- Museum number
A woman's back apron, a 'suknja'; ankle-length, gathered onto a narrow waistband. Made from six panels [46 cms each] of polychrome tabby woven (warp faced) worsted wool cloth; white, yellow, beige, green, blue, red and black warp and black weft; hand stitched. A band of polychrome stylised floral embroidery at hemline; worked in wool yarns (with synthetic). An attractive hand crocheted scalloped trimming stitched to hemline; worked in two shades of purple wool. Ties made from grey/black (faded) plied cotton (?) yarn.
- Production date
- 1930s (donor information)
Length: 89 centimetres
Width: 60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Eth Doc 1892, no. 15c: Made by women from tough thread from goat or sheep. After the thread is dyed and woven it is pleated and the pleats sewn in. After baking in a warm oven the tacking is removed and the skirt bound up. Men are sometimes involved in the work. The cloth in multicoloured vertical stripes of dark red, blue, green, yellow, white, and black is sewn onto a waistband 'venac' or 'podvečnjak' with long, thick, coloured plaited tie cords. The colours are referred to as 'vranska, sarena, or alera'. When worn the skirt has a 'fanned out' or 'butterfly' effect. The hem of the garment is embroidered in multicoloured wool in stylized flowers, using a long stitch technique horizontally, and the hem is edged with homemade mauve and dark purple cotton crochet in a scalloped pattern.
The skirt is tied on firmly inside out, so that when arranged the right side of the embroidery shows. The corners are pulled up and tucked securely under the tie cord, at the back leaving a slight gap. The loose folded piece is then twisted and tucked in giving a fanned effect at the sides with two rows of embroidery curving up to the centre of the back. It is however called 'kola' or wheel. There are variations in the way the skirt is arranged but the overall effect is the same. Watercolour prints in the collection of the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade dated in the early C19th show unpleated material loosely shaped. The skirt is finally firmly secured with a sash.
Religion: Serbian Orthodox.
For other parts of this attire see: 31: shirt/chemise; 32: apron; apron; 34: waistcoat; 35: coin chain; 36: belt-buckle; 37: head ornaments; 38: socks.
Information supplementary to Eth Doc:
For a similar apron, described as from the Sumadija, Central Serbia, see Elizabeth Wayland Barber and Barbara Belle Sloan, 'Resplendent Dress from Southeastern Europe. A History in Layers', Fowler Museum at UCLA.Los Angeles, 2013, p. 42, Fig. 1.24, and in wear, showing how the corners are pulled up at the bakc, pp. 250-1, Figs. 6.35-6.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased by the donor from the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade in 1968.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number