Friday, January 31, 2014

Portuguese Folkloric Costume: Apron

The apron, or avental, is the next layer in this costume. It is decorated with a geometric floral design in loud colors (pink, navy, turquoise, yellow). The design is woven into the fabric with thick colored yarns, which are pulled up to create the design. The avental's fabric is also woven with narrow red, yellow, and green stripes. These barely perceptible stripes represent the colors of the Portuguese flag: green for the hope of the nation, red for the blood spilled protecting it, and a yellow globe.

The bottom edge of the avental is bound with matching red cotton tape. A large, decorative herringbone stitch has been worked over the tape (the tape is first sewn down with a zig-zag stitch in coordinating thread).

The avental is made of a lower, colorful panel attached to an upper, cartridge-pleated panel. The upper panel is made of the same handwoven material as the skirt. The cartridge pleats are set with red embroidery thread; in this photo, the pleating threads are visible. As usual, a zig-zag stitch is used to join pieces, and a straight stitch to join the upper and lower pieces. The upper and lower pieces are first joined, then the upper piece is cartridge pleated. The waistband is bound with red cotton tape, which has been hand-stitched down; the tape forms the waist ties.

You can see information about this and other varieties of regional Portuguese costume at the Folk Costume & Embroidery blog.

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