Russia was home to more than 150 million people - of which only about half were ethnic Russians.
The variety of colors for traditional costume displays love for beauty and ethnic diversity. These costumes are not only beautiful, there are also convenient in wearing because they were created for work as well. Festive clothes and everyday clothes, married woman's and young girl's clothes differed only for details, decoration, color gamut. Red fabric cloth was considered to be the nattiest one, and, by the way, the Russian word "beautiful" comes from the word "krasny", the Russian for "red".
Homemade canvas and wool clothes decorated with embroidery or woven pattern have been used most often for traditional peasant costumes. Embroidery came in different ornaments (rhombuses, crosses, herring-bones, stylized patterns of people and animals) performed in naturally painted threads. Red, blue, green, white, yellow - the color gamut was rich and various.
Despite the social and territorial differences Russian traditional clothes had one thing in common, they had to be put as a cape, from the head. Soft silhouette without any cuts emphasized Russian lady's light steps. Dress and sleeves were getting wider to the lap; the fabric was decorated with symmetric pattern, or with other golden or silvery-like fabrics, furs, and embroidery.
Patterned woman's headdress "kokoshnik", fine linen "rubashka" shirts, beautiful woman's dress "sarafan" with embroidery in brocade and silk, - all these are comfortable and nice clothes worn ages ago by Russian women.
In the Northern districts of the region the means of decoration were modest and laconic in keeping with the architecture of those places. In the Southern districts the ornaments were brighter and more colourful. Every tiny detail made its contribution to the whole ensemble. A waist-belt was an indispensable part of it. Headwears were divided into women's and girls ones. They are embroidered with gold and pearls and are of great value. They were everyday clothes and holiday garments.
Russia has the best museum collections of "folk" costume worldwide and the Ethnographic Museum in St Petersburg is considered to be the best of its kind.
A folk costume is in harmony with the bright interior of the peasant house and country landscapes. It's in tune with the northern round-dance. Folk costume manifests folk art and conveys the spirit of the past and old bright culture of Russia.
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