FINLAND 1500- MID 1600
1500s Court luxury and trade connections
1600s The town fashions,the new fashions and foreign fabrics
 
 
THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF FINLAND 1556-63
1556 - 1563 Johan, Duke of Finland, son of Gustav Vasa lives at Åbo castle
 
1563 Inventory
 
FABRICS IN INVENTORY OF JOHAN,DUKE OF FINLAND 1556-63

Most of these with silver or goldthread embellishments.

 
 
FABRICS IN INVENTORY OF KATHARINA ,DUCHESS OF FINLAND 1556-63

To the simpler garments, presumably for everyday use ;

 
 
FABRICS FROM INVENTORY OF SERVANTS 1556-63

The dukes pages ;

The virgins/maids ;

FABRICS OF THE WEALTHY AND POWERFUL IN THE 1500s
  
Some of this splendor can be found among the wealthy, powerful families.

1578 The maiden Philippa Eriksdotter Fleming, Yläne farm/estate

1583 Herr Svante Eriksson Stålarm, master to Kiala, Borgå

Velvet and silk are mentioned. Likewise cloth and homemade "lärft" (linenwave, compare to canvass, should be of linen though)
 
 

 FROM PROBATES OF FARMERS AND COMMONERS IN THE 1500s

1556 probates ;

Some men in the town of Kalax, Närpes,södra Österbotten - inherits from paternal aunt in Stockholm, Herman the bakers wife;

A family in Högsar town, Nagu,Åbo coastline - inherits from a sister in Stockholm ;

1566 probate ;

Peder Jònsson, Ingå,Nyland - after his brother in Stockholm;

Among other things;

 

TRADE ROUTES 1500 TO APROXIMATLY 1650

It was mostly the farmers in the coastal region who through theire part time trade and sailing to/between(?) Stockholm and Reval, who created part of the necessary economical basis for a town and fashion inspired eviroment. And had the necessary inspiration for this.

Stockholm castle 1540s, 1550s,1560s - either responsible for or possibly kept by (försörjning) - coastal villages from the Viborska bay in the east, to Nyland , Egentliga Finland,Åland and satakunta up to ôsterbotten played a not to be diminissed part. Fish trade was important, but even homeproduced products like vadmål, lärft,boats and chalk were sold.

During the beginning of the 1500s - over a period of 30 years, there is an estimated 500 shipments.

 1560s The priest Jakob Sigfridsson Geet lets the walls of Storkyro medieval church in the Vasa distric be decorated. Despite the rather strick following of the ideals/fashion; german decorated bibles and woodcuts, the unknown artist created the garments himself. You see all the wealthy and powerful in ancle long clothes, furtrimmed kaftans of russian look,the groom wears a modern spanish cloak med a collar, the young men and warriors wear the usual short kirtles of the medieval type with modern "skirts" and medieval hose.A woman at the reception can be seen wearing a spanish cloak with a collar, the female citizens(middleclass) in "fållkjortlar" (pleated kirtles) and different types of things are worn on the head.

Although the paintings might not reflect all aspects of local dress, at least it shows the awareness of fashions of the time among the wealthy.

1650 Kemi churc ;a painting showing what is very probably local dress ; among other things, very outdated (fashionwise) fur kirtles

 
 
THE FABRIC USED BY THE FARMERS AND COMMONERS 1500s AND 1600s
What little informations there is that is known about the dress of the commoners and farmers in Finland in the 1500s and 1600s, is information about the type of fabric used. There are no extant garments before the 1700s.

Cloth ; Priest, other "learned" men, the citizens (middleclass/gentry ?), the kings taxmen (?), writers (notaries and such ?) and the warriors

Vadmel ;Commoners in the towns, apprentices in crafts and footsoliders (?) and the farmers

 
1600s probates;

Cloth often red and vadmel often black for kirtles and jackets, taffetta and "rask" for aprons, "slissing" , linenweave linencanvass (lärft) and hemp linenwoven canvass for headlinen, neckerchiefs and linen garments- Shifts and shirts are also made of "blaggarn" called "hurst".

Mens jackets and coats, pants are made of vadmel and sheepsskin. The clothes would mostly be grey or black.

 
 
INFLUENCE AND TAILORING IN THE 1600s

The wealthier towns people and craftsmen in Åbo and Viborg had a strong foreign , almost german-baltic veneer (påbrå).

For the aristocracy and the gentry. Clothes were mostly imported from Russia, Reval,lübeck,Danzig and Holland.

Tailors were more often a conservative element than a renewing one due to the nature of the guilds. While the tailors of the aristocrats at court might later become members of the guilds and that way ensure a rising of the general standard. The main customer base for the guild tailor would be the town citizens (middleclass / burgers), but towards the end of the 1600s this would aslo include large military orders for uniforms.

A simplified version of the spanish fashions survived in Finland to the middle of the 17thC. By that time it was exchanged by the dutch "rhengreve" style.

The 30 years war prepared the way for the baroque fashions. At the beginning of the 1600s, the cut was the same for the 3 uppermost layers of male society.

For women, the division was sharper. The aristocrats with their piped collars and the town citizens with jackets and skirt. This divison was slowly erased by the 1640s and the influence of dutch middelclass fashions. 

 
 
 
SOURCE
Dräkt och mode- några finländska exempel
Bo Lönnquist
Folkelig dräkt
Published by Sigfrid Svensson
ISBN 91-40-03535-2