of the 17th C. -Red Kontuz and Golden Sash
Magdalena Bartkiewicz - Polish Costume to 1864Translation RB, Gentleman, ©2006
Overview 17th C.
The 17th C. is identified in
European culture as the Baroque era, and the term ‘Baroque style’ has a
clear connotation. The style is
associated visually with painting, carving, architecture, and even with clothing
fashion. The style can be
characterized as a lack of simplicity and naturalness, and a trend toward finely
detailed decoration and even shameless splendor. One effect was to set apart the
wealthy, who were able to indulge in finery.
The Western model of Baroque
high culture had the strongest impact in Poland in the Royal court.
Western fashion was especially evident under Wladislaw IV and Maria
Ludwika, but continued with some restraint even in Sobieski’s Royal Court.
The same movement pervaded the Magnate’s Courts except with a rather
the first half of the 17th C. one could speak of two competing baroque
tendencies in Poland, The Royal Court’s and the Noble’s.
The Court, though diverse and complex, was influenced strongly by western
fashion as seen especially in the decorative arts and choice of apparel.
The other, as a manifestation of evolving Commonwealth culture under the
influence of the Orient, is best illustrated by some Polish Ambassadors’
foreign travels. On these official
occasions the Polish dress, emblazoned with sumptuous finery, startled the
residents of several European Capitals with its strange opulence.
The exotic Polish fashions so fascinated the foreigners that they soon
adopted some of its elements into western dress. This trend most immediately
influenced casual house dress, which incorporated the characteristic
passementerie braid with buttons “pentlicami”
as decorations. A Western
example of men’s domestic clothes decorated in the Polish manner is found in
the Danish King’s wardrobe in Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen.
Polish nobles of the baroque
period loved oriental style artwork and décor, and showed it both in public
decoration and personal dress. The native Polish styles were proclaimed superior
to those of other nationalities. The
nobles’ national ideology, Sarmatism, embraced and stimulated an intellectual
interest in all aspects of the putative steppe-warrior ancestors: ethnicity,
society, culture, politics, comradeship mores, and dress. In the beginning the
Sarmatian cultural was dynamic and ambitious.
It could boast of being modeled on the Roman republic and styled itself a
‘nation of noble brothers’. Around
the mid 17th C a degenerative pattern emerged and elements of former worth
decayed; pride changed to conceit, ignorance reigned, and the ‘golden
freedom’ became anarchy. The baroque Sarmatian culture had a fondness for the
richly decorated and the splendid to the point of bombast, both in the material
culture and in spiritual matters. Many
aspects of Sarmatian culture were driven by oriental influences, and can be
understood with regard to the nobles’ endeavor to trace their ancestral
history from the East.
This then is the context of
the flowering of Polish culture in the 17th C, a fashion not only of the nobles,
but also of the townsfolk. The fashion record is preserved in a few surviving
garments, but mostly through artwork and documents.
A virtual snapshot review of
fashion and clothing is presented to us by the unknown painter of the ‘Dance
of Death’ in the Bernadine church of Cracow.
The pageant of dancing nobles, peasants, townsmen and lay dignitaries
move in tandem with their shadow, the skeleton they are and will be, led by the
great organ’s music. Along the sides small skeletons invite the viewer to
dance with bits of doggerel rhyme. Carved sepulchral busts, similar to the
paintings, illustrate period fabrics, clothing, and accessories in three
dimensions. Illustrated morality scenes and votive icons complete the
Some of what is known of the
popular national fashion in the 17th C comes from probate documents. Numerous
preserved inventories systematically list townspeople's clothing.
These are written in fixed order; first Polish clothing, then Western
This evidence of the strong interaction
with Western culture is reinforced by the early adoption of Polish fashion in
some other countries, especially Italy and Sweden.
The Italians called the popular and comfortable peasant clothing that
allowed free movement Polish-style:
‘polaccchina’. It was a shortened
version of 1630s Polish żupan or delia
garments, without a fur collar and sewn of various local fabrics.
A painting shows the young Leopold
Medici wearing a child’s żupanik
of light damask, under a darker delia.
To complete the ensemble, the boy holds a miniature mace (buzdygan) a Polish symbol of high rank (Photo. 24). Few pictures
remain of children from this period, and portraits usually show royal children
in western fashion, but it is possible to judge from written sources that much
care went into children’s wardrobes and toys.
Surely Polish boys of noble and townsmen origins wore miniature versions
of adult clothes. Probably, they were dressed in a żupan, narrow and soft breeches, footwear reaching the ankles.
Over the zupan would be a Delia
or Kontuz cut similar to that of the Father’s. Adults and children
also shared similar haircuts.
The colorful Polish fashions were
popular at court festivities such as parades and ceremonial processions
throughout 17th C. Europe. One such event was the "Carrousel Certamen
Equestre" in 1672 celebrating Sweden’s Charles XI accession to the
throne. In the procession a group
of Swedish gentlemen wore long Polish coats, with abundant passementerie
decorations. According to the
spirit of the time, in 17th century Poland dramatic theatrical elements combined
with solemn ecclesiastical ceremonies in careful compositions designed to
provide astonishing visual and aural effects.
Wedding and funerals provided another stage for elaborate spectacles
featuring elegant maneuvers of groups of marchers directed by carefully
When Zygmunt III second wife -Queen
Constance - arrived in Cracow in 1605 the event was painted with great care and
realism on the so-called Stockholm Roll,
which allows us a glimpse of the day’s fashion.
It gives a rare opportunity to see the livery of a Polish town guard,
marching in western apparel with halberds on their shoulders, on either side of
the Queen’s carriage. Courtiers in western apparel, dignitaries on horseback,
and other carriages with her female attendants accompany her. A hussar banner
The most opulent procession was perhaps
the famous entry into Rome by Jerzy Ossoliński - ambassador of the
Commonwealth in 1633. The oriental
qualities of clothes and arms, and the luxury and wealth implied by the
bejeweled outfits, amazed viewers. The
march’s choreography created colorful effects, including a group of riders
dressed in crimson delia of Venetian
silk velvet surrounding the envoy. The trip to Rome by Ossolinski was
immortalized in paintings by the Italian artist Stefan della Bella.
In 1645, the city of Gdansk greeted the
French queen Mary Ludwig Gonzaga, wife of Wladyslav IV. Every detail was
recorded by Jean Laboureur de Marszałkowej Guebriant, who led the French
procession as Ambassador Extraordinary for Poland.
The author admired the fine Polish clothes, sewn with golden Persian
fabrics and colorful silk velvets, precious furs, as well as the splendid
caparisons and tack on the horses. A
group of noble horsemen escort the Queen’s carriage, as well as an honor guard
of Gdansk townsmen, who wore black velvet clothes, sewn according to western
fashion. The jewels, furs and other riches displayed, in the
estimate of Guebriant, were valued in amounts approaching ten thousand ducats.
At Century’s end, paintings record
the solemn, but comparatively low-budget, coronation of August II in Cracow.
Representatives of the city’s townsmen took part in this march,
according to contemporary descriptions. These
included Cracow guild members and other trades people, squadrons of troops from
the Saxon guard, and three elite hussar banners.
Behind the gentry and royal dignitaries
follow all sorts of vehicles, including the Queen’s empty carriage and a gilt
sedan chair borne by hand. King
August II rides horseback in a golden coat- "paludamencie
traderowym" (drap d'or),
bordered with ermine. At the coronation ceremony the king wore a golden armor
suite in the ancient Roman fashion (ŕ la
Romaine) with a golden cape thrown
Such armor, favored also
by the circle of knights of the court of Louis XIV, pleased the Polish gentry
with their respect for the image of the "warrior" in the Roman
Much fine Polish clothes of the 17th C
was sewn of Italian damask adorned with almond flower motifs called Mandorla Fiorita
in Italian (photo. 26),
damask and velvet fabrics with fine geometric and formal floral designs
or scattered flowers and paisleys in thick fabric (photo. 25,
27-29). The great magnates displayed their
grandeur through showy silk velvet attire. Chancellor
Jerzy Ossolinski grandly entered Rome outfitted with a velvet delia, which exposed stripes of underlying Venetian velvet
ornamented with stylized roses as gussets and highlighted with lace chain, a
style reminiscent of the 15th C.
The crimson velvet is made of silk and is ‘cut’- decorated by a design shaved in two heights, a fabric style called altobasso (fig. 100). The value placed on a fabric stemmed mainly from its luxurious look, and this no doubt impressed the Romans with its exceptional quality.
clothes of silk Italian Fabrics begin to appear in mercantile lists at the end
of the 17th C. Two popular fabrics were called lastra
and restagno. The name lastra, or
‘lame’, comes from narrow strips of metal (lastra)
woven through the surface of the fabric, and for the glittering effect this
produces. Restagno was produced in
Florence and Venice and imported by Italian tradesmen living in Poland.
the 17th C. many surviving records mention clothes from woolen fabrics.
Many noble and wealthy townsmen clients preferred clothes sewn similar to
frocks and gowns made of English,
Dutch, French, Italian and German fabric.
fig. 100. Fragment of maroon
Venetian silk velvet cut in two heights, a type called "altobasso"
in the first half of the century were made in lively primary colors, but in the
second half of the century the colors influenced by western fashion begin to be
muted. Popular colors were called
"spicy" (pepper, cinnamon, clove), delicate green ‘celadon’,
the golden color of an autumn leaf ‘felmortowy’ (feuille
morte), pale gray/blue "gryglinowy"
(gris de lin), and blue lake ‘blemarantowy’
Linen and lightweight woolen fabrics were used for everyday city dress.
Sparkling mohair and inexpensive part-silk velvet, called trypem, were bought by middle class townsmen. Less wealthy townsmen
and domestic servants wore clothing predominately of white and russet fabrics,
but colorful accents were important, most often red, green, and blue lining and
Oriental commodities for Poland arrived
in the southeast provinces; Lvov had the biggest role as a trading center,
followed by Brody and the fortress-city of Kamieniec Podolski. Istanbul was the
major clearing center for commodities from the many lands of the Near East, and
even from the Far East. In addition
to products from Turkey, goods could be found from Syria, Egypt, China, India
and Japan. Persia played an
important role in the realm of artistic crafts.
Persia maintained most business contacts with Poland through Turkey;
however, they were sometimes direct, especially in the import of fine fabric
dyes, and gold foils. The Polish market was important for Istanbul from the 16th
C., especially for delicate silk scarves and fabrics used for interior
decoration (carpets, rugs, tapestries and curtains).
Greeks were often intermediaries in the commerce with Turkey.
The Greeks operated out of Lvow, where many eventually settled, becoming
a community of substance and property. The
Armenians importing Persian commodities were even called
Persians (Persjanami). The Armenians were specialists in light silk fabrics and
other decoratively woven oriental cloth. For woman's dresses Poles eagerly
bought ‘shot’, a smooth golden fabric with gold weft and red, blue and green
warp, called złotogłowia.
This was especially used as lining for fancy delia
The demand for shot fabric
was so large in Poland that the Armenian craftsmen were unable to fill the
orders. It is recorded that Hetman Stanislav Koniecpolski contracted with the
Bordach manufactory for production of this cloth. The manufacturing activity spread in 1643 with a contract to
a factor in Lvov.
Western imports entered
Poland through Gdansk and Ebling. However,
imported goods did not meet the demands of the market. In the 17th C there were
further technical developments in production, especially for the clothiers of
Great Poland as a result of the market demands created by the 30 Year War.
Many fabric weavers fled with their skills and knowledge to nearby Great
Poland, and eventually elsewhere in Poland. That movement begot new fabric
factories and helped build great new cities which were involved in production of
fabric; mainly Krotoszyn, Kobylin, Rawicz,
Bojanov, Leszn, Wschov, Kargov, Obrzyck, Czarnkov, Lobzen, and others.
Polish craftsmen and
businessmen in the first half of the 17th
C received hot competition from the Jewish artisans and traders, or so claimed
Sebastian Miczynski in ‘Zwierciadle Korony Polskiej’ (Mirror of the Polish
Crown) in 1618. Jewish merchants in
Lvow and Cracow handled lynx and sable fur and had extensive contractual
arrangements with the cattle industry. They brought also goods to Nuremberg,
Lipsk, Frankfurt on Main, and shipped goods to almost all the markets in Poznan,
Gniesno, Torun, Lublin, Jaroslaw and Lowicz.
They handled saffian and other better kinds of leather, and provided
shoemakers, saddlers, bookbinders. or clothiers and finishing shops of Jewish
The magnates and the proprietors of towns and villages sponsored Jewish
traders and craftsmen, whose services were in great demand.
The first third of the 17th
did not bring any major changes in men’s clothing fashion, the same cut and
length held from the second half of the 16th C, from the Court of King Stephan
Bartory (tab VI). One can see similar old-style clothing on the Starost
of Cracow, Gabriel Tarnowski (died 1628 ). A reconstruction of his clothes
(based on a tracing of the surviving garment) shows a quite short żupan
with a collar lightly lined in the
rear and gently lowered in the front. (fig. 101).
101. Reconstructed garment of Gabriel Tarnowski shows a żupan, silk lined delia,
fragment of belt with metal plates, and his hat.
Magnate’s dress. Fur lined delia,
and satin żupan
Noble’s delia lined with lynx fur;
żupan is sewn from a boldly
patterned Mandorla fiorita damask.
Żupans lengthened in the
rear after 1640 (fig. 102), they also widened, and the rear of the collar was
lined. The front of the collar gently unfolds, about equal height (photo. 30).
Characteristic for żupans was
a sleeve loose and wide up high
but narrowing at the wrist, which created an impression of length.
All these elements have been
taken into consideration in a żupan
of golden satin found
in the National Museum in Cracow (photo. 31).
It is fastened with small passementerie buttons, with uncut front and
back waist line and pleats gathered in the back next to pockets. A
deep overlap of the right breast over the left was an important particularity of
The collar is decorated with silk golden cord (sznureczkiem),
from which button loops and buttons were made (photo. 32).
the 1660s, the cut of the żupan
collar changed again.
It became lower with the ends cut
(photo. 33) at an oblique angle, as can be seen in the example (photo.
34) of a
brown żupan of fine damask
recovered from a tomb.
custom of tying a wide silk sash about the żupan
spread in Poland in the final years of the 17th C. Sashes were brought to
Poland from Turkey and Persia, and more rarely from China and India.
masterpieces of oriental decorative art and were copied by Polish craftsmen, as
were other oriental luxury articles. However, domestic products differed from imported oriental
sashes. While a model may have been
copied, the result was original and introduced native Polish motifs and
102. Riding clothes ‘jeżdziecki’
– Zupan with high collar and petlice/passementerie
buttons, Hungarian shoes with tops of knee-boot
addition to the oriental silk sashes, there was a fashion from mid century of
net "siatczane" belts, an
elastic net of knots constructed from thin rep silk cords.
Other belts were called "sakiewskich"
or bag belts usually constructed from a net
braided from thin silk. Decorative
patterns were woven or braided in with golden thread, the ends finished with
pendants (photo. 35).
the color scheme of the żupan or
other garment, the belts were black, yellow-gold, maroon, crimson, or violet. The less wealthy cinched their clothes with a patterned
woolen belt, which are described in a contemporary belt shop’s catalog of
wore various types of narrow metal belts with engraved or molded decoration,
popularly called Przeworsk or Lvow-style
decoration, after the towns of origin. Belts had a base of leather or fabric,
and various types of articulated links of metal, joined with a series of dots or
shields, finished with an ornamented buckle or fastening (Fig 104). A metal belt
with buckle and decorations, on which hung a saber, was worn in 1650 by
Chancellor Jerzy Ossolinski (fot 36), currently in the National Museum of
Cracow Polish collection, 17th C, metal belt with various stamping (cechuje)
and ornament. Small links are cast
or wroth as chain-mail (fig 105, fot 37) This
style of work is characteristic to that found in metal belts imported from the
orient (fot 38)
103 Belt of the Przeworsk style with
molded decorative plates of gold color, and tin disks and belt buckles(klamry), the underlay’s edging is fretted.
105 Metal belt, worked and etched plates, polished chain mail and big decorated
fashion in the first half of the 17th C. underwent changes, as
documented by contemporary records. The
popular delia, in the years 1585-1630 short and collarless, appeared in
Provincial probate inventories as ‘kontuz’ as an outer-garment worn over the
zupan, recorded for the first time in a Krakow offical account or tax document
for a tailoring establishment in 1648. One
may reasonably expect that the fashion of the kontuz existed several years
earlier. Evidence of this includes
clothes of Stanislaw Daniwovicz of around 1640, of even roundly laid out pleats,
finished on a line with embroidered piped edging.
The satin Daniwovicz garment is a lower (lined?) kontuz genotype with
wide arms and wide cut armpit and a low collar fastened with two passamantre
buttons (fig 106) This is without doubt one of the earliest Polish kontuz,
its name appears in Province inventories before it grew in popularity
and eventually became ubiquitous.
features of the kontuz can be seen in other garment types and it is possible
that it was modeled from one of these that also may have regularly laid out
pleats in the rear and on the side wide allowance for big free movement. It is
worth noting that this precise cut cannot be seen in any eastern or western
fashion. Polish dress in the 17th
C, was oriented towards only one particular thing – armor, belts, decoration,
but not entirely, of this testimony accumulation of their native elements, seen
in the cut and finish.
106 Kontuz of Stanislaw Danilwiez, notice typical cut of the back
107 Outerwear over a zupan, most probably a kontuz
Clothes with extended decorative fur collar reminds one of 18th c fur lined kontuz, which superseded the earlier delia.
Indeed the kontusz was characteristically trimmed with petlicami button knots. Twelve peltic button sets are on Alexander Jablonowski’s crimson kontuz with dangling arms, from the second half of the century (fig. 108). Rows of peltic knots and buttons finish this kontusz of 1655-1660 that is currently housed in Stockholm, Sweden (fig 109). This kontusz has a strongly marked profile, and it is clear that the rear is made of a single panel of fabric, to which sides are attached triangular panels for the skirt. The collar is low and standing, finished with a oblique angle, as are żupans of 1660. The narrow arms have a flap cuff covering the hand. It is lined with the same material. This simple kontusz was cut in such a way that when one panel deeply covers another, then both panels were widest on the top near the collar so they opened all the way down to the first (highest) button to show the żupan. They used great care and originality in finishing the kontusz with passementerie. There is evidence that from the very beginning galloon was used in trim. This kontusz was finished with silver galloon 5mm in width sewn along the seam line of the arm, and the rear side of the arm sewed up to below the armpits.
w/ pelticami in the style of
109 Polish kontuz with pelticami, characteristic cut
110 Ferezja fur lined, low standing collar, decorative pelticami.
Fig 111 Ferezja indoor gown (“smoking jacket”) w/low standing collar, with pelticami and buttons; black zupon on border embroidered with gold string fabric belt; woman’s foundation-garment (Ksztalt) with polerynka, under which is visible sleeve of a white shirt, on head a fur kolpack hat.
Braid galoon trim also
marked the sewing line of the flaring sides of the dress from waist line to the
hips finished with small trefoil design. The
edge of the kontusz on the flaps collar and around the pocket opening are
embroidered with cord, of a type called ‘pstroka’ (mottled) by tailors (krawieckim). Underneath was sewn a lining (podszewka)
with gold flowers, of a type only used on simple clothing.
A kontuz of this same cut
and similar arrangement of passementerie trim is displayed in the colorfully
figurative decorative works in an altar in the church in Tarlow, completed in
1641-47. The armed nobleman lifting
his hat wears a military kontuz with an expanded skirt split along the sides,
characteristic for riding clothing (fot 39). The Tarlow kontuz follows the
fashion mostly seen in the 1640s, passementerie /petlicami trim with buttons finished on the sides, called
passementerie was embraced in the 17th C not only on the kontusz, but earlier also on the delia, which the kontusz
fashion gradually replaced. An example of an extremely rich Passementerie
decoration is on the delia and red
gown (suknia) on the portrait of
Hetman of the Crown Stanislav Koniecpolski (1646), decorated with red petlicami
on the whole width of the front. (Photo
40). This garment recalls the
termination, and fine buttons interlaced with string embroidery,
on the passementerie of the red kontuz in Stockholm.
The arrangement of the buttons can also be seen on the portrait of Stefan
Czarniecki (Photo 41)
112 Black Ferezja with standing collar, without buttons and button-lace, and
lined with deep red ‘borszcz’ color); żupan with standing finely
stitched, pea-green collar; belt is black, shoes are red, hat with red top and
also finish the ferezje with the
hanging sleeve, and low standing collar of a style current in Poland around 1630
(fig 110-112), it reached to the knees only so as not to impede movement (fig
85b). In the 1670s the use of
knotted trim on kontuz faded out. Instead
fashion called for small jasper buttons (guzy)
or silk (jedwab) braid (splatane)
with metal threads. Typically fancy
buttons were made of delicately worked filigree metalwork, and for most
luxurious effect included colored stones, especially turquoise and red coral.
(fig 113) A suitable belt rounded out the Polish style. These were worn with
variability, because the nobles often tied the belt on the kontusz,
while townspeople usually wore it on the żupan.
The practice of wearing
weapons especially influenced Commonwealth attire. Already by the 16th century a costumers' guild had formed to
outfit elegant gentlemen. The work was carried out with great artistry; sabers
made a flamboyant statement with their rich ornaments in the Oriental style,
handles molded in gold and set with precious stones (photo 42, drawing 114).
Sabers were worn on their belts. Although
this practice was reserved by law to the noble order and to constables and other
magistrates, it became accepted tradition for wealthy townsmen to wear swords.
To public events and ceremonies, the wealthy would also carry richly
ornamented, Eastern style, walking-stick axes (czekans) and even maces (buzdygans),
even though these maces were technically reserved as a symbol of military
authority. (See Fig 107, 108, 114, and Photo 40,41)
113 Buttons: thin foil, turquoise, oblong filigree azurite, filigree and
granulated designs, gold wire twisted, enamel and stone, cast.
The hair cuts and head
covers worn were a continuation of the fashion of the end of the 16th C.
In the first half of the 17th you could see older people with long hair.
But by mid century even the conservative Senators had adopted the fashion
of long hair on top and sides shaved. We can see a representative 1670 haircut
in a portrait of King Jan III Sobieski - smooth even cut, shaved on the sides
and rear. This style of haircut
stayed in fashion through the end of the 18th C. Shaved heads went
with Polish Sarmatian style colpak fur-faced
hats, folded up on the sides and the front and typically with a feather
decoration attached with a pin. (Fig 101, 114, Photo 32).
Typical national footwear
was the cavalry soldier’s boot, baczmagi,
made in the eastern style, with soft tops, of variable height but typically
knee-high, and with semicircular heel. The
fancy version used gold or red saffian
or embossed (kurdybanowych) leather
(fig 114 foto 32, table V). The heel back might be also layered
or green or, most often, gold saffian. (foto 43).
Peasants wore shoes (łapcie
–pron. wapcie) of strong leather and linden wood, and boots with cholcwami
or walonki or with felt tops. Peasants’
workclothes was usually linen, wool and various available alternatives. Usually
these were plaited. They wore shirts which could reach the knee, had long
sleeves and chinched with a leather belt, rope, or sash.
Pants, mostly baggy, reached the ankle.
On the head the peasants wore a high ‘magierka’
(a Hungarian style felt cap) or hat with loose
114 Representative Polish Dress. Delia
or Ferezja lined with fur and zupan of cloth with prominent floral pattern;
fur hat with medallion in front and side with feather; belt with metal
buckles, saber, and in his hand a mace (buzdygan)
Fashion details were
affected much by region, observed Kasper Lujckena, Dutch etcher and engraver,
who was in Poland in the time of Sobieski.
Mountaineers and Outlaws from the south and east at that time wore shirts
with falling collars, and very wide arms, tight pants, shoes (kierpce) tied
around the ankle with string, hats with big, high crown and folded up on the
right side. This costume was finished by a crossed bandoleer decorated
with metal discs. (fig
115 Mountaineer dress (goralski) – shirt with wide sleeves, tight pants, soft
leather shoes (kierpce) tied around the ankle with string, hats with big high
crown and folded up on the right side.
Festival peasant dress arose in
imitation of noble’s costume cut and design.
The holidays found peasants dress in a way that that reminds one of what
is called the national dress. This
includes delia, germaks, (zw. Wsrod ludu siermiegami) and also long robes laid
out on the shoulders of the collar, that reminds one of the look of the Cracow kierezje. In winter the
peasants wore besides shirts also long fur robes (szuby)
and short capes (bekiesz). Dress most
often found in graves is worsted homespun, lined with sheep or rabbit fur.
Among the many townsfolk of
foreign extraction and among the Royal court, the fashion was Western, following
the ‘Spanish’ mode. This
fashion was influenced by German, French and Dutch trends.
The Spanish mode preferred rich and heavy material, brocades (brokaty),
damask (adamaszki), velvet (aksamity).
The cut was simple and severe, and the color was predominantly black. The collar
was straight, white on black. This simple and modest mode entered Poland through
Dutch immigrants, but later lost ground when these townsmen readily adopted the
noble’s oriental ‘Sarmatian’ fashion. The evidence from 17th C, inventories of
immigrants from Holland is that many who may have first incorporated some Polish
detail into their attire, like a belt, eventually adopted the complete wardrobe.
Female Dress - Part II
 Zlotoglowiu or shot: cloth that achieved a shimmering appearance through the use of different color threads in the warp and weft.
 M.B. suggests that by avoiding copying men’s fashion some perhaps also sought to protest what many perceived as the bad influence of Sarmatian culture.
–girdle. Part of feminine
underwear according to fickle requirements of fashion shaping the bosom
/bust line. In Poland for this purpose 16th century tight and
shaping garments were made from firm fabrics sewed and stiffened with
whalebone or metal wires.
 Saffian: thin flexible yet hard-finish goat leather, yellow or red, prepared with a sumac dye
This translation has been in
the works for several years and has several people’s substantial contribution.
This was a difficult and educational project for me, since the
terminology and academic style was all new to me and beyond my limited Polish
skills. At this writing it is not complete, and I know of several weak areas
that represent my guess at the meaning. But I have been sitting on a
mostly-complete draft for years so here goes.
Also, this is just the 17th C. chapter of a much larger work.
Some folks proofed bits of
the translation, but most of it has not been carefully checked, even by me. I
found no volunteers who would complete the job. Therefore I solicit any input readers may have.
If you have a correction, please send me a complete sentence or complete
paragraph of corrected text. (Also,
maybe I’ll put it on a Wiki.) If
you have lots of energy, the chapters on the 14th, 15th, 16th and 18th
C. are blank.