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Aprons: Part of the Traditional Womens Costume in Europe

Updated on July 31, 2012

Uses of Aprons

For several years, aprons have been widely considered as a typical part of the uniforms of numerous work categories. To name some of the people that commonly use uniforms aprons while accomplishing their tasks are homemakers, chefs and bakers, food service staffs, cleaning personnel, deli attendants, medical professionals, flight attendant, blacksmiths, and even clergymen and bishops. But don’t you know that during the medieval period, there are some countries wherein aprons are part of their traditional women’s costumes?

On this page, you will discover some countries in Europe that include aprons in the historical costumes of women.

Republic of Macedonia (Macedonian National Dress)

The traditional dress of Republic of Macedonia is easy to identify because of its impressiveness, color harmony, and the richness of their orientation. Macedonian women wore traditional dress for all aspects of their daily village life until the middle of the 20th century. The costume included a chemise, a vest, a decorative collar, detachable sleeves, a headscarf, an apron, skirts, socks, and shoes. During special celebrations like weddings, the Macedonian national dress could also include a Turkish coin belt, an array of gold jewellery, head pieces and numerous scarves.

Republic of Croatia (Croatian National Costume)

Croatian national costume for females typical consists of a plain white dress or a combination of blouse and underskirt. Then it is added with other clothing that may include another colorful overdress or skirt, decorative jacket, well-embroidered apron, and shawl or kerchief with floral prints or animal motif. The legs are covered with stocking or knee-high socks. For the feet, wear boots or opanci – a special kind of sandals. And to make Croatian women truly attractive, their head, ears, neck, arms, and fingers are also adorned with different kinds of jewelries made from gold, silver, beads, pearls, or even corrals from Adriatic. The amount of accessories woman usually depends on the region they are living.

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Switzerland (Dirndl Dress)

The dirndl, a traditional dress based on the historical costume of Alpine peasants, was reintroduced in Switzerland in 1920s. The said costume for female Swiss is made of skirts, aprons, as well as shirt with sleeves depending on the climate. This type of traditional costume is also worn by people in southern Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Italian South Tirol.

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Russian Federation (Russian National Folk Costume)

According to historians, the traditional Russian costume started taking its shape in the 12th-13th century. The traditional dress of Russia is said to be quite peculiar because it consists of several outerwear and designed in accord with living the nation of tillers. For the female Russian national dress, it includes straight-cut long sleeve shirts, apron made of canvas, sundress, skirts, bib, and shushpan. Clothing that are made from solid or plain fabrics are usually adorned with patterned ribbons, embroidered beads, tinsel laces, pewter buttons and other decorative accents.

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Republic of Bulgaria (Bulgarian Costumes)

The style and cut of the traditional costumes of Bulgaria usually depends on their geographical location.  In Bulgarian history, there are four types of costumes for women. But also these types of dress have the same pieces of garment such a chemise, apron/s, skirts, and waist-band or belt.  These clothing especially the aprons are usually embroidered or embellished with dazzling array of accessories.

Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish Folk Costume)

Through the creative efforts of artists Gustav Ankarcrona, Anders Zorn, and Carl Larsson as well as Marta Jorgensen who is the founder of the Women’s National Costume Society, the Swedish National Costume was designed and promoted in 1903 in Falun. The colors of garment used in creating the said dress were taken from national flag. But it was not well accepted until Queen Silvia wore it during the Nation Day on June 6. 1983. The Swedish costume for females consists of white long sleeve shirts, long and colorful skirts with aprons, bodices (usually a laced vest), and a bonnet to cover their hair. The aprons, which serve as centerpiece of the costume, are usually made of linen, cotton, crepe or silk.

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Hellenic Republic (Greece Costume)

The traditional dress of Greece people may represent not just their region but also their status in the society. Certain costumes are intended also for specific occasion or celebration. In Thessaly, the Karagouna is the famous female wedding costume. It is usually designed with decorative color to symbolize the wealth of the said area. In Fokida region, the Desfina (Sterea Helladas) is considered as the peasant dress while in Crete, the women dressed in Cretan costume also wear pantaloons – a typical innergarment for the people living in the southern island of Greece. In these three regional costumes of Greece, there’s one thing that is common to all. That is the apron, incorporated with embroidered gold thread that ties above the waist.


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    • nanetteparker profile image

      nanetteparker 5 years ago

      thanks for the vote and for the nice comment Dolores..

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Voted up! I love those beautiful traditional costumes. Your pictures are great illustrations. I hope that you don't mind if I link my aprons in history hub to this one.

    • nanetteparker profile image

      nanetteparker 6 years ago

      thank you so much to those who extended their congratulations. :)

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Terrific hub about aprons in different countries. Congrats on your nomination.

    • Rosie2010 profile image

      Rosie Rose 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hiya nanetteparker, Congratulations on having this hub on aprons as a Hubnugget Nominee. I enjoyed reading this beautiful hub.. I love the beautiful pictures as well. A well-deserved nomination. Thumbs up and awesome!

      Happy Holidays,


    • megmccormick profile image

      megmccormick 6 years ago from Utah

      Wow, I just never think about aprons. Thanks for a beautiful and interesting Hub and congrats on your nomination

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Apron is a fashion, too! Congratulations on your HubNugget nomination! :D

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      I love all the beautiful aprons and the descriptions. Congratualtions on your Hubnugget nomination.