While travelling in Kalamata it is inevitable: the visitor shall hear about the "scarf of Kalamata" and its woven textiles. Weaving is a feminine art, a very-very ancient women's affair, back to Goddess Athena who was a renowned weaver and the mythical Moirai (the Fates) who weaved the fate of men. There are similar legendary narrations in folklore around the scarf. Other times they are motifs of local art and decoration, others allegorical, as a greeting of friendship. All over Greece they sing the song that goes: "If you go to Kalamata, bring me a scarf to tie on my neck". So where does this tradition generate from?
They say that the silk road passed through Kalamata. For centuries it was a product for export and contributed to the city's prosperity and growth and a part of its history. In the 19th cent., many silk factories operated in the city. The nuns of the Monastery of Kalograies had one hundred trainees under their supervision. This is how the tradition was created.
The Monastery of Kalograies was distinguished from its founding at the end of the 18th century for the weaving of silk textiles and became a nursery of the local workshops and a forerunner of the scarf of Kalamata. Indeed, the nuns bred the silk worms themselves and produced tons of silk per annum. The products of the nunnery included silk embroidered vestments, weaves and above all, the silk Kalamata scarf. The looms of the monastery welcome the visitors today and are still working producing scarves.
Nowadays, we find the scarf in the local traditional dance, the "kalamatianos" in which the dancers hold scarves instead of hands or wave them in the air; it is also a basic element of the traditional local costume.