Traditional Croatian Fabrics

Traditional Croatian Fabrics

Etno Motiv is a small company engaged in the production of traditional Croatian fabrics which it uses to create tablecloths and other items for homes, restaurants and souvenirs. They also produce some clothes and scarves.  The patterns are inspired by folk costumes, folk embroidery, and other classic motifs from Croatian heritage. Behind the company and the brand is Ivana Hađina from Zagreb.

Ivana Hađina

"This story is over 20 years old. When my father, who was a professor at the Textile Technology Institute, created these fabrics and patterns out of his love of weaving. He stopped weaving when he retired, with no intention of restarting, but I was intrigued by this for several years because I saw there was no similar product on the market, and there was demand, and it seemed like a good business opportunity,” explains Ivana.

"I raised money and bought an old industrial loom which took us months to assemble, clean, and enable for weaving. Then we restarted production. I didn't know anything about weaving or fabrics, so I couldn't do anything without my father.  In the meantime, I learned a lot and fell in love with the whole process along the way, so it's not just a job for me, but something I found myself in and that I really like to do” - says Ivana. On the commercial side, this economist’s idea was to offer restaurateurs and various tourist facilities decorative items that would reflect tradition and decorate spaces in an authentic way.

Traditional Croatian Motifs

"But somewhere along the way I realized that these motifs have a soul, that they remind people of the mothers and grandmothers who weaved, of homes decorated with these patterns, of smells and colors from childhood, and that I not only produce fabric, but in some way, create and renew memories," explains Ivana. As for the material, they only use one.

“The only raw material I use is called yarn, simplified and in layman's terms: thread. By weaving it produces fabric by yards, most often in red, more and more in various other colors that may not be traditional, but customers are looking for them. In order to be able to make, for example, a tablecloth at all, we must first make a fabric. That's what amazes people the most: what do you mean, you produce fabric!?,” laughs Ivana, and adds that this is because today, unfortunately, it is rare that anything is produced in our country.

"Consequently, this term 'fabric production' is quite amazing in itself, so I spend a lot of time explaining that I produce fabric 'from scratch'. The most complicated part is the creation of a program for weaving a particular pattern because we do all the design, preparation, and manufacturing by hand due to the age of the machine which is not computerized. It takes a lot of patience, time, and precision to do this, but the effort is always rewarded with beautiful patterns. When yards of woven fabric are completed, the tablecloths are cut to a certain dimension, prepared for sewing, sewn, stacked, and possibly packed, depending on the purpose.

Croatian Red Tablecloth

For example, an item that we produce as standard in red, at the request of the client, we can make in some other color or color combination, and this is what we do more and more often, even if it is a quantity of only a few yards. This means that clients can get their perfect product which can fit with all styles, from eco-farms to modern spaces that discreetly want to incorporate traditional elements. Such flexibility in production is really hard to find and more and more clients recognize and use it,” explains Ivana and adds that for the needs of different projects, they can make a completely new, often precisely defined pattern, so they produce a lot of personalized combinations.

There are limitations, and that most often is the width of the fabric (the maximum width is 55 inches) and the pattern itself. With us you can order a tablecloth, a custom-made tablecloth, or fabric by yard,” concluded Ivana.

Etno Motiv

Photo: Berislava Picek/Hanza Media
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