Women’s Clothing from Krustpils

Brief information

  • Shirts – straight cut, mid-calf length with whitework embroidery and a stand-up collar with multi-coloured embroidery;
  • Skirts – gathered full skirt, plaid fabric;
  • Belts – patterned weave;
  • Jackets – plain and close-fitting in dark colours;
  • Shawls – woven white woollen, embellished with multi-coloured embroidery;
  • Headdresses
    • an unmarried woman’s headdress was a red fabric crown-type vainags, embroidered with seed beads;
    • a married women’s headdress was a linen cap with a tall peak and embroidered lace trim at the front;
  • Legwear – knitted white knee-length socks or short socks with multi-coloured, patterned cuffs
  • Jewellery – the Shawl is fastened with a large silver bubble brooch (burbuļsakta). The shirt is fastened with a small silver annular brooch (sakta) or fabric ribbon.

History and Origin

The women’s clothing from the Krustpils district of the province of Vidzeme is characterized by a mid-calf length, linen shirt made either of two separate, rectangular fabric segments, or a one-piece body, where the front and back consist of one contiguous piece of fabric folded over at the shoulders. Multi-coloured embroidery is worked on the stand-up collar, shoulder straps, and the ends of the sleeves. The shirt is fastened with a small to medium size silver annular brooch (sakta), which may be set with polished glass stones.

Skirts are full and gathered at the waist. The fabric is usually a small-scale, multi-coloured plaid, but stripes are also possible.

The belt is woven.  It may be a Krustpils type belt with different patterns along its length or a single repeating motif.

The jacket would have been close-fitting, extending to just below the waistline.

The Krustpils type Shawl is a white wool weave, embellished with multi-coloured yarn embroidery. It may also have patterned, tablet-woven bands along the sides, along with multi-coloured fringes, worn fastened with a large silver bubble brooch (burbuļsakta), a type of disc brooch with relief-work ornamental elements arranged in a ring around the centre.

There were two types of unmarried women’s headdress. One was a wider crown-type vainags of red fabric embroidered with glass bugle beads and, the other, a narrower red fabric vainags embroidered with glass seed beads overlaid on brocade ribbon.

A married woman’s headdress was a fine linen cap with a tall peak, trimmed with embroidered tulle at the front.

The older type of legwear included relatively short knitted socks with patterns on the leg, worn over leg wraps extending from the ankle to the knee. The more recent type consists of knitted knee-length white wool, linen, or cotton socks. The socks and leg wraps were tied below the knee with patterned woven bands.

Footwear consisted of closed black shoes fastened with a cord or buckle.