I don't have much information about motifs, used in bulgarian weaving. I guess there are a lot of people just like me and i figured it would be great if we make a small visual library of such motives. If you have any it would be great to all of us. The beauty of our national designs will be interesting, i believe, not only to us but to most people here. And a such library can make it really easy for us to use these motifs in our contemporarpy designs.

P.S. Since this is an international forum i figured it would be only fair to write and talk and discuss things in english, so others could understand us too and take part in our adventures as well. Hope you agree and have no problem with that :)


bolivian warmi

I know nothing about Bulgarian motifs and I know nothing about Bulgarian weaving. Are you able to tell (or show us) anything about it...traditional or otherwise? Is, for example, band weaving part of the tradition?


In the past almost every bulgarian house had a horizontal loom for weaving everyday house and family nesessities. That means cotton fabric for underwear, woolen national costumes, long rugs which are called "cherga" in bulgarian, pouches, shepherd bags and so on. Different areas in Bulgaria have different styles. There's a lot to be researched on the subject, since weaving is fairly unpopular among bulgarian crafters. These days it's almost impossible to find a working loom here. So i started this group to find people who want to learn more, or know more as a start.

This is a motif from Chiprovski kilim (found ont the internet). These kilims are maybe most famous among bulgarian weaves.

I have no idea if band weaving was popular back then, but i guess there was a need for bands, so they must have been weaved. I'll have to dig more to find out about them.

francorios (not verified)

Nice display! Great idea for a group! I'll be watching! Have a good day! Franco Rios Sacramento Calif.


You are all welcome!

Hopefully there will be something new to see very soon :) Thanks for the support!


very interesting subject. I found the posted pictures very nice. The whole subject of motifs - weaving, knitting, lace, etc. from various ethnicities, nationalites, regions, is fascinating to me.

bolivian warmi

Gosh yes! Miriam Milgram has also studied with the Russian Old Believers whose bands I have been studying and I completely forgot about her site! She was very kind and invited me to visit her in New York last December but I got scared off by the threat of major snow and thought I may not make it out of there!!

francorios (not verified)

Miriam Milgram's is wonderful! I like the little videos! I remember reading about Old Believers Belts. This is a beautiful little website! Thank you for posting it! Franco Rios


Those footages on Miriam Milgram website are wonderful!!! It's pretty sad that those national costumes can be seen almost only in museums these days. The clips were made nearly 22 years ago and now the situation in Bulgaria even in the remote Pirin and Rhodopes regions is different. I as a bulgarian know very little of those traditions in weaving which is very sad and i hope to change that. Thanks for the links, anatcheva !

Aunt Janet (not verified)


How wonderful that you want to know more about your country's weaving tradition.  Your enthusiasm will go a long way to help bring back those traditions.  Thanks for starting this forum.




Although I am not a weaver, I am a collector and student of historical Bulgarian weaving.  Thanks for providing this forum which I think will be very useful i times to come.  We primarily collect historical Bulgarian, Serbian, and related Western Anatolian flat weave textiles and rugs.  Our specialtyinterest are the weavings of the so-called Manastir group which originate in NE Bulgaria and Western Anatolia. We also collect the West Bulgarian textile group with pieces from Chiprovtsy, Pirot and the Voyvoidina among others.


The books, Rugs and Kilims of Bulgaria and Chiprovtsy Kilims written by Dimiter Stankov (1968 and 1970) are the best source for information on Bulgarian weaving motifs and examples of hostorical weavings. There is another book by Dimiter Velev also on Chiprovtsy Kilims that is alos useful, however, this book is very hard to find in the US and all the items listed are only in Bulgarian with some French summaries and annotations.


i would be interested in corresponding wih anyone with similar interests as we are planning a research trip to the region for next year.



Romansroad (not verified)

Is there a place to find information on small Bulgarian looms? 

Romansroad (not verified)

Is there a place to find information on small Bulgarian looms? There is a small rigid heddle of sorts on Ebay right now, and would like to learn more about it, and what they are used for.  Belts, perhaps?


My post got duplicated when I tried to edit it. Please will an admin delete this one and leave the second post. Thanks!


I just found this antique kilim in Turkey, although it is from Western Bulgaria or Serbia. It is unusual to find such an old example and one woven on a narrow loom. Each part os 27 inches wide which shows it is a home woven kilim not one of the later workshop or collective kilims where full width looms were woven. I understand that the motifs are abstracted tree/branch/bird figures. The second related motif in a later kilim, I am unsure of its interpretation or which way up it should be read if anyone has an idea?

Antique Balkan Kilim with tree/bird motifs

Pirot kilim motifs


Hi all,  I'm a new weaver and quite hooked!  I moved to Serbia with my Serbian husband a year ago and bought a handmade 8shaft jacktype floor loom.  Similarly to Bulgaria there's a great heritage of weaving, but few looms or weavers around now and the skills are being lost.  I can't find any groups or guilds - and certainly none that speak English! - and I have great hopes of Weavolution now I've found you all :)

Having only had a term of lessons I'm figuring things out slowly and through trial and error.  I've made lots of scarves, cushions, blankets etc but now want to start on rugs like those you're all talking about with traditional Serbian materials, colours and motifs.

Am i right to think this is really tapestry weaving, with a weft-faced technique?  could it be done successfully on a jack-type floor loom do you think.  should i put everything on just 2 shafts do you think?  Any and all advice gratefully received!

PS. I'm planning a trip to Pirot in E.Serbia later this year and will post some pics if anyone's interested :)

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