Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Fabrics of Spakenburg

We had visited Spakenburg in September 2012 on our way from Aalsmeer to Harlingen for Zonder Zorg's refit. On our return trip this week, we again moored in the old harbour of the little town on the former Zuider Zee coast, not far east of Amsterdam.

Some of the local residents continue to wear the traditional costumes, keeping the traditional colours and textiles alive. Only a few villages remain where residents have opted to wear their traditional costume, among these are Volendam and Marken.  

The Spakenburger textiles are much like the fabrics of Hindeloopen, with their designs originating in the Far East. Simplistic and practical clothing arrived in the tall ships of the Dutch East Indies Trading Company. Bolts of cloth from India, Indonesia and Japan arrived in exciting new colours and found their way into smaller villages, where they gradually took on an identity of their own.

The Spanenburger fashions have changed through the years with new colours and ornaments finding their way into and on the garments. With aprons, bodices, shoulder covers and removable sleeves the garments can easily be changed into a much dressier outfit and back, to suit the occasion. The Spakenburger outfits uniquely differ from those of other villages with their heavily starched shoulder covers. Lace from France and Belgium inspired the hats. Hand tattered lace is formed and heavily starched, then repeatedly ironed to a sheen. Most hair is tucked underneath the cap with the front part made into a roll to keep everything in place.

The colourful combination of paid, plain and floral prints are beautiful and I could not leave Spankenburg without adding to my stash of fabrics. The nice lady in the store was dressed in the traditional costume, making a wonderful photo as she cut my selections.

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