The carpets from Chiprovtsi added to the world list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which met in Paris on its ninth session, on November 26th unanimously entered in the World Representative List of the Elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage the nomination proposed by Bulgaria – “The tradition of Chiprovtsi Carpets Making” – along with further 7 elements of other countries. The Ministry of Culture presented to UNESCO the Bulgarian nomination concerning the production of Chiprovtsi carpets at the end of March 2013. Chiprovtsi carpet weaving is the third Bulgarian element recorded in the World List. After the Bistritsa Grannies (2006/2008) and the Nestinari fire-dancing (2009), through its entry into the UNESCO list the famous Bulgarian carpet center receives worldwide recognition worthy of its quality carpet production.
Even today Chiprovtsi weavers continue to weave on a vertical loom, which is considered as an ancient form of the weaving technique.
Young people in Chiprovtsi learn to weave both in their families and in groups for weaving and dyeing with natural dyes organized at school or in the community center.
The dossier for the candidacy of the Chiprovtsi carpets has been developed under the guidance of prof. Mila Santova by a team consisting of Dr. Iva Stanoeva Dr. Miglena Ivanova.
Kilimi are hand-woven carpets made by the women of Chiprovtsi in north-eastern Bulgaria. Almost every household in the town contains a vertical handloom, which the women use to make two-sided tapestries traditionally utilized as floor coverings. The weaver takes several threads of the warp with her left hand, interlaces the weft yarn into the warp and uses a small beater to tighten the weave. The men of the town typically engage in wool production, processing and dyeing. Naturally dyed yarn gives soft pastel carpet hues, while chemical dyes produce brighter shades. The finished carpets are renowned for their composition, ornamental motifs and colour. Carpet weaving goes hand in hand with beliefs, verbal formulae and ritual practices. The weavers say prayers and make wishes for success before starting a new carpet, and sing and tell stories while working at the loom. The process of transmission occurs informally from mothers and grandmothers to daughters, often while working together on large carpets. Carpet weaving is deeply integrated into the social and cultural life of the population. The best-known forms of ornamentation are reproduced throughout the community and even constitute the coat of arms of the town.