The Institute for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (IPER), in cooperation with the Association of Old Crafts and Skills NIT, held the final event of the project ‘Preservation and Development of Traditional Montenegrin Crafts – Golden Embroidery’ on 22nd November, in the premises of the Museums and Galleries of Podgorica.

Achieved results , new products with golden embroidery, as well as Montenegrin women’s shirts that are part of Montenegrin folk costume, created during the training ‘Embroidery skills of Montenegrin golden stitch’ were presented  on this event.[1] Participants who shared their impressions with the attendees, were handed certificates and appreciation letter for attending the training successfully. Also, a publication called ‘Montenegrin golden embroidery – a symbol of the Montenegrin tradition’, which aims to leave a written mark on future generations about its importance for Montenegro, was presented.

Trained women are now ready to work independently in creating products with Montenegrin golden embroidery and thus to become economically empowered. They had the opportunity to join Association NIT and continue to produce products within the Association. Also, women who attended the trainings now are able to transfer this craft to younger members of their families, friends, and thus contribute to the transfer of golden embroidery from generation to generation.

Let us remind you:

We started the project with an info day in the beginning of April, when we officially invited all interested women to apply for the training ‘Embroidery skills of Montenegrin golden stitch’. The project aroused great interest, not only among the target group – women living in the capital, but also among women across Montenegro.  This is confirmed by the fact that over 80 applications from interested women from Podgorica and over 30 women from other municipalities were received. The project envisaged that five of them would attend the training, but because of the great interest we decided to increase this number to 10. Due to the specific way of working and the individual approach during the training, that number just couldn’t be higher.

Applications came from women of different professions and ages, ranging from female students to retired women, unemployed and employed, both in the private and public sectors.

Through the aforementioned training, women have acquired the skill of embroidery stitch skills that are on the Montenegrin women’s shirt and a part of the Montenegrin folk costume. The attendants showed exceptional dedication, hard work, patience and dedication. Each attendee embroidered different stitch on the shirts, in accordance with her own creativity, and one of the attendants embroidered the shirts that were on Princess Ksenija’s shirt.

We are pleased to say that the participants fully justified the confidence and expectations of the Commission that selected them.

The project also aroused great interest among designers, who expressed their creativity and applied for the Call for Proposals for products with golden embroidery motifs. This is supported by the fact that we received a total of 26 applications.

At the end of the public invitation, a Commission was formed to open and evaluate the submitted applications, after which, in accordance with the results of the Call, began the production of three products that had the highest number of points by the expert commission, namely: bookmarker, holder of accessories for eating and cotton bag. Due to the large number of innovative and creative design solutions delivered, we decided to create two more products, namely bags of different sizes and hair bands. In this way, we further contributed to the conservation of Montenegrin golden embroidery on widespread products, beyond the boundaries of the project.

Also, we have created a publication called ‘Montenegrin golden embroidery – a symbol of the Montenegrin tradition’ that speaks about its beauty and uniqueness, with the aim of leaving a written mark on future generations about its importance. We can proudly point out that this is the first publication on the origin and development of golden embroidery in Montenegro. You can download it electronically from the IPER website and today you can pick up a hard copy on the tables.

With the desire for newly created products to find their market, we have established communication with public and private sector institutions in order to include in their ambience / offer products with traditional Montenegrin golden embroidery. In this way, they will become the guardians of the Montenegrin tradition and its promoters.

As a result, the newly created products will be found at the Terra Kreativa art salon in Budva, featuring handmade products and souvenirs. We have also established cooperation with the Kukica platform, which is the most visited regional platform for presenting and selling handicrafts.

As another form of promotion and of added value to the project is our participation on the Third Designers Market Fair, held in Podgorica in early November. The fair featured and promoted newly created products within the project, products made by the women we trained to practice the craft on their own, and great interest was aroused by the publication on the Montenegrin golden embroidery. The spirit of tradition and variety of products with Montenegrin golden embroidery attracted the attention of visitors of the fair, which is confirmed by the large number of business cards exchanged, publications downloaded and established cooperation.

The final event was attended by representatives of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Capital of Podgorica, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Economy and other representatives of the public and private sector in Montenegro.

The project was implemented within the framework of the Regional Program for Local Democracy in the Western Balkans (ReLOaD), funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). In Montenegro, the ReLOaD program is implemented in partnership with the Capital of Podgorica and the municipalities of Tivat, Kotor, Niksic and Pljevlja.