How is The Romanian Blouse Made
There are two types of objects in the world: those which break the time barrier, and those which don’t. The things that you throw away without remorse and the things that you choose to keep forever. But some of these things are emotionally charged in ways that command wide recognition.
The famous designers, such as Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, who were inspired by the Romanian blouse, and the paintings of Henri Matisse are clues pointing toward one human being: the Romanian peasant.
You Must Have Seen It So Often It Doesn’t Strike You As A Peasant Art Craft, But It Is
The story of the traditional blouse remains unfinished until we know more about it’s maker. It can not stand independent of it’s maker, because the old time peasant blouses were created for personal use. They contain some kind of magic, a series of beliefs and wishes were transferred into it. When I touch an old blouse, I wonder what did the peasant woman feel, what was she dreaming about when sewing or weaving it? Was she wealthy? Was she poor? Maybe she was getting married. Look at that red thread at the collar! She was afraid of the evil eye!
The Romanian Blouse Before Vs The Romanian Blouse Now
Before we get into the technical details of their craft, I’d like to point out that, unlike the old ones, the blouses that are made today, with few exceptions, are different from a spiritual standpoint. Their purpose seems to have changed. They are not created for personal use, and they lack that spiritual charge that I mentioned. Yet, their craft involves the same age-old methods, which are kept among fewer and fewer peasants.
To better understand the craft and knowledge of a peasant blouse, we searched for an old weaver like Manoila Aurica. She is a genuine 84 years old peasant from Bukovina, and pretty famous in her village, where only a few peasants still keep this tradition. We find her weaving a man’s blouse.
My curiosity pushes me forward to try and understand the peasant. I can see that she is living a traditional life from choice. Her sons, daughters and grandsons are all well prepared people, living in the cities. Weaving is her happiness. She also taught one of her sisters to weave.
I’m listening while watching her weaving. She speaks some words of wisdom, something you don’t hear everyday, especially in our days, when people are just so superficial! She’s like a philosopher! Saying that people should work like ants, that they must enjoy life and know when enough is enough. I also notice that she puts her faith in God and she’s speaking about the human mind as a gift from Him. What a spiritually gifted woman! Imagine the world if all the people were like her! I’m slowly understanding why the old peasant blouses were so charged with spiritual beliefs. People were connected with the nature and the Creator.
I look at her loom and observe the cross drawn on the beater. See what I mean? Even if he is a creator of beauty, the peasant acknowledge that he himself is a creation.
Manoilă Aurica Loom Weaving A Romanian Blouse
The peasant blouse with straight line cuttings, keeps it’s sobriety with simple straight ornaments, at the bottom of sleeves, on shoulders, chest and around the neckline. This style derives from the poncho tunnic.
The cotton fabric is woven on a two-harness loom. In the past, homemade materials, such as hemp yarns, linen, organic cotton, raw silk were employed. Today she’s weaving the sleeve. For the pattern to emerge, she’s weaving with heddle rods and weaving swords. To pick up the pattern, the weaving sword is put into the sheds of the heddle rods.
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