The folk costume

The folk costume is one of the most important forms of culture of a people, being the basis for many research: the historical genesis and the milestones of evolution, the contemporary forms and the range, its originality compared with the other people’s folk costumes, its contribution to the genesis of a people.

Within the Romanian folk costumes, the costume from Marginimea Sibiului occupies a special place because of its note of elegance, sobriety and simplicity, which is why at the beginning of the XXth century, the Romanian intellectuals in Transylvania adopted it as a national emblem.

Human care and attention for his appearance has always been a defining element of humanity. Although fashion changes from year to year and people often fall prey to the temptation to comply to it, clothes are transformed to carry social, moral, aesthetic and social hierarchy messages.

In the following lines we will complete the picture, marking the defining elements for both female and male folk costume, according to each piece of clothing.

Head coverings and ornaments

Women’s folk costume

The piece of clothing that covers the head has several names, such as cloth (specific to the folk costume of Sălişte, worn on weekdays, black), pahiol (made of silk, with a texture like Maram, lightweight and having a complicated system of clamping ), velitura. The latter is considered by authors as „the most complicated head shawl of one known in the Romanian space “(p.12), having two components: vâlitura, which forms the helmet and ciurelul, a thin veil that lies over it and also secures the head. The complexity of this velitura is confirmed by the existence of several types: a) of Poiana type considered a primary type of velitura, having a circumference of about 65 cm, almost round; b) of Jina type, is characterized by an accessory element, namely the paperboard supporting the vâlitura; c) of Rod type, in which the folds of the vâlitura are no longer transversely, but anterior-posterior.

Men’s folk costume

The hat and the cap are the two invariant elements in the men’s folk costume in this area, varying in shape, size, composition.

The hat is black, small, having small brims and worn in less cool seasons and on holidays. As signs of virginity, they are embellished with flowers, beads and feathers arranged on the right. In winter men use a round bottom cap whose diameter may exceed that of the opening.

Ie / shirt

Women’s folk costume

Beyond the aspects that individualize each area, the woman’s shirt is generally characterized by a sobriety of the ornaments (altițe– decoration across sleeve and pui– decoration along the sleeve sewn with black loose cotton) and of the chroma, embellished with fodori and having relatively small sizes.

The sober color (using black and very unobtrusive, yellow, red and blue) of râuri (stripes) on chest and sleeves, of leaves and artificial flowers motifs and fodori on sleeves lined with black lace, confers a remarkable elegance to this piece of clothing, being consideredamong the most successful’ folk costumes (I. Moise & H. Klusch, p.14).

Men’s costume

Men’s shirt is made of a white cloth and decorated with motifs discreetly using a reduced chromatic register, giving it both elegance and sobriety.

The shirt made of giolgiu (an industrial cloth) also appears, with barbi (gussets under the shirt opening, both front and back, specific to this region), a narrow collar that binds with băieri and sleeves. The ornaments are arranged around the barbi and shirt opening.

Vests and fur coats

Transylvanian doublets(vests) are recognized by their tailoring and sober ornamentation.

The ornaments are intensified in this piece (weaving braids in shades of bright red, and ,, sirom “-thin colored leather, wollen or black silk). There are two types of vests: spintecat-specific to this area, open in front, with silk tassels, and înfundat, of archaic type, ended sideways, smaller but with a flawless execution of the ornamentation. Coats have large side gussets and the edges are hemmed with otter or lamb fur, are tied with tassels at the neck and are very popular on holidays.

Cătrințe/ cioareci (skirts/trousers)

Women’s clothing

The Transylvanian shirts being shorter, give rise to underskirts, which may or may not be clipped on shirt and worn over with cătrințe (aprons).

These skirts are white, wrinkled and undecorated, the ia (shirt) is dark, having tassels at the bottom of the warp and the edges are trimmed with lace. The tricolor belt supports under the apron the poale.

Men’s clothing

Men’s trousers are made of white pănură (woolen cloth) for the season cold and of light cloth for hot seasons and are very tight to the leg. Borders along the trousers have a certain type of seam called mielușei.


Both the women’s and the men’s folk costumes stands in a waiver of traditional peasant sandals opinci for boots, shoes, or long boots (boots in the Târnavele area are called crețe).

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