Schwalm Costume – The Black Velvet Bands

Black patterned velvet bands were used in Schwalm for decorating women´s waistcoats and women´s jackets. They were also used for decorating the bottom edges of the skirts of the black festive costumes.
Most common were bands whose patterns were woven with a relief technique. Bands can also be found with the velvet of the pattern having different heights (first band of the picture below), but these are rare.
These patterns do not appear as clear as those found on the other bands where the velvet alternates with clearly contrasting fabric sections.
All bands that I found on Schwalm festive waistcoats for women show the same pattern: a Pomegranate motif.
A Pomegranate with three leaves on one side
alternates with the pattern element shown above.
The bands had widths of 5 cm up to 7.5 cm, according to the size of the garment. So children´s garments had small bands, and women´s garments had slightly wider bands.

All bands are black. In older bands the colour of the ground fabric faded, so the patterns in the pictures really stand out.
Decorated with the black velvet bands and the shining and colourful buttons, the garments look absolutely pretty and very festive.

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