The living tradition of furrier embroidery in békés county

The living tradition of furrier embroidery in békés county

The fur-making trade in Békés County appeared in an organized form in the first half of the 18th century, when the first guild was formed (1727). In the 19th century, in connection with the economic development of the county, the demand for high-quality housing culture and lavish clothing increased. The ornately embroidered ‘ködmön’ (sleeved sheepskin jacket) and ‘suba’ (cloak) were widespread pieces of wear for the population of Békés County.

The ‘ködmön’ made by the furriers was also an indispensable item in the dowry of the girls who were getting married. In terms of ornamentation and tailoring, four independent fur making centres were established in Békés County - in Mezőberény, Szarvas, Tótkomlós and Békéscsaba. The excellent masters developed their special compositions, ornamentation, colour schemes and cut lines characteristic of the furrier centre, which differed from others.

In the 1970s, the artisans and activist groups of Békés County made great efforts to preserve the model world of the ‘ködmön’, which is why they continue to live on in today's folk crafts.

Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO
Elemér Muharay Folk Art Assosiation
Assosiation of Hungarian Folk Artists
Institute of Ethnology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Kriza János Ethnographic Society
Hungarian Ethnographic Society
Museum of Ethnography
Hungarian Heritage House
National Cultural Institute