"ON THE HISTORY OF FUR INDUSTRY IN SLOVAKIA"

1/

History of fur in our territory goes back to the times of the Principality of Nitra and the Great Moravian Empire (around 800 A.C. -950 A.C.) in the late 8th and the early 9th century. Historians describe the period as the time when crafts developed including jewellery and fur making which had already been regarded as the exclusive goods for the rich.

2/

First guilds were formed in Slovakia in the 13th century. The guild of fur makers of the Košice region (Košice - the free roal town and now the second largest town in Slovakia) with its statute dated 1307 was they first known organised guild at the territory of medieval Hungary. Another guild statute mentioning the fur makers' patron saint Catherine is included among the first written documents about fur making history.

3/

Guilds were closely connected with conducting trade. Shoe-making, fur making, tailoring, blacksmith and butchers guilds were the most numerous guilds in the early 18th century (around 1800-2000 in Slovakia).

4/

Fur making was among the most popular crafts in Slovakia. Fur makers used fur from sheep, lamb, fox, wolf and bear. Parts of clothes from fur, mainly coats, jackets, gloves and caps were the most expensive parts of garments. Skilled fur makers were good in fur dyeing and renowned masters embroidered fur garments with wool, silk and cotton.

5/

Industrial revolution and mass production influenced crafts. Some crafts reduced or stopped production. Several special crafts among which fur making may be included maintained the production with help of tradition and specific products.

6/

AKS-Asociácia kožušníkov SlovenskaCrafts including fur making have adopted machine production processes, however, fur making craft has preserved its specific character.