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In the past wedded women were not supposed to show themselves with an uncovered head. They usually wore small percale scarves or flowery scarves made of tybet fabric (Polish fabric made of Tibetan sheep wool); while on holidays and during various ceremonies, they made a wedding headscarf from a tulle scarf. Such a wedding scarf was worn by a bride during the unveiling and capping ceremony, which was an important moment at every wedding.

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In the past wedded women were not supposed to show themselves with an uncovered head. They usually wore small percale scarves or flowery scarves made of tybet fabric (Polish fabric made of Tibetan sheep wool); while on holidays and during various ceremonies, they made a wedding headscarf from a tulle scarf. Such a wedding scarf was worn by a bride during the unveiling and capping ceremony, which was an important moment at every wedding. During this ceremony, a bride was incorporated into the group of wedded women. The wedding forewoman (starościna or drużbina), together with the other women, placed a stool or a trough in the middle of the room and the bride had to sit on it. The woman took off her maidenhead and put on the wedding scarf. The ceremony was accompanied with various joyful songs. For example, this song was popular in Kobylanka:

Uwijojcie się, gosposie, a zgrabnie,
Bo ocepić pannę młodóm wypadnie.
Uwijomy się jakby w błocie żaby,
Bo nie chcymy z panny młody mieć baby.
Otwórzcie nom komórecke, otwórzcie,
Wypuście nom pannę młodóm, wypuście.
Odbierzymy pannie młody wionecek,
Założymy stary baby cepecek.

After their wedding, women wore wedding scarves at other weddings if they acted as forewomen.
Wedding scarves (called czepce, czuby or kotki) differed in every village. They were short, flattened or in the shape of a saddle. Putting on the wedding scarf was not easy and was performed by experienced women. The scarf was folded diagonally in half, the longer side of a triangle made in this way was rolled up and laid on the head, then the corners were crossed on the neck and once again laid on the front part of the head, where they finally formed a kind of cap, often on a paper base while the scarf’s corners were tied around the neck.  Then it was fastened with pins, thus it was easy to take off and put on again, if necessary. The wedding scarf was often tied with another scarf under the chin.
Such scarves were used until ca. 1900.
The presented wedding scarf was manually embroidered with white cotton thread. The edge of the scarf was hemmed with serrated finishing stitch. The corner of the scarf was especially embroidered with a chain stitch of plant motifs (flowers and leaves). The scarf was laid on the head in a manner so that the richly ornamented corner was visible.
The scarf described here was manually embroidered by one of the women of the village of Wola Łużanska in the late 19th century and that is where it was purchased.

Elaborated by Anna Niemczyńska-Szurek (The Karwacjan and Gładysz Family Manors Museum), © all rights reserved

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Clothes from the Gorlice region

The elements of clothes shown in the Open Air Ethnographic Museum of the Pogórze Region in Szymbark come from the western part of the region, near Gorlice. For ages the region has been famous for manufacturing flax linen and cloth for trading purposes. They were produced by special weavers...

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The elements of clothes shown in the Open Air Ethnographic Museum of the Pogórze Region in Szymbark come from the western part of the region, near Gorlice. For ages the region has been famous for manufacturing flax linen and cloth for trading purposes. They were produced by special weavers. Initially, these materials were used to make clothes for both holidays and common days. In the late 19th century, female outfits began to change as easily accessible factory-made materials started to be implemented. At the turn of the 19th and early 20th centuries, this type of clothing ceased to be common because of the changes in the living conditions of countryside inhabitants related to the development of the oil industry and labour migration.
The displayed elements of folk outfits from the Gorlice region (a wedding scarf and a folk apron) were sewn from factory-made materials and manually embroidered by women from the region.

Elaborated by Anna Niemczyńska-Szurek (The Karwacjan and Gładysz Family Manors Museum), © all rights reserved

See also:
Apron of Pogórze region
Wedding scarf from Pogórze
Budrysówka scarf

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How to tie a wedding scarf?

Subtle knots exposing the beautiful embroidered starched material... Thanks to this the scarf becomes a real decoration for the head... However, would everyone be able to tie such a scarf nowadays? The thing that was very easy for our great-grandmothers could be very problematic these days...

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Subtle knots exposing the beautiful embroidered starched material... Thanks to this the scarf becomes a real decoration for the head... However, would everyone be able to tie such a scarf nowadays? The thing that was very easy for our great-grandmothers could be very problematic these days.
For those who like tradition and for all of those eager to learn new skills we have prepared a short guideline in co-operation with the employees of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków.
Similar scarves were typical for folk costumes of the Kraków region in the 19th century. They were worn by both wedded women and maidens, who additionally decorated their scarves with flowers that were forbidden for wedded women. Maidens could be additionally identified by the carefully made plaits protruding from under the scarf.

You are all invited to watch and to try and tie a traditional wedding scarf!

Elaborated by Anna Berestecka (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

See also:
Wedding scarf for Kraków costume

Coif scarf from the region of Gorlice

Wedding scarf from Raciborowice

Wedding scarf

Wedding scarf from Pogórze

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Wedding scarf from Pogórze

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