Latvian folk dress has a bigimportance in its cultural heritage. Importance in national dress was first bornin 1920s and 1930s, when Latvian nation gained their independence for the firsttime. Garments from different regions display diverse origins, social statuses,and traditions within the country.
(Latvia.eu,2017) Latvian folk dress can becharacterized by two historic periods of specific traditions. ”Ancient dress”period, from 7th to 13th century, and the second onedates back to 18th and 19th century, this period is beingcalled “ethnic” or “ethnographic dress” period.
By the 13th centurythe main parts of a woman’s outfit consisted of a skirt and a long sleeved,tunic-shaped linen shirt, which was a unisex garment that could also be wornalone. Accessories such as bracelets, rings and broches were created in ancientdress period. Usage of bronze was very common in the 13th century. Duringancient dress period people locally grew flax and fleece to later create theirown clothing from it. Furs and leathers from domestic animals were used to makeshoes, hats and belts.
It was very common to use weaving or twilling techniques.Belt was one of the most important accessors, dues to the fact that clothing atthe time had no pockets. Belt was used to keep clothing together and to attachuseful items such as knife and keys. (Latvia.eu,2017) During the 16th century, a part of Latvianterritory was aggravated by Germany, adding some of the German features to theLatvian folk dress.
And later on during the 18th to the 19thcentury bronze embellishments disappeared and a lot of alterations appearedinto the Latvian clothing traditions. (Nationalchlothng.org,2017)At the end of the 19th century different colour variations becameavailable to people. Men, as for festive outfits started using dark blue, brownor black, these fabrics were luxurious and expensive at that time.
Womencontinues wearing linen skirts. The bottom layer of the skirt was made out ofcrude linen, but the visible upper layer was made out of finest linen cloth. Mostcommon jewellery used by Latvian women was the silver brooches, decorate withpebbles or beads. They were placed on the chest and used as fasteners. (Mfa.gov.lv,2017)