Weaving is an ancient Bulgarian craft. Original techniques are used for the making of fabrics for home consumption. The basic raw materials are wool, goat’s hair, linen, hemp and cotton. For dying Bulgarians use mostly colorants of vegetable, animal and mineral origin.
The one-needle-knit exquisite laces and covers are precious decorations for the home. The making of wool-knit and cotton-knit socks requires a lot of time and skill. These patterns are interspersed in a unique way with the colors of nature. Variegated stripes encircle the white socks.
The fancy sewing with gold-lace and beads was once used for clothing decoration. Today Bulgarian craftsmen still make slippers and bootees, decorated with gold-thread and laced beads. According to the beliefs, these are powerful amulets against evil eyes.
Ceramics is an ancient craft, passed on from one generation to the next and from one kin to another. It is an exquisite art, preserving the characteristic features of different styles and epochs. Beautiful clay vessels and pottery have been sculptured by the skillful hands of the masters. The wonderful shapes and colors create a feeling of uniqueness. Warmth and coziness stream out of these objects.
Only a gifted master can look at a piece of wood and see what can come out of it. It takes a lot of love and patience to inspirit twining sprigs, birds and flowers, made of simple pieces of wood. We can see marvelous samples of wood-carving on the ceilings of archaic houses, chests, tables and chairs, or church iconostases…
The technology of bell-making is quite complicated, and masters have always guarded the secret jealously. But that secret holds the unique sense of music and the feeling of beauty and harmony that those masters carried inside their hearts. The bells used to be made with sixteen or nineteen different kinds of “voices” which formed the whole musical scale, with all its tones and semitones.
Coppersmiths’ work is another craft with traditions in Bulgaria. During the centuries, masters have made daily-life items, objects for the cattle and the farm. People say that the best coffee is made in a copper Turkish coffee-pot, and a brandy, heated in a copper vessel, tastes like heavenly honey.