Apron summary table

Region Summary
Timiș – Lugoj Opreg woven from the ‘wrong’ side of loom using a mirror.
Timiș – Câmpia Banatului Opreg with coins and metallic thread, gold thread decoration on front apron.
In urban areas from the beginning of the 20th century a wide skirt (fustă) made of 5m of rich material, brocade, cashmere, velvet or silk was worn showing influence from German & Slovak costume.
Caransebeș Front apron called catrința made of woollen cloth with horizontal stripes similar to those from Bihor, or woven with gold thread using a special technique, with a mirror underneath so weaver can see the right side. Opreg worn at the back.
Oravița Opreg has broad piece of woven materials and shorter fringes.
Bistra valley Fringed opreg worn at back, with narrower woven piece and long fringes. Zadia with vertical polychrome stripes matching the fringes of the opreg worn at front.
Bihor Gathered or pleated single apron called zadie made of woven woollen material, or linen decorated with geometrical decoration. Name used depends on exact place, in upper valley of Crișul Negru, apron is called zapreg, but in upper valley of Crișul Alb, it is called cretință.
Arad Gathered or pleated apron called cârpă (type of șorț) made of 2-3 widths of woven white cotton fabric. Lower part is decorated with woven geometric motifs in red, black, green or orange. Crochet lace is attached to the lower edge.
Salaj Work aprons are wider ‘spade shaped’ and made of blue cotton fabric.
Maramureș, Oaș
Maramureș Two horizontal striped aprons called zadii are worn. They are woven in wool using 4 heddles with wide horizontal coloured stripes, often red and black although many other colour variations are now seen. The apron worn at the back is longer and narrower; the front apron is shorter and wider.
Gathered floral cashmere skirt now often worn instead of zadii in summer.
Oaș Gathered single apron, made of linen, with a frill at the hem called zadie worn over poale and decorated with woven decoration or embroidery. Zadii are now more often made of cashmere or other floral material, and decorated with sequins and braid.
Codru Pleated apron (șorț încrețit) called zadia made of white homespun linen or more recently factory made cloth worn over white linen skirt. Older women wear black aprons made of satin or silk. Young people now wear aprons made of cashmere wool printed with floral designs. The apron is decorated with 2-3 rows of tucks above the hem and with lace on the edge. It is tied round the waist using a cord.
Chioar Gathered apron (șurț) made of hand-woven wool using 4 heddles, It is decorated with plain woven horizontal stripes, or with vertical stripes by using white warp threads and black weft threads which gives the appearance of diamond motifs. It is tied round the waist with a woollen cord called frâmbie.
More recently aprons are made of black factory made fabric and are pleated at the waist and tied with a cord. The edges are decorated with black lace and the lower part is decorated with two groups of horizontal circular motifs.
Țara Lapușului Older costume has 2 straight aprons called zadie vânătă woven in wool using 4 heddles, with black background for work aprons, and dark blue for festivals. On the lower part a wide band of red, yellow and white woven ornaments are arranged in horizontal rows, with red, yellow and white woollen fringes attached to the hem. Aprons are tied round the waist using frimbii 3-4cm wide woven woollen cords with narrow coloured stripes or small geometric decorations matching the apron colours.
From early 20th century a single wide pleated black apron called șurt was home woven from black wool using 4 heddles. The hem and sides are decorated with 3 woven red stripes, the arrangement of these being called cununiță or furculiță. The apron is tied round the body with a belt. These aprons are now worn by older women, or for weddings. In some cases they are worn with a back zadie.
More recently narrower aprons, in bright colours with floral decoration are worn, showing influence from neighbouring Năsăud.
North Transylvania
Năsăud Narrow aprons called zadiă are worn. These are decorated with horizontal stripes a prag with woven decoration in strong colours.
Cluj Aprons called zadii.
Călățele (Kalotaszeg) Hungarian, pleated skirt decorated with floral embroidery called ‘bogozie‘ or ‘musui‘, and gathered silk apron decorated with embroidery and ribbons.
Zona Buciumanilor Back apron is a narrow zadie, woven in red wool using 4 heddles. It is decorated with horizontal polychrome woven stripes in dark colours – black, blue, green, and metal thread, with circular motifs and needle lace joined to the hem.
Front apron used to be a narrow zadie but has now been replaced by a gathered șorț of factory made fabric.
Munții Apuseni Zadie vânătă worn in pairs. The upper part is black or navy blue with woven decoration only the lower half.
Valea Ampoiului / Zona Câmpeni Zadia roșie woven in wool on 4 heddles are worn. The upper part is black or navy blue, and lower part has red background with a band of woven decoration in white, navy blue, green, red or violet.
Valea Mureșului Superior Zadie vânătă similar to those worn in Cluj and Apuseni mountains but with more decoration on the lower part west of Reghin, in the area of Deda.
worn around Toplița, Bilbor, Corbti and Tulgheș have subdued chromatic decoration like those from Moldavia.
Haromszek Hand woven skirt with blue-red-green striped patterns. Bodice can be embroidered or plain red.
Csik In Kazon especially up to First World War women wore red-black striped skirt with black velvet border and white apron decorated with lace.
South Transylvania
Bran (Brașov) Black fotă pleated at the back with red, gold and silver stripes at the front. This costume type shows the connection with gathered fote found in northern Muntenia.
Petroșani Opreg worn on front , 1/3 fringes, 2/3 apron, back apron catrința.
Făgăraș Front apron wider with pleats and red decoration, vertical stripes for married women, young girls aprons decorated with squirls. Older version has red woollen front apron with fringe and bands of horizontal decoration near hem made by printing using negative moulds of notched wood.
Sibiu Two black catrințe worn. These can be decorated with black openwork or motifs worked in gold thread. From late 19th century in some villages the front catrință was replaced by a black or dark coloured șorț possibly based on the gathered aprons worn by the Saxons in these areas.
Zona Târnavelor Two black catrințe worn tied round waist with brăcină made of two plaited threads.
Dolj Pleated vâlnic, usually red, with large ornaments on vertical stripes.
Zona Romanați, Dolj a) Gathered or pleated vâlnic with geometric multicoloured woven decoration.
Two catrință (called boșcele, Zăvelci, prestelci or șoarțe), woven using 2 heddles, with cotton warp and red wool weft and decorated with multicoloured woven ornaments, in stripes. From the last quarter of 19th century and the first decade of 20th century the lower part of the apron forms a prag which is decorated with a group of geometric motifs, representing stylised human or animal forms. The size of the prag indicates the age of the apron, those made in the 19th century have a 2-3 cm prag, newer ones have a 25-30cm prag.
Gorj Vâlnic or two catrința are woven with hemp or cotton warp and woollen weft using 4 heddles. The decoration comprises narrow horizontal stripes, interspersed with rows of woven motifs, the old pieces with red background, and multicoloured motifs in white, red, black, yellow, navy blue. Catrințe worn in front are called fâstâcand can have woven decoration arranged in vertical stripes and.
Vâlnic have narrower stripes and woven patterns (alesături) in form of rhombuses, hooks, spirals, worked in bright colours, blue, red, white, green, peach.
Modern aprons are sometimes made of black velvet with large floral embroidery.
Mehedinți Black pleated vâlnic (called zavelca) with silver tinsel decoration or pleated red narrow stripes. In a small area around Filiași, a special kind of black vâlnic decorated with 2mm wide silver tinsel (beteală) is worn for festive occasions.
Two narrow catrință (called opreg îngust) worn especially in summer.. These are woven either wool, or with a cotton warp, and woollen weft. These are decorated with woven patterns, in stripes. The front catrință has vertical stripes and the back catrință has horizontal stripes.
Olt Two catrință called zăvelcă vinete (blue aprons), with woven decoration in vertical stripes and decorated with motifs comprising lines or crosses, worked in silver thread or with tinsel (beteală). In communes of Scornicești, Poboru, Cungrea (Olt), zăvelcă sewn with coloured beads are worn as well as zăvelcă decorated with tinsel.
Vâlcea Red vâlnic (also called oreag) woven in cloth (pânza) using 2 heddles, decorated with broad stripes in red alternated with stripes and small geometric woven motifs (aleasături) in white, yellow, and black. The opreag can be full (like a skirt) or 3/4 circle forming a gathered back apron.
The latter type is worn with black or navy blue catrință (called zăvelcă). This is a woven piece of cloth approx. 80x50cm which is decorated with silver or white embroidery.
There are three types of zăvelcă:

  1. zăvelcă în scoarță – woven with weft completely hidden, and worn at back
  2. zăvelcă în pânză – woven using 2 heddles, navy-blue in colour, and decorated with white embroidered motifs arranged in 2 distinct groups and worn only in front.
  3. zăvelcă cu blana dreaptă – with all surface covered in ornamental motifs. This type is widespread in Vâlcea.
Argeș Fotă made of a square of fabric, with decoration on the border worn with apron (catrință) in front.
Argeș – Mușcel Older fotă were black with a wide vertical band of elaborate decoration on front and round hem. More recently fotă are richly decorated with wide borders of woven motifs in gold or silver thread. Fote worn by brides were white with decoration in rich gold and silver thread.
Zona Buzăului Fotă are called locally strecătoare, except in the villages in north east of the zone where they are called catrință, as in Moldavia. They are woven in black wool, and have many types:
a) Fotă Oarbă – found in villages Bisoca, Neculele, Jitia, Lopătari, Mânzălești (Buzău), which are decorated with thin coloured stripes.
b) Fotă
cu dungi late – with wide red stripes, found throughout the zone of Buzău.
c) Fotă
cu registre with decoration on the top and stripes alternating with woven patterns (alesături) found around Râmnicu Sărat.
Dâmbovița Fotă has woven coloured stripe at hem and vertical stripes with geometric ornaments. Old fotă were noted for their sombre geometric decoration, which was replaced with vegetable motifs made using polychrome silk thread.
Prahova Black full pleated fotă decorated with horizontal stripes on the hem.
Teleorman Two aprons (catrința) called zăvelcă are made of 2 pieces of cloth woven using 4 heddles each approx. 20cm. In villages around Alexandria they are decorated with delicate vertical lines and motifs worked on the surface of the cloth. In other villages zăvelci are decorated with horizontal decoration in red and navy blue with white yellow and green forming a small prag on the lower part of the apron, which alternates with thin stripes. There is no decoration on the upper part of the apron.
In other parts of Teleorman catrință is called boscele. This is made of a single piece of woollen cloth woven using a thick cotton warp approx 45cm wide and 85cm long. Red cloth is used for young girls and black for older women. The decoration comprises of multicoloured stripes interspersed with 2 or 3 rows of woven motifs called alesăturică pe trup. At the hem a group of compact decorative motifs representing birds, flowers, or stylised human motifs forms a prag. Orange or dark red coloured boscele are sometimes decorated with sequins and small beads.
By the beginning of 20th century black velvet boscele decorated with machine embroidery using coloured wools in floral motifs were worn. This style is based on town fashions.
Ilfov Pleated fotă worn at the back with single apron zăvelcă worn at the front. Due to the proximity of Bucharest folk costume had almost disappeared by last part of the 19th century. The fotă was made from a rectangular piece of dark red or black woollen cloth woven using 4 heddles and decorated with woven motifs in yellow, white, violet, red or green. The cloth was then pleated into wide folds and fastened on to the waist with a bentiță of the same material. In some cases these fotă was decorated with a border of geometric motifs, in other cases the motifs were arranged in vertical rows along the edges of the pleats, or were in the form of stars. The zăvelcă was made of a piece of woven wool decorated with horizontal stripes and woven decoration. At the lower end a row of geometric motifs formed a ‘prag’ The zăvelcă was worn over the fotă.
Vlașca 3/4 vâlnic calleda peștemen made from black or navy cloth worn with a red, yellow and more seldom olive green catrința. The lower edge of the catrință has a small prag formed by a very compact group of woven motifs and sometimes has plaited fringes around 5cm long, with polychrome beads on the ends.
Women’s costumes with either a straight front apron and a gathered back apron or two straight aprons are worn both sides of the Danube and in some places exactly the same costume is worn on adjacent sides, for example Rousse, Bulgaria and Vlașca, Muntenia. The only difference is that the red front apron is worn outside the pleated back apron in Bulgaria and inside in Romania.
Câmpia Baraganului Skirt called fustă or androc is made from 5 widths of woven black, red, dark violet, blue or green woollen fabric, woven on 4 heddles, with orange, yellow or white horizontal stripes or woven diamond shaped motifs on the hem. An apron (șort) made of woven coloured cotton fabric and decorated with strips or woven motifs is worn over the front of the skirt. Skirts for summer wear are made of 6 widths of gathered or pleated white fabric. An apron made of white or red cotton fabric with small stripes and a wide border of woven motifs on the hem is worn over the skirt.
  1. Two aprons called pestelcă aleasă made of two pieces of woven black or navy blue fabric approx. 60cm wide and joined horizontally are worn by young girls. These are decorated with compact woven motifs forming two vertical borders, with isolated woven diamond shaped geometric motifs in red, white, yellow, green covering the space in between the borders. Originally pestelcă were worn in pairs, more recently only a single apron is worn at the front.
  2. Single apron – Pestelcă învărgată, striped aprons worn for work are wider (approx. 80cm) and are gathered on a baieră (cord) at the waist.
  3. Skirt called fustă appeared in last century throughout Danube plain, and especially in Dobrogea. The fustă worn in villages is made of 4-6 pieces of black, navy blue, dark red, or brown woollen material woven using 2 or 4 heddles or ‘în scriți’ on 3 heddles. These are sewn together by hand, then folded and attached to the body by a belt. Decorations are made using nevedetură, or in some case woven on 2 heddles with stripes introduced in the warp threads. A different type of skirt called androc, made of aba is worn only for work.
Moldavia – North
Suceava. North Moldavian fotă are usually dark coloured with an ornamental band on the hem and down one side. The name used is generally catrința, crătință or prigitoarea.
Zona Rădăuți Fotă with narrow stripes called vrâstuțe are made in two colours turned into a single thread. Wide stripes vrâstelescaunele” are inserted between vrâstuțe. Some have ridicâturi raised ornaments with speteaza (back) executed with thread.
Baziul Dornelor, Fotă (called catrința) are decorated with raised motifs called lopâțica in green, gold, maroon, and yellow colour on a red background.
Valea Bistriței and zona Neamțului. Catrințe from the end of 19th century are decorated in “roate” (wheels) or half wheels, brădulește. The colours are more vivid.
Moldavia – Central & South
Bacău Androc are made from fabric with woven geometrical or vegetable motifs (ears of grain) interspersed with monochrome stripes. The fabric is cut in 2 pieces joined at the middle on the horizontal edge . Black velvet ribbons, are fixed along the seams and a trim of 4-5cm of black velvet is sewn on the hem. The androc is fixed around the waist by a belt.
Moldavian Csango, Bacău Fotă is black with patterns only on front (mostly in red).
Gyimes Hand woven fotă in black with thin red, green, blue and yellow stripes.
Țara Vrancei Fote (catrințe) are black with stripes (vrâste) and / or geometric or vegetable woven decoration (alesături) in gold thread, or green or blue silk. Catrințe decorated with thread and tinsel are called catrințe grele.
East Moldovia Pestelcă is worn over fustă. Pestelcă is made from different fabric to the fustă and can either have vivid red, yellowish-green, rose, brown, blue, orange, and yellow woven stripes or woven decorations in stripes called alesatură pe rost. The hem or waistband can be decorated with flowers made of small beads, and edged with a band of black silk and lace (horbotă). The fustă is dark coloured, navy blue, brown or black.
Iași Older style, woollen fotă slightly gathered, with geometric decoration. Skirts called ‘fustă are worn folded around the waist, with decorative motifs (alesaturi) arranged vertically. On the front part the material is stretched so the rows of alesaturi are arranged one alongside the other. Fuste for weddings are woven on 2 heddles, in fine white wool decorated with hemstitch in cotton on the hem, and are worn folded round the waist.
Zona Vasului Wide ankle length skirt called fustă is worn, it is pleated or folded ‘at the ‘belt’. In parts of Bârlad and Valea Tutovei the androc is cut in two parts with frills at the hem. The two parts are joined by rows of black velvet or different coloured fabric. In some villages around Bârlad at the beginning of 19th century on festival days a fustă cu coada skirt with tail was worn – the back part being longer. Bride’s androcs in Vasului are made from fabric woven in fine white wool and decorated on the bottom with hemstitch, sequins and beds.


Published on 11th February 2018