Famous for its gold embroidery, the ancient city of Torzhok in Tver region has always been considered the pride of Russia. This ancient city was founded by Novgorod merchants at the end of XI century. The location was convenient, at the intersection of trade routes. No one passed by, every traveler bought or sold something, and no one left here without miraculous gold embroidery. The country’s only institution that trains masters of gold embroidery is Torzhok art school. Torzhok still maintains and develops the traditions of goldwork masters.
In Torzhok everybody was engaged in gold embroidering – wealthy nobles, daughters of merchants, ordinary citizens, poor peasants. Gold embroidery was considered a real art. Everyone bragged to each other whose textile was embroidered richer.
Once Catherine II herself decided to visit Torzhok. Local craftswomen knew how to surprise the queen. Of course it was gold embroidery. They decided to make for her a dress of blue satin and embroider gold lilies on it. Catherine loved the dress so much that took craftswoman who made such a miracle, with her to St. Petersburg. In St. Petersburg Catherine selected 19 most beautiful girls, sent them to learn the skill to Torzhok. She said that beautiful things should be created only by beautiful people.