Eesti Rahva Muuseum

Kihnu Inlay Glove **

Teacher: Riina Tomberg

Riina Tomberg

Riina Tomberg was born in Tallinn, Estonia, living in Saaremaa, Kuressaare. She graduated from Estonian State Art Institute (Estonian Academy of Arts) as a textile designer in 1981, Master degree in Estonian Academy of Arts folk art department in 2004. Riina participated in expeditions to Finno-Ugric people by the Estonian State Art Institute and Estonian National Museum in 1978-1986. Riina has participated in many national and international exhibitions of textile art since 1980.
Since 1992, she has had a textile studio and knitting workshop Ruut & Triip OÜ in Kuressaare. Since 2000, Riina has been a lecturer in the UT Viljandi Culture Academy Estonian Native Crafts programme. Riina is the author of a book 'Vatt, Troi, Vamsa - Knitted Jackets from West Estonian Islands', published in 2006. She has conducted various workshops on Estonian traditional knitwear.

People are wearing folk costumes in contemporary Kihnu wedding

Riina describes her work as follows: "The inspiration for me lies in the traditional way of life, doing things with your own hands for yourself and the closest people around you. You would like to protect them not only from bad weather, but from anything bad that could come across. I would like to use that kind of thinking in my work, even in modern design."

Inlay motif on Kihnu glove

On Kihnu island, the knitting tradition is still thriving today, and is one of the most popular chapters in Estonian traditional knitting. Kihnu mittens and men's sweaters, trois, are the most popular and vivid items of traditional Estonian knitwear.

Kihnu white gloves were an older type of festivity gloves with an inlay “roositud” pattern on the back of the glove, and with a characteristic red-blue ornament and braids at the cuff. The gloves were worn at the beginning of the 20th century and they were out of use already by 1920. In 2003, Kihnu Roosi, a well-known craft master from Kihnu, said in a letter: “I’m the only one still knitting these gloves, nobody is using them anymore”.

Kihnu inlay gloves

We will knit the cuff and the inlay pattern of these gloves. The yarn we’ll be using is 8/2 wool and the needles, 1,5mm, both included in the participation fee. Participants can bring their favourite knitting needles along with them if they wish. This workshop requires prior experience in knitting.