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the tradition of carpet-making in chiprovtsi

THE TRADITION OF CARPET-MAKING IN CHIPROVTSI

This unique Bulgarian tradition of carpet-making became part of the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2014. The handwoven carpets (kilimi) have been made by the women of Chiprovtsi using a unique technique of weaving on a vertical handloom that is unchanged since the 17th century. The weaver takes several threads of the warp with her left hand, interlaces the weft yarn into the warp and uses a small beater to tighten the weave. The women say prayers and make wishes for luck and success before starting a new carpet, and sing and tell stories while working at the loom.

 

Chiprovtsi carpets are and coloured with vivid, long-lasting natural dyes. And because they are made without a single knot, they are uniquely double-sided. Each stage of the detailed weaving is called “doing” and the fulfilment of the background with colour – “filling.” This tradition of carpet-making was nearly lost during the five centuries of Ottoman rule, when Islam forbade the use of actual likenesses of humans, plants, and animals. Instead, local carpet-weavers developed a system of symbolic geometrical forms that are still used in the compositions today. The primary one is the triangle, which indicates masculinity when facing up and femininity when upside down. Other geometric designs are used to represent plants, birds, animals and humans.

Today, there are 27 different motifs that are listed as typical of the Chiprovtsi carpets, each of which represents a particular religious belief of Bulgarians. The peak of production and sales were during the Communist period, but it remains one of the most valuable traditions in the region. In the past several years, Chiprovtsi carpet weaving has enjoyed a significant revival. Chiprovtsi’s carpet festival, organised by town’s municipality, is held in the first week of May. Another event, the Days of the Mountains, occurs at the beginning of August.

We are traditionalists who are passionate about our folklore, culture, food, history, and nature. In order to provide our guests with an unparalleled experience, we explored every nook and cranny of our country. We met the winegrowers, farmers, and the elderly people who shared their stories with us. We simply fell in love with everything what Bulgaria has to offer and can hardly wait to show it to you.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A PRIVATE TOUR AND WANT TO DISCOVER MORE THAN THE TOURIST SIGHTS, THAN YOUR GUIDES ARE WAITING FOR YOU…

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IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A PRIVATE TOUR AND WANT TO DISCOVER MORE THAN THE TOURIST SIGHTS, THAN YOUR GUIDES ARE WAITING FOR YOU…

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