Old Traditional Romanian Tapestry Patterns that Should be Revived
If we look at the traditional Romanian tapestry from Bukovina, at what’s currently popular in the area, we see things have changed a lot in the past 80 years. The authentic, traditional geometric patterns have been replaced with strong floral designs, the wool, hemp, linen, silk, all the natural, homemade fabrics were replaced with synthetic fibers.
I know that the development through industrialization has decreased the value of everything around us. Even so, I believe that there are people out there who still appreciate true craftsmanship and who are still creating value, even with higher costs and even if it takes longer.
The traditional modes of production are an important part of the process, but the materials and the authentic patterns shouldn’t be ignored, and Bukovina used to have plenty of them. Hemp warp and weft was often preferred in the making of wall hangings (păretare), featuring a simple design, repeated shapes of alternating colors.
Scoarţele, long and narrow types of wall hangings, are specific to this region. Their ornamental structure displays vertical colored stripes, creating an illusion of room height, combined with geometric ornaments in pastel colors, or repeated stripes of different size.
The right angled geometric ornaments which look like stairs’ contours are locally known as “țesături în scaune” (lit. chairs).
The traditional designs were predominantly geometric (line, rhomb), combined with abstract, geometric floral, vegetal, avian motifs.
Between the most cherished ornamental compositions is worth mentioning types of scoarţe featuring only one motif, most often the tree of life, as a central element.
Other motifs, such as flower pots, trees, plants with stems and birds resting on branches are representations of the tree of life. The year when the piece was made is harmoniously woven in the composition.
Anthropomorphic motifs (human shape), women symbolizing fertility, which can be found on the Bukovinean scoarţe are similar to those seen in the region of Maramureş. When there are seven women, they represent the days of the week.
Peasants were using fruits and vegetable to tan their yarns. Even today, the old colors that we can admire in museums have a lovely charm.
Sources: Tancred Bănățeanu – Arta populară Bucovineană, Ed a II-a, 1975