Traditional Romanian Embroidery

Romania’s most internationally recognised folk art is that of their traditional embroidery.  The traditional Romanian blouses or shirts that are still worn today can be traced back many centuries.  Men and women wear the shirts which are often intricately embroidered, traditionally with red thread, although other colours are also used.  These garments are made from either linen, wool or hemp fabric.


Many designers and artists have been fascinated by the richly embroidered pieces from Romania and have created clothing articles and soft furnishings borrowing their inspiration from Romania’s rich heritage of embroidery. There are some beautiful counted cross stitch motifs which are reminiscent of Romanian embroidery designs.

There are many different variations of patterns and styles of embroidery, one can even find different styles or patterns of embroidery from one town to the next. Stitches vary although the basic stitches such as cross stitch, feather stitch, blanket stitch, to name a few, as incorporated in the patterning.

As with many of the historical findings of other countries across Europe, the peasants found their inspiration for cross stitch patterns and design in nature.  Therefore, the inspiration for all things natural comes across in their designs; images such as rivers, lakes, plants, horses and more.  The artistic embroidery and needlework is found in their clothing and their furnishings. Many wall hangings use cross stitch and other stitches to create a work of art that can be enjoyed in a home. For a range of cross stitch charts that you can use today, visit this online store.

The most common among symbol of many cultures is the tree of life, which can be interpreted as regeneration or renewal. Some flowers, like roses, poppies, daffodils and lilacs are used to symbolize youth and beauty and youth.  Abundance is most commonly portrayed by fruits and grains, such as grapes and wheat.

Romanians have held superstitious belief for a long time.  The four-leaf clover is believed to act as a type of good luck charms. Romanian peasants have held superstitious beliefs.

Romania is a highly agricultural society and so many of their design symbols represent man-made farming implements, for example ladders and rakes in the traditional embroidery.

Stories and legends are recorded in the Romanian textile patterns such as the cuckoo and the rooster used in design motifs.

The rhombus depicts the sun.  Other geometric designs that are commonly used are the cross, dots, spirals, diamonds, hearts and triangles.

The art of Romanian embroidery remains an inspiration across the world and will continue to inspire cross stitch pattern designers for many more years to come.

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