In Romania, the art of embroidery is preserved until today, just like in many Slavic countries. And there are a lot of craftswomen who continue to decorate folk clothing with stitchwork. The traditional Romanian embroidery looks festive and makes the whole outfit kind of alive and unique. In this material, we’ll talk about the folk costume of Transylvania (central Romania) and its traditional needlework. So, let’s find out what Transylvanians wear and how they embellish their folk dress.
Transylvanian embroidered blouses are richly adorned with needlework. Their necklines are gathered with a drawstring and handmade lace is applied to embellish the neckline. The sleeves are always wide and opulent. The cuffs are also decorative. The sleeve is widened to the cuff and the edge is adorned with lace. But the most characterizing feature of a Romanian blouse is the underarm embroidery called “altiță”. Originally, it was a separate thin rectangular piece of cloth with embroidery sewn to the shoulder of a shirt. Later, it turned into a wide decorative section of a sleeve.
The traditional skirt “fotã” is also called “şorţ intors”, which means “wrap around”. In Transylvania, there is a local name “păstură and zadie”. It is a wrap-around garment. Romanian folk skirts are usually woven and richly decorated with patterns.
Also, men and women use very ornate sheepskin vests. This might be the most embellished garment of Romanian traditional wardrobe. Among the trimmings, are colorful embroidery, yarn pom-pons, braiding, leather and metal decorations, etc. Such a vest is an extremely comfy garment – it helps keep one’s body warm in the wooded and cool Carpathian mountains. Also, it doesn’t restrict movement, as a jacket or coat would.
Married women in Romania – and many other Slavic countries – traditionally wear a headdress. Most often, it is a kerchief. In Transylvania, the kerchief is called “maramă”. It possibly has an oriental origin. The maramă is a thin woven kerchief made from fine wool and embellished with patterns woven into the fabric.