Photographer's Note

How people used to dress in the past, whether in the country or town, evolved.
People from Łowicz Duchy began to wear the charcteristic striped fabric in the 20's and 30's of the 19th century. A crimson background covered with verical sets of stripes dominated till the end of that century. Then an orange background appears and the stripes are varied. In the inter-war period clothes are mainly navy blue and green.
In the 19th century women from Łowicz region wore creased skirts made of striped woollen cloth, pleated aprons, bodices and jackets. In winter they put on "blue furcoats",ie. jackets made of blue fabric with sheepskin cuffs and collars.
Only rich farmers could afford real sheepskin coats.
The 20th century brought about significant changes in the elements of village people's costumes. Bodices were more and more often made from black velvet
and sewn together with the skirts. They were embroidered with threads and beads giving a splendid display of roses surrounded by other smaller flowers and leaves.
In the 19th century women's blouses were made of white flax cloth produced by farmers themselves. Later town manufacturers provided them with nice linen.
The sleeves with embroidered cuffs were extremely baggy. At the end of the 19th century not only white but also yellow, red and black embroideries were applied on them. At the turn of the 19th century cross-stitching became popular and a motif of a centrally located rose surrounded by various plants.
Women wore shawls on their heads and shoulders. Those were usually large made of wool with so called Turkish patterns and later damask or cotton with rich embroideries. The women's costumes were complemented with strings of natural or artificial coral or amber beads. On average days clogs were put on but on special occasions women wore black laced boots.
In the 19th century men wore woollen trousers in which crimson was a dominating colour. However, at the turn of the 19th century orange became fashionable. The shirts resembled those wore by women but young men would put on embroidered ties. Another element of men's clothing was a tigh-long sleeveless jacket called "lejbik". In the 20th century men began wearing long belted coats immitating town fashions. Moreover, they wore black hats decorated with embroidered velvet robbons and black knee-long boots.
Many people in Łowicz region still possess traditional folk costumes. They can be also admired in museums, during important religious celebrations, eg. Corpus Christi or folk art festivals.

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Additional Photos by Magdalena Skwarek (monsun222) Silver Star Critiquer [C: 12 W: 0 N: 4] (84)
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