In recent years, tourists have discovered Albania thanks to its idyllic beaches, wild mountains and genuine food. Not everyone knows that the country is stepped in cultural heritage and boasts some of the Balkans’ most skilled artisans that have honed their craft for centuries. Goldsmiths, ceramists, artists, seamstresses can be found throughout Albania, dutifully carrying forward ancient traditions in their workshops, though they’re usually hidden away from public view. Like Artistike Zadrima-Qendra e Artizanat in Lezha, owned by Tereze Gega, one of the greatest seamstresses and designers in Albania, who creates handcrafted textiles, fabrics, clothes and accessories with the help of other women.
There are fascinating stories, people and ancient techniques behind every womanmade object you see in this hidden workshop. Every curious traveler should spend a few hours here learning new things and discovering traditions even locals don’t know about. The story of Artistike Zadrima dates back to 1993 when Tereze started to work at the loom creating unique fabrics. With the help of the Catholic Mission in Albania, Tereze invited some women in need to join and work with her. Thanks to her help, the ancient art of loom work was resumed in Zadrima region with several women involved in the working process of the laboratory, a process which helped create jobs.
Today, Artistike Zadrima employs about 20 women in Lezha and surroundings, with some working from home while others, including Tereze, in the shop. The workshop helps to preserve history, transmit knowledge and inspire a new generation of artisans to find pride in their craft. Not only does Artistike Zadrima promise one-of-a-kind experiences but paying a visit to an artisan studio is one of the best ways to support sustainable, slow tourism in the land of Eagles. At a time when technology and globalization are forcing small businesses to close, your presence and participation in Albania’s artisan workshops helps keep their doors open, literally. Artistike Zadrima sells textiles for the home, traditional clothes, scarves, wallets, bags, and table covers, among others.
Find out more about Artistike Zadrima
Location: Rruga Franz Josef Strauss, near the School “Rrogacionistet”, Lezhë, Albania