The production of hunya is closely related to traditional farming in the Carpathian region. The raw material for this product is sheep's wool, which was sheared from animals in spring. The wool was sorted by quality and color, then steamed with hot water and washed thoroughly with cold. After thorough processing, the wool was dried.
Usually the period of cloth production for hunya was in winter, when women were not busy working in the field. The wool was combed on a "shchit’", a brush made of wooden board with metal teeth. Then wool was spun on the tow, and thus a coarse thread was made. This thread was then used at “krosno” – wooden loom – to produce weaved fabric with long pile on one side. The final stage of production was treatment of the fabric in running water in “valylo”, a special device on a river or mountain stream.
Hunya has a very archaic cut, it was sewn of two rectangular pieces, forming sleeves and neck. The neck and incision on the chest were treated with colored cloth and threads. Usually, hunya is worn slung over the shoulders and tied on the chest with long laces.
The most common were white hunyas, but there are also grey and black ones. The length of the pile and the cut may also differ. For example, for shepherds who graze animals in polonynas, the so-called shepherds’ “kotsovania” hunyas were made. These have long threads added to the woven base, which allow raindrops to flow down in bad weather.
Production of hunya in the Carpathians has traditionally been a home craft. Folk craftswomen independently made these clothes from sheep's wool for their own and family needs. In our time, this production has disappeared in most villages of the region. The village of Richka is now the only center of hunya production in Zakarpattia and the cultural route "The Hunya Road" will open this ancient Carpathian craft to the public.