Staphorst, Netherlands October 26 2013
In only a few places in the Netherlands traditional clothing is still worn by a small group of mostly older woman. Staphorst is one of these towns where you can find woman and somethimes girls wearing heavy dark coloured skirts with a colourful top over the chest. The top usually has a flower print with a colourful lace almost as a necklace.
In all Dutch traditional clothing the colours of the outfits are different when in mourning, as is also the case in Staphorst. There are different degrees of mourning when a parent has past a way or a distant relative. The rules about how long to wear the mourning colours are strict, with black and white patterns in the case of heave mourning and blue, green and purple when in light mourning. Red is only used when not in mourning and as more close relatives pass away when older, it’s rare to see older woman not in mourning colours.
About the lace smûk
Colourful lace is used on the top of the work skirt as well as on the flower patterned top of the Staphorst traditional clothing. The lace of this smûk is original lace from one of the two still remaining traditional clothing shops in Staphorst. The colour blue of this smûk is inspired by the so-called work-skirt, worn when working in and around the house.
About “milk and blood” smûk
Milk and blood (melk en bloed) is a traditional fabric with red flowers on a cream coloured base. The fabric was used for pillows and bedding in Staphorst, not to sleep on, but just for show when visitors would come to the house. According to the shop owner in Staphorst, the fabric is not being made anymore and is therefore a true classic (and therefore also a bit pricy).
As headwear, depending on the occasion, the Staphorst ladies wear a little flat coif with “stipwerk”; a painting technique whereby a nail is used to place little circles of paint, forming flowers on black silk-like fabric. The technique is part of the Dutch cultural heritage. Smûk has some of this handmade stipwerk for a custom made smûk, please contact smûk for more information.