National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus

Belarusian Folk Costume. Fabrics

Weaving and embroidery are the ancient crafts that have been spread in Belarus for centuries and they are represented in the collection of the National Historical Museum of Belarus by diverse samples of folk towels, tablecloths, bedspreads, carpets and other decorative fabrics. On the basis of household purpose we can distinguish in this collection fabrics for clothing and fabrics for equipment and house decorating (cloth for interior, utilitarian and decorative). Total collection includes more than three thousand items that were purchased since the first days of the museum. The first acquisition to the museum's collection - clothing and home weaving - occurred on the 7th of June 1957 during an expedition of researchers in Čyrvonaja Slabada district, Minsk region and Hancavičy district, Brest region.

The collection of Belarusian folk costume of the second half of 19th - the first half of the 20th century has great scientific and cultural value, gives an idea about the rich traditions and diversity of techniques of weaving, embroidery and knitting, features of decor, ornaments, ways of wearing all these. Hundreds of clothes, festive and ceremonial dresses, skirts, belts, wimples, shirts follow the traditions that have existed and improved for centuries in Belarus. The collection impress by the variety of patterns and geometric, vegetable, animal and nature compositions, rich range of colours and motifs. Ancient folk rituals are connected with weaving. Folk towels of Western and Eastern Paliessie, Neman River, Dnieper River and Central historical and ethnographic regions of Belarus dominate among the decorative and ceremonial fabrics.