Small, pretty and hidden between cliffs they are bathed by some of the most turquoise waters you’ll ever see.
How are the typical crafts of the Balearic Islands?
Before there were factories, machines or technology everything was handmade: clothes, footwear, furniture … Each product was created from scratch in the same place with the materials offered by the environment and designed on the basis of needs determined.
Craftsmanship says a lot about a place. Through the materials used we can know what resources abound in the area and by their use we can also guess what people were doing, what they did to have fun…
Although with the industrial revolution everything changed, there are still many artisans today who preserve ancient traditions and techniques. In the Balearic Islands many are still working in their small workshops, using their imagination and their hands to create unique pieces that convey the essence of the islands.
These are some of the typical artisan products of the Balearic Islands.
The famous leather sandals with rubber soles that covered the feet of the peasants who had to work a very stony land. They had also other uses later: for soldiers, for typical costumes … and today is the typical shoe for the summer. The footwear industry in the islands was made possible thanks to the avarcas but there are still craftsmen who make these sandals in traditional way with native leather.
The Balearic textile presents very characteristic drawings in the form of tongues of fire; hence they are called fabric of tongues or ikats. The artisans weave natural fibers, like linen and cotton, which are dyed through different techniques to get the prints. With them they make cushions, espadrilles, handbags …
Pitchers, jugs, dishes … these were made already in ancient times molding the mud and baking in an oven at high temperatures. The presence of pottery is common to many cultures and the Balearic Islands were not going to be less. In any of the islands, today, there are workshops that continue to shape the mud to create unique pieces.
Pastries are one of the great artisan pleasures, with which you can enjoy old recipes and authentic flavors. In the Balearic Islands there is a great tradition in terms of sweet products and there are many recipes for making desserts. One of the most famous products is the ensaimada, in all its different versions.
Using the leaves of a palm tree present in the islands, especially Mallorca, baskets of all shapes and sizes are made. Also hats, brooms and palms for Easter were made with this same material. It is usual to find them still in Artá, Capdepera, Palma and Ibiza.
There is a great artisan tradition around blown glass in the islands. Despite the advances in this field, many are still working the glass in the traditional way. It is very common in Mallorca; specifically in Algaida, Campanet and Consell.
Discover the crafts of the Balearic Islands and dive into the history and traditions of these beautiful places.