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Šestine Umbrellas – From Japan to USA

Šestine umbrella -symbol of Zagreb (Photo credit: J Duval/Zagreb Tourist Board)

One of the recognisable symbols of the Croatian capital Zagreb is the Šestine umbrella.

The Šestine umbrella dates back to the mid 18th century. It is a part of the folk costume worn in the Šestine area of Zagreb and a recognizable souvenir of Croatia’s capital.

The art of making Šestine umbrellas by the traditional Cerovečki Crafts is a part of the Register of protected non-material cultural goods of Croatia.

Šestine Umbrella (Photo credit: Cerovečki Crafts)

Šestine umbrella is characterized by the red cotton canopy with multicolored horizontal stripes on the edges, thick wooden shaft, and naturally crooked chestnut handle.

Since 1936 Cerovečki have produced the umbrellas and have won a number of awards, including the Grand Prix London, and are now protecting people with their traditional umbrellas from rain, and sun, all around the world – from Japan to India.

The story, however, began back in 1912 when Mijo Cepanec started his umbrella artisan shop in Varaždin called „Cepanec”.

Another tourist takes away an umbrella as a souvenir (Photo credit: Cerovečki Crafts)

His business grew and he took on his nephew Gabrijel Cerovečki to teach him the ropes. The demand for their handmade umbrellas grew and in 1936 Mr. Cepanec opened another shop at 19 Ilica Street in Zagreb, where Gabrijel took over after finishing his apprenticeship and passing the Pre-Master and Master umbrella maker examination. 

Today the shop is located at 49 Ilica Street and is visited by a lot of tourists who pick up the popular souvenir. Their umbrellas have headed off to all corners of the world, from Japan to America.

(Photo credit: Cerovečki Crafts)

(Photo credit: Cerovečki Crafts)

“We made the Šestine umbrellas for the Japanese market and have even had the pleasure of making a replica of a mid 19th century ladies parasol for the Japanese Princess. The parasol was a custom made gift from the City of Zagreb when she visited our capital. Many companies, embassies, ministries, the Office of the Chief of Protocol etc. have acknowledged our commitment to top quality by ordering our products as gifts for other statesmen or business partners. Most popular gift seems to be the charming and recognizable Šestine umbrella,” they said.

All the umbrellas are handmade and a lot of time and effort is required to make them. The making of the umbrellas includes knitting, sewing, joining of all the parts and assembly of handles. For each umbrella, almost three hours of work is needed.

(Photo credit: Cerovečki Crafts)

Dolac markets in Zagreb (Photo credit: J Duval/Zagreb Tourist Board)

You can check out more about Cerovečki Crafts on their website.

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