Woven garments clothing
Those commonly referred to as garments are divided into two large categories a) womens and b) mens. Each garment may indicate: a) social position (e.g. engaged, married, newly married, widow etc., b) quality and aesthetics of each region (everyday, wedding celebration), c) social class (urban, country). Garments convey information regarding the social and personal identity of people. Within these there is a slow evolution of types that are carried over with difficulty to a standard model that proved to be functional.
Greek garments of the past are influenced by the Turkish domination but also undoubtedly indicate the national dynamics of each garment. Regarding pre-revolutionary clothing our knowledge is hazy. Following the Fall of Constantinople the clothing shapes are interlaced with the clothing designs of the Turks even when they are basically Byzantine.
They are also influenced by clothing designs of the European renaissance and with Venetian standards either as a result of conscious imitation or mandated by a series of laws and regulatory provisions. From the 19th century woolen hand-woven clothing sees a decline and the common preference of all who are able to pay are silk garments. Silk is the symbol of luxury and social rise. The imported material that dominates in imports is English baize, which attempted to replace what was loom-woven. In the 18th century two trends are observed: firstly, animal breeding develops and secondly, a class of immigrant merchants develops that travels and becomes a carrier of new ideas and trends. Woven articles become a commercial, exportable product and a source of wealth, but they remain in the confines of a home industry.
The attempt to improve the woven articles for those who were unable to obtain the new industrial materials concentrated on the improvement of weaving. Aside from the improvement of the manner of weaving the technical equipment was also improved e.g. with the addition of more mitari on the loom. the Ioanninan clothing is presented in three variations. The oldest of the three is comprised of a gold-embroidered shirt, the vrako, the dress, the belt, the kontogouni, the pirpiri and the gold-embroidered headband or imprinted kerchief. The second variation has a short shirt up to the level of the waist, vrako, toumani, sleeveless vest, zipouni, a dress of Middle-eastern origin, apron with belt, pirpiri, a fez with a tassel. The last variation has a shirt, vrako, dress, belt, sash with clasps, pirpiri, gold-embroidered pumps, and fez with a tassel.
The shirt was woven and sewn by women in two one-piece straight panels one for the back and one for the front. By rule it was made of cotton or linen. It had an embroidered décor. Under the shirt they wore the vrako, which was wide, the same material and with embroidery similar to that of the shirt. The sashes were made of thin cotton material and were very long. Over the shirt and the vrako they wore the dress and over that the kontogouni, a coverall, with a one-piece back and front, with sleeves, made of valuable silk pink material. Over the kontogouni in the winter they wore the pirpiri, shaped like a cloak, sleeveless, a type of vest sewn by gold-tailors. It then changed and it became short to the waist with tucks in the back and many bias panels. In the Prefecture of Ioannina we also encounter the vlachiki attire. It includes a shirt or kimiase, white in colour, long to the shin, with sleeves. Initially it was woven and later cotton. It is comprised of the middle portion the manna and the side laggiolia. At the chest, the hemline and the sleeves it was elaborately decorated.
The seggouni or tsipouni is the sleeveless, long; open in front coverall, worn over the shirt and a necessary element of the attire. It is made of wool fabric, black, reaches just above the shirt. The older type has many laggiolia that create pleats on the back portion. It was decorated with multi-coloured cordons.
Also used was a short coverall to the waist, the dolmitsiou or skourtou, with sleeves or without, worn over the seggouni. It was made of wool fabric in a black colour. It was decorated with multi-coloured cordons. Instead of the dolmitsiou the sarikousta could be worn, a coverall that reached below the waist with sleeves, a plain décor, that was impressive with its many-pleated rear surface.
The apron presents a large variety in its cut and décor. The bridal apron was three-ply, made of dark colour cotton. The others were wool, two-ply, made of cotton with multi-coloured cordons and the entire surface sewn in one wool belt, narrow and embroidered.
The undershirt or koptsia, was dark in colour made of cotton, open in front, buttoned with one zava and did not have any embroidery.
The headband of the vlachiki attire is the tsoupari and is comprised of the felt on which a metal diadem is supported, the crown and is supported on the head with kerchiefs wound around and tied at the forehead. A very special portion is the kiptakou, a triangular material placed over the undershirt and ties with two strings behind the neck. It has an intense colour and is decorated with embroidery, beads and capsules and makes the opening of the shirt appear pretty. Women used it to cover their chest when breast-feeding. Ioanninan noblewoman attire. It salvages elements of Byzantine garment tradition. It is dated in the 18th century and indicates the financial robustness of the capital of Ipirus. It is majestic that shows in the details of the construction, in the luxury of the fabrics and the gold-embroidery. It is comprised of a gold-embroidered silk shirt, kavvadi of heavy silk striped fabric decorated inside in the aprons, vest and pirpiri fully embroidered in gold threat, gold-woven belt, gold decorated fez with tassel and kapitseli, shoes with gold threading and pearls in imitation wire-technique.
8) Noblewoman attire or of lady Frosini, an exquisite example of noblewomen attire of the 18th century, where elements of antiquity and Byzantine gold-embroidery can be seen, revived in the Ioanninan workshops during the years of Turkish domination. It is comprised of an off-white shirt and outer heavy coverall. The decorative themes create a sense of nostalgia and imagination which is accentuated by the embroidered birds that appear ready to fly to bring home the sad message of the tragic drowning of the lady in the waters of the lake. It is a prize of the revolutionary body of Ipirus of 1854.
Mens attire. The types of male clothing are more or less common in the entire Balkan region. Two basic types of attire are distinguished, the type close to the Balkan standard and the one close to the western-European standard. Variations are seen in the length, width and colour of clothing. It must be said though that the determination of specific shapes of clothing for men in order to distinguish the population groups of the same area is difficult.
In addition male attire evolved much faster because of the movement of male population abroad but also within the country. Without ever abandoning the traditional handmade attire, however from the 19th century European attire dominates, accompanied by the red fez, and in certain areas the red fez was obligatory, an element mandated by ottoman legislature until the years of liberation.
Basic elements of attire: shirt, foustanela, vraka, kapa or flokata or another coverall, gileki or meintani, socks, undershirt, bourazana, sash, fez, tsarouxia.
Male attire is very simple and the variations not many in order to comprise distinguishing elements of different areas. This occurs because men do not follow local rules of dress and also because the Ipirusites were inclined to move and travel, resulting in their rapid adoption of urban types of dress. The colours white, black and dark blue dominate. Two primary types are discerned: the dimita and the bourazana, which are still worn today. Dimita is a type of sleeveless coverall with grooves, made of simple woven wool called dimito and was comprised of a sleeveless bodice and skirt to the knees. This skirt was sewn from separate laggiolia. The everyday dimita was black in colour while the festive one or that of the noblemen was white. It was sewn by local tailors. This type of dress includes the shirt, the pleated coverall, the kontogouni and the sash. The shirt was called kameasa; it had pleats on the front and a short collar, long sleeves with sleevelets. The everyday one was made of wool fabric while the festive one was made of cotton or atlazi. The kontogouni (tsamantanou) was a black vest worn over the dimito and the shirt. The everyday kontogouni did not have embroidery, but only wool braids and buttoned with hooks and eyes (zaves). At the waist they wore a woven wool sash of a dark blue colour. On their feet they wore socks sewn of white dimito fabric, which reached up to the thighs where they were affixed with a leather strap. The dress was completed by a small round hat (koukoulou or kouko) made of astrakhan fur.
Bourazana was what the shepherds attire used to be called. Literally bourazana is the wool pant. The attire is comprised of blue or white pants called salvari or bourazana, wide at the thighs and narrow at the ankles, a shirt of wool handmade fabric and a black kontogouni with an embroidered décor. It was completed with a wool sash. With this attire men also wore wool undershirts against their skin made of white fabric called skouti. Over this they wore the shirt.
For protection from poor weather conditions they wore heavy coats and capes of thick wool or goats wool. Shepherds wore black capes with or without sleeves, made of goats wool with a hood. It is waterproof and can also be used as a cover at night. Noblemen wore capes of a white colour, especially made to be worn on both sides. One side was smooth and the other had tufts. The neckline was decorated with black felt with small red designs.
There was also the foustanela but its use in pre-revolutionary times was not common. In Syrrako it was worn on national celebrations by the men. The attire of the groom was the foustanela, a shirt with wide sleeves, the pisli, namely a vest that was straight in front, with long sleeves with an unravelled stitch that reached the back, a dimito sash with tassels.
Scientists, mouxtarides and immigrants faithfully followed the fashion of urban centers. More specifically male attire, by region, is cited:
1) Ipirus peasant attire: white pants, bourazana, panovraki or tsaksiri that is similar to the Macedonian salvari or vraka. For everyday wear it is completed with the sleeveless gileki and on holidays with the pisli, a vest with long sleeves that attach to the shoulders and hang freely down the back. The attire includes tsarouxia for the feet and a felt cap for the head or a kalpaki made of astrakhan fur. This attire is primarily found in Ioannina but also where Vlachi and Sarakatsani reside.