In the first half of the 20th century, thanks to the cultivation of industrial hemp and its processing into fiber, Leskovac was also named as Serbian Manchester.
Hemp fiber is characterized by high strength, elasticity, durability and resistance to water. It was used for the production of ropes, cordage, canvas, clothing and shoes, bags, horse equipment, blankets, pearls, etc.
Hemp was mostly rubbed by women firstly by dipping it into the river and, after cleaning and drying, they would, with strong and abrupt movements, strike the hemp with the whip on the “trlica”, until the reed was separated from it and the wad remained, which was used for further processing of hemp and cordage.
VURKE – special ellipse-shaped spinning devices were used for processing wad and “kudelja”.
The photographs show “vurke” from the ethnological collection of the National Museum in Leskovac.