Design Inspiration: Łowicz, Poland



Łowicz, a small picturesque town in central Poland, is located in the Skierniewice Voivodeship, at the edge of Bolimowski Landscape Park on the river Bzura. It is most known for its abundance of breathtaking folklore, and its regional costume is considered to be one of the most beautiful in all of Poland.  

The headgear is a very important element in the female Łowicz folk costume.  Both unmarried and married women wore square (75 cm) kerchiefs tied at the back of their heads. They are woolen (szalinówki), silk (jedwabnice) or linen decorated with embroidery. For extra embellishment, flowers were pinned on the sides.

The jewellery in the Łowicz folk costume is very rich. The appropriate type is selected for a specific outfit and colour version. Red beads - corral or wooden - and amber are typical. The amount of jewelry in the wearer's possession was seen as indication of wealth.

The richly embroidered white linen blouse has puffed, lace-trimmed bell-shaped sleeves and a lined collar. Coloured velvet bodices are decorated with floral embroidery. 

Historically the Łowicz embroidery has been very simple. It often featured geometric designs in a grey or black colour scheme. It wasn't until the 20th century that the geometric shapes were replaced with colourful flowers. The most popular floral folk motifs included roses, pansies, forget-me-nots, cornflowers, chamomile and leaves.

The striped, gathered skirt is made from five to six meters of heavy wool fabric. Velvet is sewn around the bottom hem that features a rich floral embroidery. A striped apron is worn on top, also lined with velvet on three sides, and floral embroidery. 

The colour scheme of the stripes has gone through many changes. During the 19th century until 1914, the background of the striped fabrics were red; at end of  the 1920s an orange colour was introduced; with the arrival of the aniline dyes in the 1930s violet, green, blue, and grey were added.

High heeled leather boots are worn with white tights and are decorated with black, red or pink ribbons.

Pictured above is a Recultured Designs original design inspired by the breathtaking Łowicz folk costume. 

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