Slovakian Folk Costumes

Figure 1.--This photo postcard show two playing boys in folk costumes from Helpa. I think Helpa is a town in Czechoslovakia. It is a series about Easter in Helpa. The card is dated 1927. (Plicka Ser. XIII, #7.)

Slovak folk costumes appear to be based on clothing worn by the ordinary Slovakian peasant in the 18th or ealy 19th century. Slovakia was largely an agrarian region controlled by an Hungarian nobility. The towns were of mixed ethnicity while the rural areas prediminately Slovakian. Male folk costuming in Slovakia as is generally the case of folk costuming did not differentiate between men and boys. Costumes were normally linnen which in the 19th century began to be replaced with cotton. Men and boys wore breeches, a shirt with wide sleeves and a a kind of apron. There was also a kind of drapery dress consisting of narrow trousers and a shirt with cuffs on the sleeves. Embroidery is an important decorative element of Slovak folk costumes. Embroidery was especially important in western and central Slovakia. There were many loval styles of embroidery. Decorative weaving and application was more common in eastern Slovakia. A patterned blue and white print textile was especially popular. The varying regional preferences are not fully understood. Variations in social and economic development were probably factors. Economic factors such as general prosperity were reflected in e both costuming and decoration.


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Created: 12:01 AM 1/2/2008
Last updated: 12:01 AM 1/2/2008