The most important material:

The most important material in Montenegro definitely was wool. The sheep are fleeced once or twice a year, and they are fleeced from the head towards the tale, because it is necessary that the fleece remains in one piece. Fleecing of sheep was a male’s task, and making of the wool was a female part of the job. The fleece has to be washed from the dirt, in that way that it is first dipped and rinsed in lukewarm water, and it was usually done on the stream or on the river. Wools of long and soft threads are the ones of best quality and they were used for making of thinner and finer fabric, while from worse wool they made bags, cloaks, sacks etc. The wool then had to be combed, with special combs which have metal cogs and which are always used in pair. During the combing the wool softness and that is how it is being prepared for spinning.

Goat’s hair (kostrijet) was also used for making close. It is processed in a way which is very similar to the processing of wool, with the fact that goat’s hair is neither washed nor combed with combs, it was just spread on some flat surface and beaten with some regular rod or a stick which was curved in an arch. Considering the fact that goat’s hair is short and sharp and as such was very resistant to damp, goat’s hair was used most often for making of coarse textile: cloaks, bags, sacks, but it was also very often mixed with wool and then from that mixture clothes was made.

Hemp and flax – are one year greenish plants and were used for making of strong coarse linen for clothes and other necessities for the house. Hemp and flax are most characteristic for the coast, and in Rijeka district, and in somewhat lower degree in Niksic parish, Drobnjaci, Vasojevici and Piva. Hemp and flax are sown early in the spring, and they ripen in the summer when the harvest starts. The stalks are pulled out together with the root which is then being cut as well as the flowers and the seed. Then they are being tied in bales, and then in stacks and are left for 10 days to dry. Then the seed is separated in that way that the stacks are beaten on a stone plaque with a mallet, and the seed is being preserved for the next year. Then you need to separate the fiber part of the plant, and it was done in that way that the stalk was dipped in the water, usually in the shallow part of the river or stream. After that, stacks are taken out from the water, untied, and rinsed, and then all of that was dried on the sun. Then it is needed for the stalks to be broken and free the fiber of the woody parts, which was done by using numerous utensils, most often “stupa”(MORTAR) or “trlica”(HEMP-BREAK) With incessant batting the stacks broke, and the wooden part would fall off, so the useful fiber stayed in the hand. The fibers made in that way were combed and classified by quality by the choice of the housewife. The fibers picked and cleaned in this way were ready for spinning.

Spanish broom – is characteristic for the coast of Montenegro and it grows only in places which are protected from the tempest. Here it is mostly found on the territory of Bar, Sutomore, and Kotor. In the branches of this plant there is a fiber which is firm and suitable for making canvas, as well as of fishing nets and ropes. Spanish broom is cut during July and is tied in small stacks, and then it is dipped in the sea and covered with stones where it has to stay for a month. Softened stalks are after that rubbed over the coarse stone or are batted with stone. The woody part of the branch remains unbroken, and the fiber is carefully separated from the stalk. The fiber which you get usually was called wool, then it was combed and assembled in bales or was immediately used for spinning.

Silk – was mostly imported even though there are some records that the silk was produced in Montenegro, more over in Podgorica, Bar, and Ulcinj, that is, in those places where it was used for making clothes. People most often bought cocoons of the silk bug, and the mulberry three was most often planted close to the house and it was used for raising bugs. In the spring the seed was separated and those eggs were kept in the cloths in chests until the following spring. Then the eggs were taken out and were spread on another cloth near the hearth, until the larvas don’t come out. Caterpillars were fed with young leaves of mulberry tree until they do not become cocoons. The equal number of cocoons of males and females was separated in order to get the seed for rising of silk bugs next year. From them then comes out a butterfly, which would die immediately after it poses the seed. Other cocoons were the ones which were processed for rope. They are dipped in a dish with warm water and they are carefully stirred, and when the cocoon softens the silk is carefully being taken out. The fiber which they got was then winded up in balls and then they were left to get dried. Depending on the purpose for which the silk is intended for, women took care whether they will take out thinner or thicker threads, as well as of the fact whether the silk will be spin, because the silk which was used for tying was not spin.