Traditional Weaving in Romanian Villages of Bucovina
I never doubted that people put a lot of time and effort into traditional textile crafts. But three women traditional weaving a folk skirt together was beyond my imagination. They invest so much work into it!
This is an old custom in the Romanian villages, when traditional weavers used to gather and work together, doing different activities like wool spinning, loom weaving and making decorational handicraft. On the other hand, this would not include embroidery of blouses. They were made in privacy and kept hidden very well for great events in the village life.
In the village of Botoșana, Iustina, Veronica and Casandra are gathering at Veroica’s place to weave beautiful and intricate patterns.
In a previous article, we saw Iustina spinning the silk yarn in preparation for weaving, and winding balls of yarn.
She does all the steps to set up the loom and to prepare the yarn for weaving. They use acrylic fibers and weave patterns with metallic and silk yarn.
Using Heddle Rods and Weaving Swords To Pick Up the Pattern
Veronica is weaving and Casandra is picking up the pattern, by use of heddle rods and weaving swords.
The heddle rods are placed under the warp and tied to loops of fine cords, which pass through the appropriate warp threads.
If the heddle rod is pulled downwards, the appropriate warp threads are all lowered at once.
She inserts the weaving sword in the space created between the upper and lower warp yarns and turns the stick so that it is vertical, creating the pattern shed.
The number of heddle rods depends on the complexity of the pattern. This weaving technique can be done by one person, but it requires much effort, since the weaver must take breaks to put the swords in place, as we could see traditional weaver Manoilă Aurica doing in a previous article, while weaving a Romanian blouse.
They follow old patterns from original vintage blouses. Working together, it takes up to 5 days to finish a skirt. Veronica unfolds a finished one, explaining that each row of the border pattern, the grapevine was handpicked.