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Bulgarian fabrics - traditions and development, part 4


Bulgarian artistic fabrics shine with all colors of the rainbow, dyed with natural dyes

The UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, meeting in Paris, at its Ninth Session on November 26, 2014, unanimously entered in the World Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage Elements the candidature proposed by Bulgaria “The Tradition of Chiprovtsi Carpet Production ”. To this day, the weavers in Chiprovtsi work on a vertical loom, which is considered an ancient form of weaving technique.

The young people in Chiprovtsi learn to weave both in their families and in groups for weaving and dyeing with natural dyes organized at the school and the community center. Artistic fabrics are characterized by the richness and variety of techniques, colors and compositions. These fabrics can include decorative rugs, fabrics on a horizontal loom, with rhythmic alternation of stripes, scattered in a zigzag pattern, with rhombic patterns and other geometric shapes. There are wonderful examples of colorful woven rugs all over Bulgaria, but if you have to point out the most original, these are those from Teteven, Kotlen, Vidin, Razlog and Samokov. A special place should be given to the Rhodope fabrics. They are characterized by spinning the yarn in its natural color or dyeing with natural dyes. These fabrics exude primary freshness and stylish simplicity. Traditional colors for the Rhodope fabrics are scarlet, burgundy, yellow, orange, cobalt blue, navy blue and black. Depending on the purpose, the colors of the Bulgarian artistic fabrics are determined. In the first place is red, followed by green, blue, black and others. The color red is used not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for magical reasons - according to folk beliefs, the color red repels evil. White and red are used as contrasting colors. The yellow color is rarely used, as people perceive it as a symbol of disease and even death. There are rich traditions of folk weaving in the production of carpets.

Българските тъкани - традиции и развитие

This craft was known to the Slavs and Proto-Bulgarians even before the formation of the Bulgarian state. It has been constantly evolving throughout the thirteen-century history of the Bulgarian people (Krasteva, 1983, 135 et seq.). There are several main carpet centers in Bulgaria: Chiprovtsi, Berkovitsa, Samokov, Kotel and others. The carpets produced in these centers differ in technique, ornamentation and color. The Chiprovtsi and Samokov carpets are dominated by plant ornaments, often geometrized. The main motif for the Chiprovtsi carpets is the tree, as a "tree of life" or a fruit tree. There is the motif flower (flower bush, rose, flower pot, flower vase, flower bush with bird, flower branch), garlands, presented as a wavy curved stem, in the curves of which are located twigs, flowers or leaves. Geometric motifs (triangle, rhomboid, star) are widely used in Kotlen carpets. Very characteristic of the Kotlen carpet is the "curly star" - a diamond with a contour of hooks. The zoomorphic and anthropomorphic motifs, which are found in both the Chiprovtsi and Kotlen carpets, are not distinguished by a great variety of species. Most often these are birds.

Българските тъкани - традиции и развитие

Author: Stefan Bonev

Sources: Hr. Vakarelski, "Ethnography of Bulgaria"


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