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Bulgarian fabrics - traditions and development, part 2


"We had something collected, relatives helped us, so we caught with a

caraabadjilak, bought wool, a lot of wool, and distributed it for spinning and

weaving in return for the fabric" - Tsoncho Rodev, "Decision number 1424"

Българските тъкани - традиции и развитие

The economic changes in the Ottoman Empire in the XVIII - XIX centuries led to the development of the textile industry. The production of abi and shayatsi goes from domestic to handicraft and manufacturing. Almost every house in the Balkan and sub-Balkan settlements became a small center of such production. Lively abadji centers in the XVIII - XIX century are Kalofer, Karlovo, Sopot, Gabrovo, Panagyurishte, Koprivshtitsa, Sliven, Kotel, Zheravna, Ustovo, Chepelare, Gostivar, Skopje and Debar. The expansion of domestic and foreign trade also leads to higher technical improvements in weaving techniques. In 1834 in Sliven Dobri Zhelyazkov built the first factory for woolen fabrics, equipped with modern Belgian machines.

Българските тъкани - традиции и развитие

A second such factory was built in 1853 by Mihalaki Gyumyushgerdan in the village of Dermendere (now Parvenets), near Plovdiv. After the Liberation in our country the abadjistvo declined due to the factory production and the gradual lag of the traditional rural costume. Gaitandzhiystvo is a craft associated with the production of multicolored woolen cord (gaitan), used to decorate the aba (Primovski, 1983, 140 - 141). Like abadjistvo, this craft is initially developed within the homework. Gaitandzhiystvo is a typical craft for Gabrovo, Kalofer, Karlovo, Kazanlak, Samokov, Teteven, Troyan, Tryavna and Pirdop. At the beginning of the 19th century the production of braids was mechanized. The braiding chark was introduced, brought from Germany and perfected by the Gabrovo ironworkers. The braided charkas produce several types of braids, depending on the number of threads: osmak (with eight coils), ten and twelve. Gaitandzhi's products were sold throughout the Ottoman Empire and beyond - Romania, Serbia, Egypt and others. The development of these and other crafts such as manufacturing and industrial production, trade in manufactured goods during the Renaissance helped to consolidate the Bulgarian nation, led to the expansion of economic and cultural ties of Bulgarians with near and far countries and peoples.

Author:mStefan Bonev

Sources: Hr. Vakarelski, "Ethnography of Bulgaria


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