Schwalm Costume – Narrow Apron Ribbons

Adornments gave the festive Schwalm costume a blaze of colour. And the narrow apron ribbons, in the Schwalm called Schürztuchschnürchen or Forzbengelchen, were no exception. Richly ornate, the colourful narrow ribbons lay on the back of the skirts.
Small silk ribbons were decorated with sequins, bullion, and small flowers or stars made of metal.
The ribbons were usually unlined, only sometimes a paper strip on the back gave stiffness.
The silk ribbons were mostly monochromatic, and their edges did not have plain selvages. The weft threads were laid at different sized loops so that an additional effect was established.
Sometimes a somewhat wider ribbon was added to the ends of a narrower main silk ribbon.
From the front the edges of the wider ribbon were visible thus creating one more effect.
The embellishments on the narrow silk ribbons were very different. Some older ribbons have Tritzer in different colours (these shown here are unfortunately faded a little bit) which were studded with sequins.
Other ribbons were decorated with sequins and bullion only.
Sometimes templates were fastened onto the ribbons
and embroidered with colourful silk threads.
On other ribbons the bullion was expertly applied in the shapes of the common Schwalm motifs:
heart, tulip, and star.
Very elaborate examples also had the initials of the owner.
Often the ends of the ribbons were additionally decorated with needlelace
or bullion applied to look like needlelace.
Tied into a small bow or hung onto the apron’s waistband with a simple cow hitch, the colourful and richly decorated narrow ribbons, falling onto the back of the skirts, brightly contrasted against the black or dark blue linen.

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