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Yugoslavia: Macedonia, Bigla, Smilevo
Blouse (mintan -- woman's)
1900 - 1937
Plain weave; Pile; Supplementary weft patterning; Applique; Braided
Cotton; Silk; Wool; Brass buttons
24 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. (61.6 x 46.4 cm) overall
Collected by Blanche Payne
TC 78.3-20, t1

This traditional Yugoslavian festival or wedding costume consists of five pieces; all except for the blouse exhibit couching combined with loop and flat stitches to produce a very dense texture. The couching technique used here is the same as Chinese couching, but the choice of colors, motifs and accompanying stitches and needlework produce a very different effect. Loop stitches are used to reinforce edges and to create decorative patches in the belt. Loop and flat stitches create the narrow embroidered bands down the front of the outer garment. The use of heavy wool and braid is characteristic of the Smilevo area. The cross-like figures at the bottom of the outer garment and on the apron may be fertility symbols. Traditionally a bride's coat had 31 of these crosses. -- Label copy for The Elegance of Embroidery, from October 11 to October 28, 1988.

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