Traditional costume – Staphorst

The Dutch town of Staphorst is probably known best for its religious population and its folk costume. It has some of the youngest and most people still wearing folk costume daily, with around 500 women still wearing it in 2008.

The costume is known best for what is called ‘stipwerk’, or ‘dot-work’. Parts of the costume are made out of black fabric decorated by patterns of different coloured dots. The main variations in costume are of mourning/regular and sunday/workday, with special costumes for children.

Three women from Staphorst in their Sunday church clothes, the left most is out of mourning, the middle one in light mourning and the right most in heavy mourning.

 

The back, here you can see the pleated shawls.

 

Mourning is expressed with the colours, as in most Dutch costume red is for out of mourning, blue and purple for light mourning and black for heavy mourning. The daily wear differs mostly with regards to the headwear, women wear simple dotted caps on work days.

A photo from the sixties of the daily wear out of mourning.

 

The typical dotted patterns were often made by the women themselves, and created with the heads of nails and fabric paint. You’d need to stay out of the rain, because they’re not very water resistant!

 

Typical fabric, this one would be for out of mourning.

 

Mourning fabric

 

A work in progress. You can see he’s holding a cork with a nail in it to make the dots.

 

Of course, large patterns could also be made with these blocks.

 

The costume exists of black stockings and shoes, an under-skirt, a dark blue pleated skirt of sturdy fabric (black for heavy mourning), a black shirt, a black apron with a border at the top (flowers or checkered), a ‘kraplap’, a pleated shawl and the headwear.

 

An under-skirt, worn as a petticoat.

A Sunday-skirt. The front is made out of different fabric, which didn’t matter because the apron would cover it.

Apron

Black shirt

Kraplap, worn over the shirt. This one is for light mourning.

Kraplap for out of mourning

This would be pleated in a specific way and worn as a shawl (Mourning)

Out of mourning, the shawl was red.

 

 

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