Sarakatsani costume from Alexandroupolis, northern Greece

early 1900s

British Museum

British Museum

A woman's belt, wrap-around and pieced together from widths of fabric made using different techniques. The top is made from black twill woven wool cloth. A black braided band (with green/blue crocheted edging at the top and larger black/blue/gold-coloured metal-wrapped thread at the bottom), and a strip of silver-coloured and a gold-coloured damask ribbon [silk ground?] is stitched to the twill fabric. Black zigzag braiding, executed in ply split darning, with silver- (upper) and gold- (lower) coloured infill is framed by black braiding. Most of the sides, and the hem, have an applied black/purple/gold-coloured metal-wrapped thread hem. The belt is secured with three metal hooks (eyes missing).

Text from Donations and Purchases Book Volume 9: 'A costume from the Sarakatsan of Greece. It belonged to an old woman in the Alexandroupolis district in Thrace, and had been her grandmother's. (To be completed it needs silver jewellery and belt.)'
For information about the technique of ply split darning see: Hail, Barbara A (1985), Female costume of the Sarakatsani, Bristol, Rhode Island, Brown University, Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.

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  • Title: Sarakatsani costume from Alexandroupolis, northern Greece
  • Date Created: early 1900s
  • Location Created: Alexandroupolis, Thrace, north-eastern Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 34 centimetres Width: 155 centimetres (outside edge)
  • Copyright: © The Trustees of The British Museum
  • British Museum link: Eu1971,03.8