of the examples shown in this article are embroidered with silk threads and
derive from both Croatia proper and Slavonia. They are all embroidered pieces
used to decorate women's caps. These caps were status objects as they were used
as a symbol of adult womanhood and were given after a wedding ceremony. They
were then worn to denote a new stage in a woman's life.
pattern work in all the pieces does show a remarkable similarity to carpet
design work particularly that of Turkish origin. It has to be remembered that
much of the weaving that took place in Croatia and Slavonia during and after
the period of the Turkish Empire, was that of carpet weaving. Even though
Croatia proper was under Turkish occupation for much less time than other areas
of the Balkans including Slavonia, it was always on the border of the Turkish
Empire and would have been strongly influenced by the culture of carpet weaving
that was widespread throughout the Balkans during the Turkish occupation.
with all craft disciplines and particularly when concerned with the often
complex patchwork of cultures and peoples that make up the Balkans, the subject
of Croatian embroidery can only ever be an introduction. Future articles will
take a much more detailed look at much smaller and distinctive areas and
regions of both Croatia and the Balkans in general.
in The Textile Blog by John Hopper