lindita works devotedly to preserve the valuable tradition of embroidery in her wonderful shop in the city’s bazaar.
The art of embroidery is an integral characteristic aspect of Albanian culture and heritage. Fortunately, the preservation of this tradition remains a principal aim even in the frenetic pace of contemporary life. Living proof of this importance are the tireless artisans who have faithfully carried this historical tradition to the present day.
Such are the works of Lindita Herri, a craftswoman from Kruja who has been embroidering traditional costumes, vests, table covers and decorative pillows for over 40 years. These embroidered pieces are not only aesthetically beautiful, but fascinating historical objects as they often connect to a particular period’s culture, history and lifestyle.
Lindita tells us that it all began right after she finished the eighth grade, when she decided to attend an embroidery course in the city of Kruja. Taught by two women who were passionate and determined to impart the secrets and techniques of embroidery, Lindita succeeded in mastering this craft. She defines her profession as beautiful and appealing but she also describes it as tedious and often underappreciated.
Indeed, over the years, Lindita, along with many other artisans from Kruja, have struggled to keep their business afloat. “The preservation of tradition has been difficult to maintain throughout the years but, along with my husband, a tailor by trade, we managed to do it,” Lindita admits. Their sacrifice has paid off as Lindita’s products travel well beyond the borders of the country, through tourists looking to take a piece of Albania with them.
Right upon entering her shop, one can detect the aura of tradition, with pieces centering on the Albanian national hero, Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg, or older patterns of embroidery used in new and unexpected ways by the devoted craftswoman. In her shop, Kostume Popullore Herri (Herri National Costumes), in addition to patterns endemic of the city of Krujë, the visitor can find vests and costumes from all different regions of Albania. The use of a special gold-colored thread called gjymyshk makes the finished items, be it costumes, vests, or pillows, look like the original artefacts.
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