Georgian blue tablecloth granted UNESCO material monument status
08 August, 2017
Georgian blue tablecloth granted UNESCO material monument status
Georgian traditional blue tablecloth (supra) was granted the status of UNESCO material monument. Georgian blue tablecloth decorated with amazing birds, deer and beautiful figures has been an integral part of Georgian culture for three centuries. Then the tradition of decorating tablecloth was forgotten but lately passionate people started reviving the technology and bringing it back to everyday use.

Moreover, it is worth mentioning that the tablecloth was granted the status of UNESCO material monument.geotv.ge
The oldest samples of cotton tablecloths
painted in blue date back to around the end of the seventeenth century.

In the eighteenth century, artisans began creating printed textiles, using woodblocks with decorative engravings. The method of “cold vat dyeing,” which originated in the East, spread widely in Georgia at that time.

These textiles were dyed in blue using indigo paint, obtained through processing indigo plant. The specific patterns and, most importantly, the color, made Georgian textiles different from their Russian and European counterparts. In Georgian they were called lurji supra that means blue tablecloth.

Georgian blue tablecloth has been produced for five years already, on a small street in Tbilisi, in a small workshop by best artisans.

geotv.ge
Professor Tinatin Kldiashvili revealed the story of the tablecloth:

“Some information about blue tablecloth may have existed earlier, but only the sources dating back to the XVII century in the palace of Alexander II's, the king of Kakheti region, have been preserved. At firt it was a well-established etiquette at the palace of Georgia kings to use this tablecloth and time to time peasant families started using it as well.

originally the tablecloths decorated with Eastern ornaments came to Georgia from India and Iran. Georgians liked the tablecloth so much that they acquired the technology of making it. Some of the ornaments of the tablecloth were left unchangeable, some of them such as deer, birds or fish were added to Supra later.

The ornaments carry symbolic meanings: for example, the deer is associated with the tree of life in Georgian mythology, the bird belongs to this tree of life, fish is a symbol of Jesus Christ. Everything was done for a reason. The tablecloth was also decorated with little crosses”, - Professor reported.
Nowadays, you will see a variety of blue tablecloth as you pass by souvenir shops in Tbilisi. Tourists often buy them as memorable souvenirs and presents.

Related stories:

The Blue Tablecloths of Georgia: New Life of an Old Tradition - Smithsonian Center


Georgian art exhibition to be held in Strasbourg

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