The origins of the Bulgarian fabrics and weaving can be traced to hoary antiquity. The works of this art, well preserved to the present day, remind with unique power of the Middle Ages, the antiquity and even prehistoric periods, through some items connected to weaving, the techniques of this craft, the ornaments.
Traditional domestic fabrics in Bulgaria are made of animal and vegetal materials – wool, linen, hemp and in more limited amounts – fur and silk. The main raw material in the creation of traditional fabrics is wool. The key device is the weaving loom – vertical or horizontal. In some parts of middle and western Rodopa mountain people remember the use of an upright loom for wool and goat fabrics intended for bedding and covering. The weaving technique manifests itself in the consecutive interweaving of the woof with the threads at the base and comes from knitting.
A pivotal element of decorative fabrics and folk art is the ornament. There exist several motifs such as animal, vegetal and geometric. Geometric motifs in particular constitute a huge part of the ornamentation of Bulgarian decorative fabrics. Another example are anthropomorphic motifs, common in fabrics from the Dobrudja region, which depict a horseman next to a tree or most often – two horsemen with a female figure between them. Yet another example are astral motifs like the rhomb or the eight-pointed star. Last but not least are motifs connected to popular customs – pitchers and jars.
Among Bulgarian decorative fabrics some serve certain ritual functions, referencing moments of wedding and funeral rites.
The zoomorphic and anthropomorphic styles are characteristic predominantly of Eastern Bulgaria. A key position occupy the images of birds facing each other, in one or two stripes. The bodies of the birds are depicted in a vegetal stylization – four-leafed rosettes with three small branches on the upper and bottom side. In Western Bulgaria vegetal and geometric motifs predominate.
A special group of fabrics is comprised of rugs and carpets. They have few colors. Red dominates, followed by black and in smaller amounts – yellow, orange and white.
Bulgarian applied artists esteem the undisputed value of folk art and a lot of their works embody a perfect, impeccable style, a reflection of the most