The Gubaňa project brings Slovak wool back to life

Four women want people to acknowledge the quality of Slovak wool.

First products by Gubaňa.First products by Gubaňa. (Source: TASR)

Contrary to the past, when farmers used to process from sheep not only milk and meat but also wool, today the tradition of wool processing is almost extinct in Slovakia. Now four women from the central-Slovak town of Banská Štiavnica are clustering to bring this tradition back to life. Under the trademark Gubaňa, they offer clothing with a modern design produced from Slovak wool.

“We are trying to buy wool from Slovak farmers, and we give them a fair price that pays for them to raise sheep,” said Šárka Minárik, a co-founder of the project, as cited by the TASR newswire. “Today there is no interest in their wool in Slovakia. They either incinerate it, bury or sell it for a few cents to Poland or China.”

They are processing wool from Slovak farmers in one of the last Slovak factories, where it is still done - in a small family business in Lučenec. Then women, mostly pensioners, women on maternity leave or those with low income from the surroundings of Banská Štiavnica hand-knit clothes from it.

“We create our own clothing design,” said Minárik, adding that the goal is not to slip into the folklore clothing offer. “Contrary to this, it is a pure design that should enhance traditional material to the level of contemporary clothing.”

Currently, Gubaňa has on offer the first products from industrially processed and hand-spun wool. These include sweaters and various accessories such as gloves and socks. In the future, they want to process the wool into a cloth, from which they would like to sew coats.

“We would also like to get involved in education so people once again acknowledge the quality of Slovak wool and perceive it as normal material that can be processed and from which one can make super contemporary clothes of high quality,” said Minárik.

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