top of page

Green pleated foustan, made of wool, from the beginning of the XX century

Festive costume for young girls, adorned with jewelry and buckles, which determine her readiness to change the status from a girl to a married woman. Only girls who are already „lazarki” have the right to adorn themselves with jewelry on a holiday, in order to declare again that they are already "ideal girls" and can run a home and family.

In the photo, the girl is wearing a white shirt (koshulya) with a rich embroidered decoration, smaller "zapeski" on the sleeves, and their ends are framed with red thread. Above is a dark green finely pleated „foustan” made of wool. It has a cut of a dress with a top attached to the torso and a pleated skirt sewn to it, which gives an oval to the woman's hips. The „fоustan“ is from the beginning of the XX century with a closed bosom, decorated with two vertical strips of velvet, over which the collar of the shirt protrudes. After 1920s the bosom was cut deeper to reveal the embellished embroidered shirt or velvet, satin or silk breastplate tucked underneath.

Green pleated foustan, made of wool, from the beginning of the XX century
Green pleated foustan, made of wool, from the beginning of the XX century

In the villages around Razlog, the pinafore with a closed vest on the top, with a velvet collar and wire buttons hidden under a velvet ribbon is preferred. As can be seen in a variety of colors: scarlet (red), wine (dark red), residual (light green), walnut (brown), ink (deep blue), oily (dark green), orange, etc.

The back of the „foustan” was "folded either in small or large pleats with three or five lines, and in the front there was always a small pocket for money and garlic (to keep from evil eyes) on the right side under the apron."

Зелен плисиран фустан, изработен от вълна, от началото на ХХ век

The double-breasted apron with short fringes – "pusheta", enveloping the body, is popular for the one-apron clothing in the Velingrad region, but also for the “saya” in the Razlog valley, where it is called "futa". In the photo, the girl is wearing a festive apron from 1912 - the period of the Balkan War. In the early twentieth century, red stood out among others and became a favorite of women in the region. It is invariably present in the outer garment or in the most visible element - the apron and in the embroidery on the shirt. The woman makes her own outfit and that is why it is not accidental that it is "written" through the symbols there. This red apron depicts many peacocks stepping on a branch. This is the time when the people of this region are anxiously waiting to join Mother Bulgaria and break with the Ottoman slavery. And the Bulgarian woman shows her Christian affiliation through her clothes (animal images are forbidden by the Koran and the orthodox do not "show off" with them). The symbol of the peacock was not chosen by chance, it is a favorite bird in Christian iconography, connected with the idea of ​​the eternal Revival and the beauty of the Heavenly Paradise. Putting a peacock on her apron, the woman seems to be saying, "I'm a Christian and I'm proud of that."

This apron (futa) was used until the middle of the twentieth century, and the showy fringes emphasize the festive look of the clothing.

Зелен плисиран фустан, изработен от вълна, от началото на ХХ век

Veiled with loose ends with a veil - “kushak”, "sindzirliya" with scarlet color and a chain of roses - hence the name of the veil, which they put on solemn occasions. The legs are shod with knitted woolen socks made of finely twisted woolen yarn with red toes and heels. She is wearing worms.

Зелен плисиран фустан, изработен от вълна, от началото на ХХ век

On the apron is placed a velvet embroidered with beads belt. It is usually worn at a wedding because the buckle belt is a mandatory ingredient in the "gizdilo" donated by the male side. Only in the case of „lazaruvane” she can adorn herself with all the bridal ornaments she takes from her mother or from recently married women. Thus she shows that she is ready to get married and have a child, ie to change her social status and position.

Зелен плисиран фустан, изработен от вълна, от началото на ХХ век

In the twentieth century, the strict rules and prohibitions that were observed began to fade or acquire a freer interpretation.

Thus, the girls on holidays put a nice belt on the “foustan” (the new city costume), and in front of it it is fastened with small buckles, which in this case are perceived as not as the ritually loaded buckles worn at a wedding.


Iva Topalova from Razlog put on the costume.

The costume is from the fund of the Historical Museum - Razlog.

The project "Study of the specifics and richness of national costumes from the Razlog region in the light of cultural diversity" is realized with the financial support of the National Culture Fund under the program "Cultural Heritage".

In fulfillment of the goals of the project we present some of the most beautiful traditional costumes, typical for the Razlog valley in the last 2 centuries.

We offer our sincere thanks to our hosts from the Historical Museum - Razlog, and to all local people who helped with the realization.

Special thanks to all participants and team members who took their time and with useful information, knowledge and valuable advice made possible the work on the project.

A reverence to the girls and boys from the town of Razlog, who stood in front of our camera and with their enthusiasm, youth and beauty revived for a new life the most beautiful costumes from old Mehomiya.


bottom of page