A Romanian traditional clothing item, the peasant blouses was and is close to our heart. The rich, unique, handmade and painstakingly embroideries, fascinate by their beauty and originality. The symbols embroidered on the front, back or sleeves talk about the women’s life and family who sewed these shirts, about the geography area in which they were made, and the crafts’ preoccupations about the village as well.
There are not simple drawings sewn on canvas, there are true magic symbols, meant to bring luck to the one that would wear the peasant blouse, to defend the bad luck and evil. But what is the meaning of this motifs and what is the story of Romanian peasant blouses. As we proposed you in a previous material, let’s discover them together!
A motif frequently embroidered on the Romanian peasant blouses is the solar motif, highlighted either as sun or sunflower form, either stylized, with a form of circle. It is an ancestral symbol that speaks about deity, the sun’s warmth, life-giving and generating wealth, but also about the cycle of life.
A special symbol of the weavers from Romania, as it illustrates the essence of life, just as the wheel – it can symbolize the wheel of life, which is twisting incessantly, and also, the craft concern from some Romanian villages.
Floral or vegetable symbols
Very common on the Romanian peasant blouses are the motifs inspired by nature. Tree or its branches, stylized, symbolizes permanence, wisdom, rebirth or life. Leaf vine and bunches of grapes, embroidered with green, purple or blue thread, talk about the preoccupation of people from that area (villages located near the vineyards, where the main activity was related to merchandising with wine), but also, about the wealth and abundance.
The green leaves or coloured flowers are a symbol of prosperity and freshness and are worn with affection both from village girls, both from mature women, mothers or grandmothers. The four-leaf clover is a rare model that symbolizes and attracts the good fortune in life and the rose, tulip, lily flower or floral cherry are among the favourite floral motifs for the weavers.
The Romanian traditional shirts collected from mountainous regions have often embroidered natural elements specific to this area, such as cones and pine needles, while on the peasant blouses worn at flatland, we observe elements of agrarian type, related to the harvest (wheat ear, corn).
Symbols inspired by activities
There are few embroideries inspired by everyday life of the Romanian village, such as the wheel or the coins – in the craftsmen villages or fish – in fishing villages.
Stylized or geometrical symbols
Stylized geometrical motifs enrich the Romanian traditional peasant blouses, such as diamonds, squares or circles.
The straight lines symbolize the right path in life, the social ascension and the augmentation.
The circles talk about the life’s cyclicality or about the divinity.
Other symbols often found are so-called “hooks” – that attract the wealth and they “catch” in place, “small snails” – stylized spirals, a very old pattern, with a great spirituality load, the crosses – a symbol linked to spirituality and evolution, “little eyes “- ovoid pattern, with the shape of the eye, or the “string” model- that symbolizes the thread of life.
The colours have a great importance in Romanian folk garb, being specific to the geographic area where it was made the peasant blouse, but appropriate to the age of the woman who was going to wear, and her social status as wells. A peasant blouse richly decorated with ornaments from silk, beads and other precious applications was worn on holiday. The same peasant blouse could have been integrated into the daily garb, if it had belonged to a wealthy woman.
Young girls in the village, unmarried, preferred the cheerful coloured peasant blouses (combinations of red, yellow, pink or other light shades), while the sober colours (black, brown, dark green, gold) were the favourites of mature women, reached at a certain age and having a certain social status. These colours were considered appropriate for the age of the owner, doing a credit to a life worn with decency.
But the colour offers other details about the peasant blouses: the blue and the silver were used to symbolize water and rivers (a common motif in Romanian popular culture), the gold and green were colours used to represent the plain, red and brown – mountainous areas.
You will concern the peasant blouses with other eyes from now on, won’t you? We are sure that their stories will seem to you much more beautiful. We invite you to discover the online store florideie.ro and to choose your favourite peasant blouse from our collection of decades old shirts. We are waiting to share us your choice!