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Romanian Tapestry – Traditional Patterns that Should be Revived

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Old Traditional Patterns on Romanian Tapestry Wall Carpets that Deserve a Revival

If we look at the traditional Romanian tapestry from Bucovina, 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 woven or embroidered floral patterns, the wool, hemp, linen, silk, all the natural, homemade fabrics were replaced with synthetic fibers.

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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.

Romanian Tapestry Patterns

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.

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The right angled geometric ornaments which look like stairs’ contours are locally known as “țesături în scaune” (lit. chairs).

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Romanian Tapestry Patterns

The traditional means of production are an important part of the process, but the materials and the authentic patterns shouldn’t be ignored, and Bucovina used to have plenty of them. Hemp warp and weft was often preferred in textile weaving tapestry (păretare), with simple design, repeated shapes of alternating colors.

The traditional designs were predominantly geometric (line, rhomb), combined with abstract, geometric floral, vegetal, avian motifs.

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Romanian Tapestry Patterns

Between the most cherished ornamental compositions is worth mentioning types of scoarţe featuring only one motif as a central element, most often vegetal.

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Romanian Tapestry Patterns

Other motifs, such as flower pots, trees, plants with stems and birds resting on branches are commonly found on Romanian tapestry. The year when the piece was made is harmoniously woven in the composition.

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Anthropomorphic motifs (human shape) similar to those seen in the region of Maramureş can also be seen on the Bukovinean scoarţe.

Romanian Tapestry Patterns
Romanian Tapestry Patterns

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

Blog Comments

I am so excited I have found your blog. You are young people single-handedly rediscovering Romania’s rich history, heritage and culture for the rest of the world and keeping it alive. I can’t stop reading your articles, marvelling at the photos and best of all watching your beautiful videos. Congratulations. I am bringing a group to Romania and Bulgaria later this month and will alert them to your blog and read them many of your posts as we travel around the country. Thank you very much for your passion and professionalism and love for your magnificent culture.

Dear Keryn,

I am glad there are still people out there who care about the past in our modern, homogeneous times. I strongly believe we all have a lesson to learn, a lesson about patience and devotion. Thank you for your kind words and I hope you and your group will have a wonderful time discovering Romania’s rich heritage! Gr. Bianca

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