Men’s hats

Sheepskin hats – kalpak

Hats (kalpak) made from black or occasionally white sheepskin were worn by men in all areas of Bulgaria. These hats are made by sewing together pieces of sheepskin and are shaped by using a wooden mould. They are found in three shapes, semi-cylindrical (Sofia and Pomorie areas), cylindrical (along the Stara Planina and Sredna Gora mountains and on the Thracian Plain), and cone-shaped (more common in Dobrudzha). In mountain areas these were also made of fur.

These hats have been worn since the time of the first Bulgarian Kingdom. The remains of the blocks used to make these hats together with needles, awls, thimbles and furriers knives have been found in excavations at Pliska, the capital of the Bulgarian Kingdom between 681 and 893 AD.

Furriers were known to have worked in the towns of Sofia, Shumen, Ruse, Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo, Varna, Lovech, Troyan, Dryanovo, Assenovgrad, and Karnobat during the National Revival period in the nineteenth century.

Cloth skull cap

A red cloth skull cap called a podkapnik was often worn under these. In the west these caps could also be knitted.

Published on 7th June 2018