The severe nature of the mountaineous region does not contribute to the development of the agriculture; therefore the cattle-breeding is the main walk of life. The historical sources prove that the cattle-breeding has been the way of life ever since BC period. A special breed of sheep has been cultivated in the 1st century best by its meat and wool and the product made of the wool was unsurpassed. Several items made of the lamb wool, better known as milling wool fabrics are of special interest. In those times ship breeders and herdsmen used the lamb wool to cover the tent, but later they started to make clothes, hats, pictures, carpets, bags, felt cloaks, house-shoes and other accessories.
Initially, for manufacturing lamb wool items they used uncolored lamb wool and later they added only natural colors, just white, brown and black. Later (V-VI cc) they began to paint the lamb wool items in red, wine-red and green. To reach the red color they used madder red (Rubia Tinctorum), hawthorn for wine-red, and walnut outer rind for the green color. In our times they lavishly use chemical colors to make items look more attractive and pretty. Lamb wool clothes are not merely warm and nice, they also have curative qualities, –regulating blood-pressure is one out of many…
To make lamb wool is very complex and laborious process, but field specialists say that it is also pleasant and joyful.
Presently, there is the Art House of the Georgian Patriarchate, which welcomes every interested person and one may see the process in live – how they make different religious and public items, like gifts and souvenirs from the lamb wool. For those, who want to master the art, will enjoy the chance to get familiar with the culture of the mountaineous region, where the oldest tradition of the milling wool fabrics has been the dominant. Everyone upon the request will acquire the information about the quality and features of the wool, how the process and production has been changed from the ancient times to this day; they will learn the painting technology and the plants that were used as pigments/colorants or how to elaborate it with modern technology to make decorative lamb wool.