I am a textile designer, weaver researcher and educator. This is a blog about my work in progress and things that inspire me. For weaving lessons, questions or just to say hi please don't hesitate to get in contact. You can see my website here http://www.juliastreou.com/

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Summer sale is on at the workshop and online shop! You can take a look at the sale items here. All pieces are of high quality (as always!) but since I have way too many designs, I am trying to reduce them for practical reasons! Hope there is something you like! 

Last week I participated, along with 7 more selected artists, in a painting plein air at Lazania Village, which was organized by the Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts and Lazania’s Community Group for Initiative and Solidarity.

Lazania Village, a remote peaceful village in the mountains, offered inspiring views that fuelled our creativity. These past 6 days gave everyone the opportunity to come together, get to know one another and make new friendships - something which does not happen as often as we’d like in our every day routine.

The plein air was concluded with an exhibition of all the artists and the works they produced during their stay at the village. It’s amazing to see how productive those days were!

The weaving workshop started and ended with great success! After setting a good foundation and becoming familiar with simple and twill weaving, our workshop participants learnt the art of phyti weaving and practised designs such as the little arch (kamarouda) and the little cross (stavroudi). On the second day, they learnt the asproploumi, a lace-like weave and on the last day the participants learnt how the warp is made. The workshop was concluded with the participants creating their own designs by experimenting with different techniques and threads.

Below are some of their comments:

  • While holidaying in Cyprus I was fortunate to attend a traditional Cypriot weaving workshop held by Julia Astreou.  It was one of the highlights of my trip.    Julia, who is very knowledgeable, showed us many aspects of Cypriot weaving, my favourite being the asproploumi and how the warp is made.  It is great to have people like Julia who are willing to teach these traditional techniques, and by doing so, hopefully the traditional form of this amazing craft will not disappear. I highly recommend this friendly, informative and fun three day workshop.” MaryAnn Georgiou, New Zealand.
  • "I have the best impressions from the weaving workshop. It was an exceptional experience. During the workshop, I managed to combine traditional cypriot weaving with contemporary designs especially through examples of Julia’s work. With her help, I feel I got familiar with using the loom for simple, twill, phyti and asproploumia weaves. I can’t wait for more designs and experimentations under Julia’s guidance!” Annita Soutzi,  Cyprus

I am organizing a three-day workshop on Traditional Cypriot Weaving in June focusing on “Phyti” and “Asproploumia” designs (see image above for a design based on Asproploumia).

This three-day workshop is the ideal way for anyone to start if they have never woven before or want a refresher course of the basics. Looms will be already threaded with cotton yarn suitable for traditional “Phyti” and “Asproploumia” weaving, so participants will start weaving right away.

Over the course of the three days participants will also become familiar with all the steps involved in getting a loom ready to weave.

Phyti and Asproploumia fabrics are of the most important types of Cypriot weaving and their development is closely related to the history of the island.

For more information and to book your place please call me on (+357) 99475219 or e-mail me at jastreou [at] yahoo [dot] com

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with new designs for bags.

The design of this clutch bag with magnetic clasps was based on a woven piece I created inspired by the Art Deco movement. This woven piece was exhibited at the Jersey Textile Showcase in the UK last March. The Art Deco movement was known for its rich colours, bold geometric shapes, and lavish ornamentation.

Once again, a woven piece I made was used as inspiration for making a contemporary item!

Last Sunday, the 27th of April 2014, there was a conference about Kaimakli organized under the auspices of the Mayor of Nicosia. Kaimakli is a suburb of Nicosia located on the north-east side of the city. During the conference, I gave a lecture titled “Weavers and Embroiderers of Kaimakli” which covered the history and development of weaving and embroidery from the end of the 19th to the end of the 20th century and its relation to the change of the role of women in society through these years. The fact that Kaimakli was a village that later on was developed and joined Nicosia, is reflected in the textile development of the area, which in the beginning consisted of everyday necessary household items and then were developed into more luxurious dowry pieces.

Article in “TimeOut Cyprus” magazine, April edition

In the beginning, it seemed strange to me to be called a hero, but then I thought it’s just right! Perhaps I am a hero and I haven’t realized it. In a fast-paced world where everything revolves around mass production, retaining this ancient craft seems a great achievement!

Many thanks to Popi Vaki from Time Out Cyprus for writing and publishing this article. The article is in Greek only!

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Αρχικά ο τίτλος με ξένισε, αλλά ύστερα σκέφτηκα ότι είναι κατάλληλος! Ίσως να είμαι πράγματι ηρωίδα. Το ν’ ασχολείται κανείς με την παραδοσιακή υφαντική σήμερα, σ’ ένα κόσμο όπου τα πάντα περιστρέφονται γύρω από τη μαζική παραγωγή, μπορεί να είναι πράγματι πράξη ηρωική.

Ευχαριστώ την Πόπη Βάκη από το Time Out Cyprus για τη συγγραφή και δημοσίευση αυτού του άρθρου.

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A couple of days ago, I gave an educational tour around my workshop to elementary school students. I was pleased to see that hand weaving seemed fascinating to them. They were amazed at the diversity of woven pieces produced at the workshop and were particularly drawn to a woven narrative wall hanging. It is really interesting to see that children are so drawn to narrative!

The tour concluded with the making of a small woven basket made with colourful fabric strips. A satisfying venture since everyone walked away with a handmade creation of their own!