Women's aprons regional summary

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Timiş - Lugoj Opreg woven from the 'wrong' side of loom using a mirror.
Timiş - Câmpia Banatului Opreg with coins and metallic thread, gold thread decoration on front apron.
In urban areas from the beginning of the 20th century a wide skirt (fustă) made of 5m of rich material, brocade, cashmere, velvet or silk was worn showing influence from German & Slovak costume.
Caransebeş Front apron called catrinţa made of woollen cloth with horizontal stripes similar to those from Bihor, or woven with gold thread using a special technique, with a mirror underneath so weaver can see the right side.  Opreg worn at back
Oraviţa Opreg has broad piece of woven materials and shorter fringes
Bistra valley Fringed "opreg" worn at back, with narrower woven piece and long fringes. Zadia with vertical polychrome stripes matching the fringes of the opreg worn at front
 Bihor Gathered or pleated single apron called "zadie" made of woven woollen material, or linen decorated with geometrical decoration. Name used depends on exact place, in upper valley of Crişul Negru, apron is called “zapreg”, but in upper valley of Crişul Alb, it is called “cretinţă”.
 Arad Gathered or pleated apron called 'cârpă (type of şorţ) made of  2-3 widths of woven white cotton fabric. Lower part is decorated with woven geometric motifs in red, black, green or orange. Croched lace is attached to the lower edge.
Salaj Work aprons are wider 'spade shaped' and made of blue cotton fabric.
Maramureş, Oaş  
Maramureş Two horizontal striped aprons called " zadii
" are worn. They are woven  in wool using 4 heddles with wide horizontal coloured stripes, often red and black although many other colour variations are now seen.  The apron worn at the back is longer and narrower, the front apron is shorter and wider.
Gathered floral cashmere skirt now often worn instead of zadii in summer.
 Oaş Gathered single apron, made of linen, with a frill at the hem called "zadie" worn over poale and decorated with woven decoration or embroidery. zadii
are now more often made of cashmere or other floral material, and decorated with sequins and braid.
Codru Pleated apron (şorţ încreţit) called zadia made of white homespun linen or more recently factory made cloth worn over white linen skirt. Older women wear black aprons made of satin or silk. Young people now wear aprons made of cashmere wool printed with floral designs.  The apron is decorated with 2-3 rows of tucks above the hem and with lace on the edge. It is tied round the waist using a cord.
Chioar Gathered apron (şurţ) made of hand-woven wool using 4 heddles, It is decorated with plain woven horizontal stripes, or with vertical stripes by using white warp threads and black weft threads  which gives the appearance of diamond motifs.  It is tied round the waist with a 'frâmbie' a woollen cord.
More recently aprons are made of black factory made fabric and are pleated at the waist and tied with a cord. The edges are decorated with black lace and the lower part is decorated with two groups of horizontal circular motifs.
Ţara Lapuşului Older costume has 2 straight aprons called zadie vânătă woven in wool using 4 heddles, with black background for work aprons, and dark blue for festivals. On the lower part a wide band of red, yellow and white woven ornaments are arranged in horizontal rows, with red, yellow and white woollen fringes attached to the hem. Aprons are tied round the waist using 'frimbii' 3-4cm wide woven woollen cords with narrow coloured stripes or small geometric decorations matching the apron colours.
From early 20th century a single wide pleated black apron called şurt home woven from black wool using 4 heddles. The hem and sides are decorated with 3 woven red stripes, the arrangement of these being called 'cununiţă' or 'furculiţă'. The apron is tied round the body with a belt. These aprons are now worn by older women, or for weddings. In some cases they are worn with a back zadie.    
More recently narrower aprons, in bright colours with floral decoration are worn, showing influence from neighbouring Năsăud.
North Transylvania  
Năsăud Narrow aprons called 'zadiă' are worn. These are decorated with horizontal stripes a prag with woven decoration in strong colours.
Cluj Aprons called zadii.
Călăţele (Kalotaszeg) Hungarian, pleated skirt decorated with floral embroidery called 'bogozie' or 'musui', and gathered silk apron decorated with embroidery and ribbons.
Zona Buciumanilor Back apron is a narrow zadie, woven in red wool using 4 heddles. It is decorated with horizontal polychrome woven stripes in dark colours – black, blue, green, and metal thread, with circular motifs and needle lace joined to the hem.
Front apron used to be a narrow zadie but has now been replaced by a gathered şorţ of factory made fabric.
Munţii Apuseni Zadie vânătă worn in pairs. The upper part is black or navy blue with woven decoration only the lower half.
Valea Ampoiului / zona Câmpeni Zadia roşie woven in wool on 4 heddles are worn.  The upper part is black or navy blue, and lower part is red field with a band of woven decoration in white, navy blue, green, red or violet.
Valea Mureşului Superior Zadie vânătă similar to those worn in Cluj & Apuseni but with more decoration on lower part worn west of Reghin, area of Deda).
worn around Topliţa, Bilbor, Corbti and Tulgheş with sober chromatic decoration like those from Moldavia.
Haromszek Hand woven skirt with blue-red-green striped patterns. Bodice can be embroidered or plain red.
Csik In Kazon especially up to 1st World War women wore red-black striped skirt with black velvet borderand white apron decorated with lace.
South Transylvania  
Bran (Braşov) Black fotă pleated at the back with red, gold & silver stripes at the front. This costume type shows the connection with gathered fote found in northern Muntenia.
Petroşani Opreg worn on front , 1/3 fringes, 2/3 apron, back apron catrinţa.
Făgăraş Front apron wider with pleats and red decoration, vertical stripes for married women, young girls more squirls. Older version red woollen front apron with fringe and bands of horizontal decoration near hem made by printing using negative moulds of notched wood.
Sibiu Two black catrinţe worn. These can be decorated with black openwork or , motifs worked in gold thread. From late 19th century in some villages the front catrinţă was replaced by a black or dark coloured Şorţ
 possibly based on the gathered aprons worn by the Saxons in these areas.
Zona Târnavelor
Two black catrinţe worn, ties round waist with Brăcină made of two plaited threads.
Dolj Pleated vâlnic, usually red, with large ornaments on vertical stripes.
Zona Romanaţi, Dolj a) Gathered or pleated vâlnic with geometric multicoloured woven decoration.
b) Two catrinţă
(called “boşcele”, “Zăvelci” “prestelci”or “şoarţe”), woven using 2 heddles, with cotton warp and red wool weft and decorated with multicoloured woven ornaments, in stripes.  From the last quarter of 19the century and the first decade of 20th century the lower part of the apron form a "prag" which is decorated with a group of geometric motifs, representing stylised human or animal forms.  The size of the "prag" indicates the age of the apron, those made in the 19the century have a 2-3 cm prag, newer ones have a 25-30cm prag.
Gorj Vâlnic or two catrinţa are woven with hemp or cotton warp  and woollen weft using four heddles. The decoration comprises narrow horizontal stripes, interspersed with rows of woven motifs, the old pieces with red background, and multicoloured motifs in, white, red, black, yellow, navy blue.  Catrinţă worn in front can have woven decoration arranged in vertical stripes and are called "fâstâc".
Vâlnic have narrower stripes and woven patterns (alesături) in form of rhombus, hooks, spirals, worked in bright colours, blue, red, white, green, peach.
Modern aprons are sometimes made of black velvet with large floral embroidery.
Mehedinţi Black pleated vâlnic ( called zavelca) with silver tinsel decoration or pleated red narrow stripes. In a small area around Filiaşi, a special kind of black vâlnic decorated with 2mm wide silver tinsel (beteală) is worn for festive occasions.
Two narrow catrinţă (called opreg îngust) worn especially in summer.. These are woven either wool, or with a cotton warp, and  woollen weft. The are decorated with woven patterns, in stripes. The front catrinţă has vertical stripes and the back catrinţă has horizontal stripes.
Olt Two catrinţă called zăvelcă vinete, with woven decoration in vertical stripes and decorated with motifs comprising lines or crosses, worked in silver thread or with tinsel (beteală). In communes of Scorniceşti, Poboru, Cungrea (Olt), zăvelcă sewn with coloured beads are worn as well as zăvelcă decorated with tinsel.
Vâlcea Red vâlnic (also called “oreag”) woven in cloth (pânza) using 2 heddles, decorated with broad stripes in red alternated with stripes and small geometric woven motifs ( aleasături) in white, yellow, and black. The opreag can be full (like a skirt) or 3/4 circle forming a gathered back apron.
The latter type is worn with black or navy blue catrinţă  (called “zăvelcă”). This is a woven piece of cloth approx. 80 x 50cm which is decorated with silver or white embroidery.
There are 3 types of zăvelcă
a) zăvelcă în scoarţă – woven with weft completely hidden, and worn at back
b) zăvelcă în pânză – woven using 2 heddles, navy-blue in colour, and decorated with white embroidered motifs arranged in 2 distinct groups and worn worn only in front.
c) zăvelcă cu blana dreaptă – with all surface covered in ornamental motifs. This type is widespread in Vâlcea.
Argeş Fotă are unique as they are made of a square of fabric, with decoration on the border and are worn with apron (catrinţă) in front.
Argeş - Muşcel Older fotă
were black with a wide vertical band of elaborate decoration on front and round hem. More recently fotă
are richly decorated with wide borders of woven motifs in gold or silver thread. Fote worn by brides were white with decoration in rich gold and silver thread.
Zona Buzăului Fotă are called locally “strecătoare”, except in the villages in North East of the zone where they are called catrinţă, as in Moldavia. They are woven in black wool, and have many types:
a) Fotă Oarbă – found in villages Bisoca, Neculele, Jitia, Lopătari, Mânzăleşti (Buzău), which are decorated  with thin coloured stripes.
b) Fotă
cu dungi late - with wide red stripes, found throughout the zone of Buzău.
c) Fotă
cu registre with decoration on the top and stripes alternating with woven patterns (alesături) found around Râmnicu Sărat.
Dâmboviţa Fotă has woven coloured stripe at hem and vertical stripes with geometric ornaments. Old fotă were noted for their sombre geometric decoration, which was replaced with vegetable motifs made using polychrome silk thread.
Prahova Black full pleated fotă is unique. Decorated with horizontal stripes on the hem
Teleorman Two aprons (catrinţa) called  zăvelcă are made of 2 pieces of cloth woven using 4 heddles each approx. 20cm.  In villages around Alexandria they are decorated with  delicate vertical lines and motifs worked on the surface of the cloth. In other villages zăvelci are decorated with horizontal decoration in red and navy blue with white yellow & green forming a small “prag” on the lower part of the apron, which alternates with thin stripes.  Thee is no decoration on the upper part of the apron.
In other parts of Teleorman catrinţă is called boscele This is made of a single piece of woollen cloth woven using a thick cotton warp approx 45cm wide and 85cm long. Red cloth is used for young girls and black for older women. The decoration comprises of multicoloured stripes interspersed with 2 or 3 rows of woven motifs called “alesăturică pe trup”. At the hem a group of compact decorative motifs representing birds, flowers, or stylised human motifs forms a “prag”. Orange or dark red coloured boscele  are sometimes decorated with sequins and small beads.
By the beginning of 20th century black velvet boscele decorated with machine embroidery using coloured wools in floral motifs were worn. This style is based on town fashions.
Ilfov Pleated fotă worn at the back with single apron zăvelcă worn at the front. Due to the proximity of Bucureşti folk costume had almost disappeared by last part of the 19th century. The fotă was made from a rectangular piece of dark red or black woollen cloth woven using 4 heddles and decorated with woven motifs in yellow, white, violet, red or green. The cloth was then pleated into wide folds and fastened on to the waist with a bentiţă of the same material. In some cases these fotă was decorated with a border of geometric motifs, in other cases the motifs were arranged in vertical rows along the edges of the pleats, or were in the form of stars. The zăvelcă was made of a piece of woven wool decorated with horizontal stripes and woven decoration at the lower end a row of geometric motifs formed a 'prag' The  zăvelcă was worn over the fotă.
Vlaşca 3/4 vâlnic called a peştemen made from black or navy cloth worn with a red, yellow and more seldom olive green catrinţa. The lower edge of the catrinţă has a small prag formed by a very compact group of woven motifs and sometimes has plaited fringes around 5cm long, with polychrome beads on the ends.
Women's costumes with either a straight front apron and a gathered back apron or two straight aprons are worn both sides of the Danube and in some places exactly the same costume is worn on adjacent sides i.e. Rousse, Bulgaria and Vlaşca, Muntenia. The only difference being that the red front apron is worn outside the pleated back apron in Bulgaria and inside in Romania.
Câmpia Baraganului Skirt called fustă or androc is made from 5 widths of woven black, red, dark violet, blue or green woollen fabric, woven on 4 heddles, with orange, yellow or white horizontal stripes or woven diamond shaped motifs on the hem. An apron (şort) made of woven coloured cotton fabric and decorated with strips or woven motifs is worn over the front of the skirt. Skirts for summer wear are made of 6 widths of gathered or pleated white fabric. A n apron made of white or red cotton fabric with small stripes and a wide border of woven motifs on  the hem is worn over this.
Tulcea a) Two aprons called  “pestelcă aleasă” made of 2 pieces of woven black or navy blue fabric approx. 60cm wide and joined horizontally are worn by young girls. These are decorated with compact woven motifs forming two vertical borders, with isolated woven geometric  motifs in red, white, yellow, green covering the space in between the borders. Originally pestelcă were worn in pairs, more recently only a single apron was worn at the front. 
b)Single apron - Pestelcă învărgată, striped aprons worn for work are wider (approx. 80cm) and are gathered on a baieră (cord) at the waist
c) Skirt called fustă appeared in last century throughout Danube plain, and especially in Dobrogea. The fustă  worn in villages is made of 4-6 pieces of black, navy blue, dark red, or brown woollen material woven using  2 or 4 heddles or ‘în scriţi’ on 3 heddles. These are sewn together by hand, then folded and attached to the body by a belt. Decorations are made using nevedetură, or in some case woven on 2 heddles with stripes introduced in the warp threads. A different type of skirt called  androc, made of ‘aba’ is worn only for work.
Moldavia - North  
Suceava. North Moldavian fotă are usually dark coloured with an ornamental band on the hem and down one side. The name used is generally catrinţa, crătinţă or prigitoarea.
Zona Rădăuţi Fotă with narrow stripes called “vrâstuţe” are made in 2 colours turned between a single thread. Wide stripes vrâstelescaunele” are inserted between “vrâstuţe”. Certain appear and, “ridicâturi” raised ornaments with “speteaza” (back) executed with thread.
Baziul Dornelor, Fotă (called catrinţa) are decorated with raised motifs called “lopâţica” in green, gold, maroon, and yellow colour on a red background.
Valea Bistriţei/ zona Neamţului. Catrinţe from the end of 19th century are decorated in “roate” (wheels) or half wheels, “brăduleşte". The colours are more vivid.
Moldavia - Central & South  
Bacău Androc are made from fabric with woven geometrical or vegetable motifs (ears of grain) interspersed with monochrome stripes. The fabric is cut in 2 pieces joined at the middle on the horizontal .  Black velvet ribbons, are fixed along the seams and  trims of 4-5cm of black velvet are sewn on the hem. The androc is fixed around the waist by a belt.
Moldavian Csango, Bacău  Fotă is black with patterns only on front (mostly in red).
Gyimes Hand woven fotă in black with thin red, green, blue and yellow stripes.
Ţara Vrancei Fote (catrinţe) are black with stripes (vrâste) and / or geometric or vegetable woven decoration (alesături) in gold thread, or green or blue silk. Catrinţe decorated with with thread and tinsel are called “catrinţe grele
East Moldovia Pestelcă is worn over fustă. Pestelcă is made from different fabric to the fustă and can either have vivid red, yellowish-green, rose, brown, blue, orange, and yellow woven stripes  or woven decorations in stripes called “alesatură pe rost”.  The hem or waistband can be decorated with flowers made of small beads, and edged with a band of black silk and lace (horbotă). The fustă is dark coloured, navy blue, brown or black
Iaşi Older style, woollen fotă slightly gathered, with geometric decoration. Skirts called ‘fustă are worn folded around the waist, with decorative motifs (alesaturi) arranged vertically. On the front part the material is stretched so the rows of alesaturi are arranged one alongside the other. Fuste for weddings are woven on 2 heddles, in fine white wool decorated with hemstitch in cotton on the hem, and are worn folded round the waist.
Zona Vasului Wide ankle length skirt called ‘fustă’ is worn, it is pleated or folded ‘at the ‘belt’. In parts of Bârlad and Valea Tutovei the androc is cut in 2 parts with frills at the hem. The two parts are joined by rows of black velvet or different coloured fabric. In some villages around Bârlad at the beginning of 19th century on festival days a ‘fustă cu coada’ skirt with tail was worn – the back part being longer. Bride’s androcs in Vasului are made from fabric woven in fine white wool and decorated on the bottom with hemstitch, sequins and beds.


© Eliznik2005, First issue Aug-05