Weaving is one of the oldest arts on the island. At work on the Cretan loom (the telaro or argastiri), women wove the family's clothes and cloth for use in the home. Their raw materials were wool, flax, silk and cotton, which in many cases they themselves had produced, processed and dyed.

Cretan weavings are characterised both by richness of colour and the arrangement of decorative designs into bands. The oldest and most common designs are geometrical, featuring variations and combinations of the rhombus as their basic motif.

At the same time, common patterns involve more or less stylised floral and animal motifs, human figures and scenes inspired by history or religion.

Hand spinning
Traditional Cretan weaving (Heraklion)
Woven shepherd's knapsacks (vourgies) (Yiannis Harkoutsis)
Vourgia (woven shepherd's knapsack)
Work on the loom, 1965 (Stylianos Skoutelis, Ioannis M. Tzanis Collection, Moni, Malevizi)