The Project
The Craftsmen
The Gotse Delchev Region

"vlainka" - rug - Nakie Aminkova, Ribnovo


A special place in the everyday life of people down the Mesta Valley is preserved for decorative textiles produced of various material with a rich range of colours. Hand-weaving was best developed here, in the valley of ancient Nestos (Mesta) where agriculture and cattle breeding have been the main means of livelihood for ages. The lively melodies of shepherds' pipes (kaval) intertwined with the songs of distaffs and spinning-wheels, to find themselves in the picturesque carpets and canopies of Dolen, Ablanitsa and Satovcha villages; in the fleecy rugs, aprons and pillows of Kornitsa, Breznitsa and Lazhnitsa; in the coloured socks of Ribnovo, Kochan, and Dolno Dryanovo.

On vertical and horizontal looms, the skillful hands of local women create unforgettable poetry out of wool, cotton, linen and hemp. Lead by her natural feel for harmony and her love for beauty, the weaver reproduces the crimson sunsets in the Satovcha canopies, the blue waters of Pirin lakes in the Breznitsa woollen blankets and Lazhnitsa rugs, and the beautiful flowers and grasses of Rhodoppean meadows - into the aprons, socks and rugs of Kochan and Vaklinovo.


textiles for aprons - Adile Kadi, Breznitsa

"yambolia" - Maria Chobanova, Satovcha

Textile materials come from the land and cattle: linen, hemp, cotton, sheep and lamb's wool. Everything is hand-processed: shearing, washing, carding, spinning in the long winter nights, colouring and weaving. Natural dyes of plant, animal or mineral origin are most often used. Sound knowledge of the tinctorial features of local plants - roots, stems, flowers, leaves, spices and barks, and technology (time for picking, drying and colouring), brings nature's colours to life in textiles.

"iran" apron - Antoaneta Bektasheva, Pletena

"iran" apron - Antoaneta Bektasheva, Pletena

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