Carving, woodworking and weaving

The need to be as self-sufficient as possible forced the inhabitants of Sauris to use their ingenuity to create the main, daily used products on-site. Carving and woodworking were carried out by most men, who, during the winter devoted their time to carpentry as well as the construction and repair of equipment, furniture and tools. The most skilled carved intricate objects such as “dàlmine” (wooden clogs, called “khöispn” in Sauris) and carnival masks from maple and alder. A high level of specialisation was required also in activities carried out by blacksmiths, weavers and tailors. In each district, there was a forge (schmite), in which the blacksmith forged the iron parts of the tools and means of transport (carts, sledges). This craftsman carried out also the functions of the farrier. Garments and linen were all packaged in the valley. The women prepared the yarn (linen and hemp were locally cultivated together with wool). Instead, weaving was a traditionally male artisanal activity. Until half way through the 20th century several weavers were still active, who produced fabrics which were subsequently worked by the hands of expert tailors (to produce men’s suits) or tailoresses (those for women and children). Until the 20th century, also some hydraulic factories were operational, which exploited the wealth of the watercourses in the valley: mills, sawmills and cableways.