Blueprint in the village of Važec

Blueprint in the village of Važec

Jana Rajniaková

Blueprint technique in Slovak folk clothing dates back to the 1850s. Local blueprint workshops began to close around the second half of the 20th century. In the 1950s, a textile plant in the town of Ružomberok opened a blueprint line which had been inspired by local blueprint practices. The line produced innovative collections of coloured printed canvas. However, the product did not suit the taste of village women and was more successfully marketed as urban clothing.

Large designs were usually used on bed linen in the village of Važec. Smaller designs were used for backs of evenly folded upper skirts. Women in Važec were very anxious to keep a regular design (strips, for example) on a folded skirt. Larger designs were easier to make because distance between them was longer and folds were broader. Finer designs were folded into narrower folds and folding was very hard to make. We have to remember that the Važec women had the canvas dyed and the line was rough and hard to process.

Around 39 designs are used in Važec. In total, 52 colour combinations of bed linen and skirt blueprint designs are used. Plant designs are most popular. Geometric designs are rare and no animal designs are used.

Now, dyed canvas is popular in skirts and very rare in bed linen. Women in Važec above 70 wear blueprint upper skirts during holidays, on Sunday masses and during various family or village celebrations. Blueprint fabrics and clothes are no longer popular among Važec population. It is likely that such fashion become extinct when the last woman who used to wear it shall pass away. People from Važec are aware of such danger and collect, archive and exhibit such dyed fabrics.