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Concept

Today we use the word folk costume to signify the old style of Estonian peasant attire. For centuries, folk costume has been used by Estonians as a means of self-expression and self-determination. For women, a skirt was also a symbol of belonging, status and wealth.

Originally, skirts were monochrome, but starting from the mid-18th century they became adorned with long stripes. The earliest skirt stripes were made from fabric purchased or woven on manors, but later the peasant women themselves began weaving and the stripes took on a regional character through their handicraft techniques.  Horizontal stripes and chequered skirts began to be widespread in the early 19th century.

A good child has many names, goes the Estonian saying, and skirts also had different names depending on the parish: siilik, ümbrik, prunts, kört, undrik, kuub, küüt… A skirt had to catch the eye with its cheerful colours and it also had to be very substantial. Often several skirts (2-5) were worn at the same time – in this case, the fabric served to indicate the wealth of the wearer and the endowments of her figure.

In collaboration with textile artist Ulve Kangro, ceramic dishes inspired by the striped motifs of some Estonian parishes, giving an attractive and authentic image of folk costume skirts.
The aim of the project is to preserve and perpetuate the values of our forebears through historical ornament and modern form. A further goal is for these cheerfully striped, practical objects to help bring a little piece of folk culture into our daily lives.

 

  Ilumäe

  Kose

  Räpina

  Viljandi