Pavlovsky Posad is an ancient Russian town, situated about sixty kilometers from Moscow, widely known as the home of hereditary textile workers. To be more precise, the town is known for its printed woolen cloth shawls and kerchiefs. In 1996 the Textile Finishing Factory of Pavlovsky Posad celebrated its 184th anniversary.
All the recipes, the method of dyeing, the techniques of printing were treasured by craftsmen as trade secrets passed from one generation to the next in the family. At times, the secret died with the artisan.
A typical feature of the designs in Pavlovsky shawls can be seen in the vegetable ornament. It usually consists of various flowers with leaves. Most often the flowers are roses, clearly outlined and skilfully arranged. Meadow flowers are also very popular, such as poppies, cornflowers and daisies. Sometimes the vegetative forms are interwined with lace designs and other tracery fitting nicely into the pattern composition.
The flowery ornaments are so realistically reproduced that one becomes conscious of a three-dimentional effect.
As a rule, the emphasis in the composition is laid on the corners, where the comparatively larger forms are, or the smaller forms joined together (in a nosegay, for instance). The arrangement of forms in the corners is made adequate in scale with the small forms (small flowers and buds) scattered here and there in the middle. Other variants in the composition of vegetative ornaments are quite possible.
With every year the wonderful art and craftsmanship of Pavlovsky masters is exerting a growing influence on many other kinds of decorative applied art and producing a stimulating effect on the work of many textile enterprises in this country. This may be judged by the fact that many firms in other countries do not only imitate the traditional character of decorating Pavlovsky shawls with their Russian flowery motifs, but simply copying the best models.