Female Festive Costume

18th century

Velvet, galloon, gold embroidery

Shirt (sleeves)


Velvet kokoshniks with gold embroidered patterns were worn by townswomen from the lower classes. Such headdresses were also worn by wet nurses in wealthy families. “On weekdays a wet nurse usually wears a shirt of heavy fabric, a sarafan and a muslin cap; on Sundays and holidays, a galloon-decorated camlet sarafan, muslin shirt and velvet kokoshnik” (Panaev 1844). The needlework was done by skilled gold embroiderers, usually in convents.

The dress of well-to-do townswomen and merchants’ wives was usually sewn from luxurious fabrics: silk or gold brocade, or silk cannele. Even the lining of a sarafan could be of silk with Oriental abr patterns of surprisingly beautiful coloration.

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