Crafts have always played an important place in the lives of the Setos. Commercial merchandise arrived here late and thus many types of handicraft have survived well.
A greater amount of women’s handicraft has survived – mainly folk costumes and household textiles. In the old days, young unmarried women and spinsters were mainly the ones engaged in crafts, because running the farm took up most of the time for other women. But in the past, there were very skilled craftswomen for whom it was their livelihood. Women began sewing and weaving at a young age, as a maiden was expected to have a chest full of handicraft by the time she got married. The main types of handicraft were weaving of fabric and belts, crocheting, embroidery and sewing. Seto women’s crafts were recognizable and distinctive, characterized by the size of the patterns, interplay of colours, tones etc. The colourful details are a particular characteristic, above all the selection of colours used for coloured lace.
About Seto women’s handicrafts (in Estonian):
About coloured Seto lace (in Estonian):
Coloured lace days have taken place in Värska in May for over 20 years.
The best-known variety of men’s crafts is ceramics: the making of ceramic bowls and pots from local clay. The largest and most numerous ceramic workshops were located in Saatse and Värska region. Besides ceramics, the Seto region has a good selection of attractive wrought iron work, wrought silver and woodworking.