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 Zagorisian attire was comprised of the shirt or routi, long like the Pogonian one, but not decorated as it was not visible. It was a type of undergarment and nightgown. Another element is the gileki (vest), a sleeveless short coverall, worn over the shirt; initially its use was necessary but with the evolution of clothing it became optional. It was made of two portions, the mostres, namely the front and the back which was made from cloth that was lower in quality than the mostres, which were usually black, brown or blue, decorated with gold in a jagged pattern. It buttoned in the front with a series of zaves. The vests were never decorated with red but with cordons of various colours. The gileki in Zagori were sewn by special tailors.
The konto is a very characteristic element of the Zagorisian attire; it is also a type of coverall, open in the front, with sleeves, without a collar. It was worn over the gileki, buttoned with only one zava low on the chest so the gileki could be seen underneath. It used to be wool and later it was made of baize.
The dress or skirt is the basis of the attire. Initially it was wool but with the passing of time the wool dress ended up being the winter garment of elderly women. It was open at the chest and had similar decoration as the konto, with silk or cotton cordons. Gradually the vest was abandoned and so the opening at the chest of the dress was also abandoned. Prevailing materials are the brocade and the mouare. The bridal Zagorisian attire included a silk dress.
The seggouni is the most expensive and luxurious portion of the Zagorisian attire. It was made by tailors. It is long to the knee, a sleeveless coverall, fitted at the waist, open in front and worn over the dress, leaving the shoulder blades uncovered, with pockets at the belt, always made of cotton material, in a black colour. On account of the financial development of the villages of Zagori the importation of luxurious fabrics began early on, amongst which was the sagiaki that was used for seggounia. Many times the interior of the seggouni is lined with lower quality fabrics or other times it has tassels. It is decorated with red cordons, silk and silk threads.
The skirt was an undergarment for the dress, and worn on the outside in the summer. It was wool woven on the loom and worn over the shirt. The hemline was decorated.
The Zagorisian socks were wool knit with knitting needles.
The most representative type of apron in Zagori is the atlazenia. They were formal-wear in various colours, mainly embroidered with flowers. The embroidery was made of silk thread, initially sewn in webbing and later sewn over the material of the apron. Underneath it had frills. Wool aprons were worn daily. Over the apron they wore the belt. The head of Zagorisian women was covered by a purchased kerchief, the everyday one was white without decoration with sequins at the ends, while the formal one was black cotton or silk, always imported.