Every book in Halkidiki mentions the handmade textiles woven in several regions. Nowadays, there are only a few weavers but the art is not forgotten. Arnaia had a tradition in weaving, and its textiles were famous and unique. The art of weaving flourished during Ottoman rule –in fact the merchants traveled as far as Constantinople and Moldovlachia to sell them. Up until 1930, weaving was at its peak and the textiles or the silk woven were highly sought after. The whole valley as far as Gerakini, Kalyvia, St. Mammas was full of mulberries (askamies, from the ancient word sykaminos). The weavers were women but some were men for weaving the thicker fabrics.
The refuges brought with them to Ouranoupolis the art of weaving carpets and designs from the East. Joice Loch helped women experiment in new ways of coloring the fabrics from natural material such as roots, peels, leaves and insects, and her husband brought from Mount Athos designs of byzantine patterns and frescoes.
According to the oral testimony of Mrs. Sofia Isaakidou, who was one of the weavers that worked with Loch in 1951, women worked from their houses or in the Prosforiou tower and the couple then assumed the selling of the textiles. As many as 15-20 women wove textiles in her region, and even more in the old days. 2-3 worked together on one carpet that took them about a month to finish. They were paid by the knot and with that money they helped their families or bought their dresses.
* It is worth visiting the Weaving museum of Arnaia.