To Hold Your Heart in Your Teeth, Women’s Work

The Visual Language of the Romanian Blouse


“To Take Your Heart in Your Teeth” is a Romanian proverb which means to brave forward despite fear.

Made by generations of women, the folk garment of the Romanian blouse secured its language through times of fierce changes. This book is a cultural-historical biography of the blouse, from Neolithic beginnings in northeastern Romania and western Ukraine, through the period of folk revival, the communist era, and the post-communist immigration out of the region. Weaving personal narrative with this historical research, Simona Bortis-Schultz, author and designer of this book, is a New York based child of this immigration.

Moving bravely forward despite fear “To Take Your Heart in Your Teeth” is an homage as it stands in solidarity with the generations of women in resilience, writing out the design qualities of this feminine fortitude, and the charm of the garment they made to survive.


  • Typesoftcover
  • Dimensions159 mm x 235 mm / 6,22 x 9,21 inch (portrait)
  • Pages214
  • ISBN978-90-833501-6-5
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Release date20231127
  • BindingSwiss bound
  • Color4/4 + 1 PMS
  • PrinterPrinton, Tallin (EST)
  • FontMuseo Sans and MachoModular
  • Image specs58 Full color images, 17 black/white images