BOSNIAN rugs in olden times were sometimes very fine. Then came years of general depression, when the industry of weaving fell into decay. Finally the Austro-Hungarian administration was established at Bosnia, and new life was given to the work. Looms were erected by the Government, and a number of women were sent to Vienna, where they were taught the art of weaving. Returning to Bosnia, they were able to impart to others the knowledge they had gained, and thus the work prospered. To enhance further the value of these rugs, the latest designs in the old Bosnian rugs were selected, and by the harmonious blending of these with new designs and colors, modern rugs were made, which show decided improvement.
Servian rugs are woven throughout all Servia, but the principal seat of the industry is at Pirot, on the southern boundary of the Balkan Mountains. The rugs are of wool, and the best are very durable. The dyes are generally vegetable, the weaving is a home industry, and the designs are all worked on a black or red ground. The preferment in the modern rug is for red, but the older rugs had the black ground. The general design is an extended square, in the centre of which is a panel. The rest of the field is filled with stripes and geometrical forms in rather bright and varied coloring.
Roumanian rugs of modern make are quite inferior. They are woven on ordinary hand looms in the villages and towns among the mountains of Roumania. They are coarse, and the designs are in stripes, zigzag lines, or straight-lined figures. Occasionally flower designs have appeared, but these have been poorly reproduced, and in the most unsuitable combinations of color. Old Roumanian rugs are not in the market. They are owned by private individuals, and are not to be procured except at very high prices, if at all. These rugs differ from the modern ones in their better workmanship and designs.
Bulgarian rugs, as a rule, are very coarse in texture, loosely woven, and unattractive. Occasionally Bulgarian rugs are seen with finer weaving and well-chosen colors. Both men and women take part in preparing the wool, the former setting up the simple looms, preparing the darker dyes, and arranging the warp. The women choose the designs and colors, and weave the rugs. The colors commonly used are yellow, blue, brown, black, white, green, and red.
( Originally Published Late 1900’s )