The story of “Ia from Ponoarele” is a good practice of preserving immaterial heritage, namely, the beautiful habit of sewing traditional Romanian blouse.
Inspired by two grandmothers who always expressed their regret that the beautiful habit of sewing the traditional blouse will disappear once they are dead, Iulia, a young lady from Mehedinti county, started to think more and more often about how she could transform their regret into pride.
This is how her business begun. With a needle, 50 meters of fabrics and hundreds of grams of hopeful recklessness!
She gathered women from her village that still knew how to sew and started to present her unique pieces all over the world. And the world liked it!
The inspiration for the patterns of the “ii” comes from the dowry coffer, from the popular port of Mehedinti, from the beauty of the place, from the genuine feelings of the plain humans in the country. The flowers of the field, the murmur of water, the wind rave, the love, the sorrow and grief, all are found in the traditional costume from Ponoarele “says Iulia.
Despite the fact that everything in this modern life is moving fast forward, the time needed for sewing one traditional blouse (ia) is at least one month , depending on how complex the patterns are, but the result is always a unique one!

Resources needed

- Old women who knew how to sew and young ladies eager to learn and to carry on the tradition;
- Financial resources
- Local and regional support

Evidence of success

After the years, the Romanian blouse becomes known worldwide and the curiosity about how it’s made and where increased.
Today, Iulia is collaborating with more than 200 women in the rural areas of Mehedinti county who continue sewing, as her grandmothers dreamt about and, in the same time, making the traditional Romanian Ie to be worn around the world in 2020!

Difficulties encountered

To change the mentality that “old” is no longer desirable.

Potential for learning or transfer

The potential for learning and transfer to another regions can be found in the ambition of preserving the immaterial heritage.

Main institution
Ie Traditional Romaneasca
Sud-Vest Oltenia, Romania (România)
Start Date
October 2014
End Date


Alexandra Varzan Please login to contact the author.