Kacabajky, kordulky, jupky

Kacabajky, kordulky, jupky

Mária Zajíčková

Such were the names for various types of coats and blouses which, originally popular in the second half of 19th century, were introduced as women´s wear in the families of craftsmen, winemakers and farmers in the town of Skalica (a centre of the Záhorie region on a border with Moravia and Austria) some thirty years later, during the first half of the 20th century.

Ordinary working people found increased scope of fabrics to buy around the late 19th century. Some tailors in Skalica purchased first sewing machines in 1868. Tailoring apprentices and housemaids from Záhorie went to work in Vienna and supplied their home town with technical and fashion news.

Under the influence of emancipation of women and their involvement in economic and social life and travelling by public transport vehicles, simplification of their clothes evolved, with a trend towards an English-style suit. Traditions did not survived on accessories of rural women. Cutting patterns and ornaments on kacabajky, kordulky and jupky reflected trends and tendencies of centres of European fashion, modified into a local form.

Coats and blouses were cut to reflect fashion trends of the second half of the 19th century. They were behind the then-accepted style, however, up-to-date decorations from machine production and shops were used widely. The misbalance reflected a conservative cut of a bulky traditional skirt which required a matching cutting pattern of upper clothes unlike decoration, which was not so dependent on a silhouette and shape. Traditional and expensive decorative products, usually applied by men’s tailors, were replaced by machine made decorative items. For example, women tailors from cities as well as folk tailors began to apply machine made laces on to coats and blouse of women of farmers and craftsmen.

Cutting patterns of kacabajky, kordulky and jupky remain popular. Decoration alters with creative potential of a designer. For example, members of the Ladies club Harmony in Skalica wear a black skirt and a traditionally cut and decorated jupka for their performance.