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A woman's back apron, known as a 'volnenik'; predominantly red and pleated and constructed in a clever way. Made from one rectangular piece of fabric, using a red cotton singles warp. Red/black cotton stripes (woven as bands) alternate with red wool stripes (woven as bands). Some areas of the wool ground have geometric motifs, worked in discontinuous supplementary weft, using woollen yarns in two shades of green, orange and cream, dark blue and light green, and two shades of pink. The fabric is gathered and stitched to secure the pleats, aided by the contrasting materials used.in the weft. The top of the apron is sewn onto a red woollen plaited braid; the braid also serves as the ties. Three black cotton velvet bands have been applied to the hem.
- Production date
Length: 57.50 centimetres
Width: 126 centimetres (open)
- Curator's comments
- Text from Eth Doc 1836 (entry 8): A pleated kilt-like skirt worn at the back - volnenik. This garment is fastened to the waist. Together with the apron it forms a kind of kilt-like skirt. The two parts do not join at the sides but reveal the white skirt. The vulnenik is made of a woollen base and weft. The latter differs in thickness and colour. Stripes woven within the weft as that of the base alternate at every one centimetre with stripes of almost the same width but woven with manufactured soft yarn. The latter are woven by means of the brané technique. On the surface one can notice stripes made up of small patterns called troupové. The troupové in the ancient vulnenik were thicker and more varied in colour. However, they gradually disappeared and the surface today is of one colour. The skirts always have several rows of coloured stripes at the bottom edge. The decorative cloth is added by different embroidery work called 'zhabeshki'.
The pleats of the volnenik are made in the following manner: first the cloth is wetted and folded in such a way that the even stripes remain underneath and the coloured above. The coloured patterns should be joined with the respective troupové. The folded cloth is thus rolled up and hung. Some kind of weight is tied to its lower end and is thus left until dried. Once ready the pleats can last a lifetime.
For work in the fields, in some parts of the country the back piece is replaced by an ordinary apron. This [type of] costume is of an ancient Slav origin. This is evident from the comparison made between this costume and the costumes worn by the other Slav peoples. There is evidence that in the past it has been popular throughout the country. It was gradually replaced by other costumes. In the grain-producing regions of the Danubian Plain, however, it continued to be used for quite a long time. During the first several decades of the C20th the two pieces of cloth were replaced by a skirt for the lower part of the body and by the middle of the C20th it became entirely part of the town-type clothing.
Part of a woman's two-apron attire from the village of Boinitsa, Vidin district, north west Bulgaria. Beginning of the C20th.
For other parts of this dress, see:
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Part of a collection of 347 items given by the Bulgarian Committee for Cultural Relations in 1971, together with a full list describing each item, its manufacture and usage, with general account of Bulgarian costume in the different regions (Eth Doc 1836, pp. 21-25); specific information is given under 'Curator's Comment'..
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number