Pál Berta is an anthropological and artistic endeavour of CinéTrans.
As a visual anthropologist with a background in Hungarian ethnography and traditional crafts of peasantry in Transylvania, I create sustainable craftwork much similar to how Transylvanian self-sufficient peasants have done in the past. You can have a glimpse of these processes in the Pál Berta film under the text.
Pál Berta was a Hungarian woman born at the beginning of the 20th century in a tiny village in Transylvania. She was the daughter of a great farmer, who established the homestead I live in now with my family. When we moved into this farm, the linen towel, handwoven and hand embroidered by Pál Berta was still hanging next to the washbasin.
Her towel, embellished with her initials, handwoven in 1938 is the towel I use now daily. After 80 years it is still becoming finer after each use.
Transylvanian women of the past created their dowry, from flax seed to linen fabric, from sheep wool to woollen fabric. They wore the finest clothes, made with much care, eye for detail, all unique and elegant, perfect in their handmade imperfection.
Fabric was their empowerment, a way of carving out a respectable place in the family and in the society. Transylvanian women were respectful to nature through their ways of creating fabric, as they engaged in processes which were sustainable from the beginning to the end.
Pál Berta was one of these women.
Many others too.
A few others today are still like these women — and some of them now engage in this project.
We attempt to walk in the footsteps of Transylvanian women of the past, and we name the fabrics we create in their spirit Pál Berta. We use natural wool and linen fibers, coloured with organic plants, all gathered by hand from the uniquely rich and biodiverse pastures and gardens of our Transylvania.
The Pál Berta project seeks to empower those wishing to earn a living by creating sustainable, unique and beautiful fabrics. The project also seeks providing these fabrics to those who value sustainability, uniqueness and beauty in their everyday lives – and who wish to contribute to the empowerment of the creators of these wonderful fabrics.
You’ll find our artisan fabrics in our shop.
Transylvanian women at Pál Berta –