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The Craft of the Peasant Bags

Romanian Fiber Artist Morar Maria Demonstrates Traditional Loom Weaving a Square Black and White Patterned Peasant Bag Specific to the Village of Straja, Bucovina

The peasant bags (traiste) are accessories of both men and women’s traditional peasant costume.

These days, peasants wear their traditional bag to church, or village celebrations.

Romanian Textiles

Before, when working the fields, or going to the peasant markets, it was used for storing and carrying food.

The bag is woven on a 4 shaft floor loom, with woolen warp and weft yarns. The shoulder strap (baiere) can be a woolen twisted cord, or a fabric woven on a loom.

The motifs range from narrow stripes and geometric square patterns to phytomorphic patterns, in two or more colors.

Peasant Bag

Loom Weaving
Into the Loom Artisan Morar Maria’s Workshop 

Romanian Peasant Bag

The black and white square patterned Romanian textiles are found in Straja, a small village located in the north. It’s one of the last villages in Romania where fiber crafts are a source of pride for the villagers and the houses are still covered with old wooden roof tiles (dranițăa). They are good hearted and hard working people.

Traditional Loom Weaving

Romanian fiber artist Morar Maria has been weaving peasant bags for 15 years. She learned traditional loom weaving from her sister-in-law.

Maria was back from field work when we entered her house. She was a little embarrassed because she didn’t have time to prepare herself.

Romanian Village

Two floor looms were already set up: a small one for the shoulder strap and the other one for the bag.

Traditional Loom Weaving

Instead wound on the back beam, the warp is tied in knots. Each knot is untied as the work progresses. She uses acrylic (pan) fibers.

Traditional Loom Weaving

After showing us how she weaves the shoulder straps, she invited me to have a seat at the other one, and try weaving the bag (the black & white square pattern fabric).

I was a little shaky because I never weaved before, and it really felt like I was doing something important.

VIDEO – Romanian Fiber Artist Morar Maria Demonstrates Traditional Loom Weaving a Square Black and White Patterned Peasant Bag

Read also The Black and White Hand Woven Peasant Bag

Romanian Village

Loom Weaving

loom weaving patterns

Read also Setting Up a Traditional Loom for Weaving: Assembling the Essential Parts

Traditional Loom Weaving

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