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Suutarinverstas Pikitikin valmistamia perinnejalkineita eli supikkaita eri väreissä. Image Hanna Piipponen

The exhibition at the National Costume Centre of Finland offers a chance to explore the work of a craftsman with traditional footwear. How is pitch thread created, how are stitches formed, and how are traditional Finnish supikkaat (a type of footwear) made? Traditional footwear is a vanishing part of Finnish culture, and only a few still possess the skill to manufacture them.

The tools used to craft supikkaat are traditional, and the shoes are sewn by hand to fit the customer's foot perfectly - including the curled toe. Traditional supikkaat are made from two pieces of leather using a sharp awl and a knife. The pitch thread used in shoemaking is made by plying linen thread. The needle used is a genuine wild boar bristle attached to the thread.

Cobbler Workshop Pikitikki

Hanna Piipponen is a cobbler from North Karelia, who handcrafts supikkaat, lapikkaat, and other traditional footwear in her business. In Tuupovaara, in the shelter of an old elementary school, Pikitikki also creates her own collection of traditional-based footwear as well as leather earrings, bows, and other leather goods.

The name "Pikitikki" comes from the seam made with pitch thread and wild boar bristle.


Cobbler Workshop Pikitikki - Traditions with Pitch Thread

Exhibition at the Alley Gallery in Craft Museum of Finland 20.10.2023–24.3.2024

Craft Museum of Finland
Kauppakatu 25, Jyväskylä
Open Tue-Sun 11-18. 

More information

Marja Liisa Väisänen, curator, National Costume Center of Finland, 
[email protected], t. +358 50 311 8247

Hanna Piipponen, Cobbler Workshop Pikitikki, t. +358 44 979 3568, [email protected]