Forming the Hungary between the East and the West

The clothing on the territory of Slovakia found itself in period of the early Middle Ages under influence of more pagan also of Christian, ethnically Slovak and non-Slovak factors. Original Slovak population passed through a gradual Christianization which was bringing also a new view at dressing. The Christianized population also in other parts of Europe crossed through to long clothes then to long tunics, and namely especially the ruler´s male class which did not wear long clothes till then. Short tunics have been preferred by men for the fight but the long clothes were gradually becoming a formal dress. Women, particularly those married ones, have worn under influence of a new ideology the chastely being veiled head, neck and the bottom part of face. The Christianity brought in a prudishness manifesting itself by shrouding the body into the clothing customs. The reigning elite has been still steadily influenced by Byzantine culture. Luxurious items e.g. also cotton fabrics had their original just in Byzantium.

The ancient Hungarian tribes had other way of life also clothing in the time of their arrival on the territory of the Slavs.  It is possible to see a parallel to their clothes at other nomadic ethnic groups from Asia. They knew trousers protecting at riding; they have worn coats called kaftans girded in the waist with textile belts which strengthened the trunk at riding. The nomadic tribes have been joined also by the access to the property „worn on themselves” as various types of jewels. It means that their clothes have been sewn-up with metal appliqués, and these have been used, as the case may be, also as a means of payment. With regard to the fact that their way of dwelling in tents did not enable a distinctive social differentiation; just the jewels on the clothes became a symbol of the status from the social point of view.  Also massive necklaces with separate components had the equal sense but also appliqués on the shoes or caps.  Those in a form of too striking hats they had to wear at riding like a head protection. Because they had to „be a perfect fit “, they preferred caps deeply set-on on the head. The clothes of tribe elite of nomads especially the kaftans could be manufactured of showy cottons because they had immediate contacts with cultures where cotton clothes have been used: for example with Scythians, Persians or Sogdians.

The new state formation Hungary established on the part of territory of Great Moravia has been by power organized by Hungarian knights with support of Slavonic elite. Štefan the first as the founder of a new empire accepted the Christianity and the Hungary became a part of the West state wholes. Imitation particularly of the West Europe but also of Byzantium became a norm for lifestyle also dressing. By a transition to Latin language in official sources the names of the clothes and clothing accessories and of clothing accessories are found in Latin transcription. In spite of that the names of the clothes of Slavonic origin were maintaining in the colloquial speech and linguistic scientists consider them for such ones for instance garment, shroud, „riza, “grzno”, shaggy coat, blouse, peasant´s shoes. They are well-known up to today´s times although for the most part already only as dialect archaisms. Up to the 13th century only a limited scale of written sources bringing more content information about clothing and textile culture from the territory of Slovakia or Hungary does exist.

The form of clothes presented a very simple cut in this period. It was a question of plain clothes it has been cut in the direction of warp or weft and with straight set-in sleeves. They began gradually to disseminate in the basic cut as well as on the sleeves with side triangular wedges. It has been the most universal form of the clothes: menswear, women´s wear and children´s wear as well clothes for poor also rich persons. In spite of a simple cut the social differences have been visible on the clothes. In a practical usage it was differentiated between bottom tunic in function of bottom wear and top tunic as upper clothes. In this period also a number of equal pieces of clothes worn on themselves signalized a difference among particular inhabitants. Richer people have worn also three tunics every in other function or of other material. The simple inhabitants called their often the only tunic riza or shroud. The upper tunic of woollen cloth they called a skirt. In this period the skirt did not designate a clothing type of today´s female skirt but a dress clothes made of cloth equally the male also female ones . Not only a material, its treatment, decorating, colourfulness have been a sign of the social distinctness. The simplest classes of population then physically working people have worn clothes of fabrics manufactured in a homely way; for winter they have worn woollen especially cloth tunics; for summer flaxen or hemp ones. Also in the female as well in male form they have been girded with textile band or a leather belt.

However, dress long clothes covering up the entire figure have been not the only clothes used by nobility but also by wider population for example in the time of winter. For protecting the legs „trousers“ were used but not of today´s type. The leg has been protected from beneath similarly as in the case of today´s pantihose or of half-hoses i.e. it was shoed on the sole of the foot and it was pulled-out under or over knee where it was fixed-up with lacing i.e. suspender belt. The “trousers“ were sewn for winter of woollen fabrics for summer of flax, hemp; the more luxury ones also of cotton fabrics. The existence of knitted forms has been probably rather with the common people. Such „trousers“ could be fixed to the legs by straps of shoes (of sandals, by moccasins) or also by lacings and those could be also very decorative. Also foot-rags and tip bunches were used i.e. the lacings by which the leg was twined-around and it protected this one from the knee towards to the sole of the foot. Second type of the trousers has been presented by underpants, and these have protected the crotch and thighs. With regard to this that it concerned a type of underwear they were sewn particularly of linen and they were not tinted-with a dyestuff. They had a form of threading trousers with a slash in the front, with shorter or longer pipes onto the legs or a form of arranged triangular scarf tied-up in the waist.

The headscarves have been a substantial clothing part of women especially of the married ones. In the time of the 10th to 13th centuries the bonnets or hats did not still exist as a part of the European women´s wear. Also showy headgears well-known from monuments of plastic arts, particularly of illuminations and later also of table or wall paintings are manufactured of simple forms: of quadrangular textiles or with rounded-up edges. However, they are interesting by their way of winding-around, laying and fixing onto the head. More sophisticated procedures required two also three scarves or belts which were laid onto the head. The simplest scarf for use was the one placed onto the head towards from behind forward has been, as the case may be, from above fixed-up by headband. The more complicated thing has been a way of the head arrangement with the covering-up of not only of upper part of the head but also of lower one, of beard and neck. The beard finish acted more craftily with the leaving of a bare neck. The winding-up way of the arrangement of head and neck has beencommonly used in the time of the top Middle Ages also at royal courts and in the milieu of nobility. In the 14th and 15th centuries when a broader range of headgears based on the cut and hard form will begin to come into existence an enrolling the head will become an archaic form and this one will prevail in milieu of townspeople, countryside population and of nuns.

A cowl as a part of coat or as separate accessories has been the most widely used headgear with the men. It had a simple cut coming out equally like clothing components from a form of simple geometrical shapes. Also a cap fitting closely and bordering  the head was worn. They manufactured it of fabric or felt with the aid of wooden form.

Quadrangle scarves either of flaxen linen or of wool served in less wealthy milieu as an outerwear. Also woollen topcoats cut-trough in the front lengthwise were worn. It concerned an influence of Hungarian and later also of other Asian nomads which have settled-down on the territory of Hungary. Coats of pelerine type were probably worn by more wealthy inhabitants. They have been symmetrically laid onto the figure, in German called mantel; those that had a cowl they designated in Latin language also as pluvial or capa. Also asymmetrical coats still of ancient type have being persisted. In written sources from the 12th and 13th centuries they are designated like paenulas, pallium, toga. In winter they favoured fur coats, “krznos” of various forms; in the Latin designations it could concern pellisons.

The shoes were worn among higher class all year long. The more complicated forms particularly from decorated leather: of painted, stamped alternatively of gilded leathers have been products of shoemakers especially from Byzantium or Arabic countries. In environment from here the cobblers could work on, sew up and adorn the leather by the beating-in. The shoes could be also the textile ones.

Between the rural population but also inhabitants of towns a home production of the clothes also accessories have functioned.

Slovak elite and nobility, which have played-out an important role at forming the Hungarian Kingdom, knew also more luxury clothing products. Especially the men during military expeditions or as part of sovereign voyages have acquainted with exotic goods or products generating in the centres of their production. Slovak lineages (families) Hont, Poznan, Bebek, Diviacky´s, Dônč, Podmanický and so on, could afford not only the products of superior quality of local master tailors, shoemakers, weavers but also imported clothes and accessories. Up to the 13th century the Byzantine products also their cotton fabrics have been some luxurious imports. Also Persian and Arabic cotton fabrics but also from other Asian countries have been equally appreciated. The most luxury ones have been particularly those with woven-out vegetal and figural patterns. In foreign period sources they are designated like samitumes, taqueté, lampases. Manufacturing of entire clothes, tunic or coat of these fabrics could be afforded only by the richest noblemen. They were utilized also as decorative borders at the neck opening, on sleeves and on the bottom hem of various clothes. Also one-coloured cotton fabrics but also the French, Dutch, English or Italian cloths were highly appreciated. Also cotton fabrics being imported from Italy and Orient have been expensive cloths in this time. They were used for veils and headscarves.

Differentness between woollen and linen clothes has been caused by their colour, quality of tinting respectively. Homely tinted clothes had not such heavy and particularly not long-lasting hues as when the clothes have been coloured by an already professional craftsman, a dyer. The quality of dyeing has been connected with a type of dyestuff and with using the chemical natural fixatives. It depended on quantity of dyestuff used and on the length of fabric dyeing.  The depth of colour and its washfastness; fastness after sun exhibition and fastness to abrading have been important factors of quality of tinted fabric. The dyestuffs of vegetal or animal origin were used. Separate guilds of dyers came to existence until in the late Middle Ages because the fabrics dyeing has been secured by the guilds or workshops of drapers or weavers up to then. The fabrics were dyed for light (yellow, red, carmine) colours and for dark ones (blue, black, purple colours). Derived colours like green, orange, brown and black ones arose by their redyeing.  The green colour was achieved with redyeing the yellow fabric by blue colour and with redyeing of black-and-brown fabrics by blue colour sometimes yet also by red colour black colour shades were achieved again. The black colour shades were worn more rarely until the beginning of the 14th century rather on smaller pieces of clothes and as monastic vestments for Benedictines and Dominicans. The fashion of black colour is fused only with Burgundy court in the 15th century.

For achievement of red colour a more affordable dyer´s morena (Rubia tinctorum) or further imported more luxury carmine dyestuffs being extracted from exotic worms of insect: carmasine, crimson, carmine. Also woollen scarlets were dyed red, yellow and brown with them – also dyed purple but in the 14th and 15th centuries it came to transferring the meaning of word scarlet for marking the carmine colour.  The purple was the most luxurious dyestuff by which various colour shades of red colour are being achieved.  Sea molluscs are used for its production. The term purple has designated not only a dyestuff in the Middle Ages but it was used also for marking the colour of achieved colour shade of the fabric. However, a precise identification of such colour is not unambiguous because also various nuances from pink colour until dark reddish violet one have sprung-up according to quantity of the purple used and to the length of bucking in it. Dyer´s boryte (Isatis tinctoria), a plant growing in Europe, was used for blue cloth dyeing and with more expensive indigo plant (Indigofera tinctoria) originally from West Africa and South Asia was it so too. The white colour, which was being attained by decolouring, because natural vegetal or animal fibres in white colour did not exist, has been a special colour. Decolouring and bleaching have been processes requiring the skilfulness. Therefore white clothes for instance tunica alba or tunica  purawere very appreciated. Beige and pale grey colour shades of natural linen and hemp have prevailed in the current clothes, however, also in a simple homely procedure the cloths were bleached for example by sun drying which has pulled-out a coloured pigment from  them. So white colour has been the colour of above-standard clothes and it was used a few especially in a combination with other colours at which it has acted more whitely than it has been in reality: then with red, green, blue colours. Coloured scales differentiated for male and female ones did not exist in the Middle Ages. Only differences among social classes did exist, which were manifested in colour depth and quality of fabric colouring or in its colour matching.

Also embroideries have delivered a high value to the clothes. Cotton threads, gold and silver fibres and threads or also various appliqués, works of goldsmiths, which were sewn-to onto the clothes, were used for embroidering in that most elite milieu. The embroideries have been widespread because they imitated heavily available and expensive figured fabrics. They have been embroidered by professional master embroiderers but the embroidering has been also skilfulness which was fostered by upbringing among women of all social classes. Homely manufactured embroideries on the clothes and soft furnishings were implemented as linen, woollen threads and in noble milieu also by cotton threads. It was embroidered on frames according to a drawn-beforehand pattern whereby more complicated compositions and shapes but also „by guesstimate” according to a counted thread what has been more simply and particularly geometrical motives: circles, rosettes, swastikas, spirals, strips were used. It was embroidered directly on the clothes but the strips or also patterns appliquéd on the clothes either as hems or patterns. As it is backed-up by archaeological findings or museum artefacts in this period also the Hungarian nobility have worn the embroidered coats and tunics.

Jewels have been steadily an important part of clothing as well its functional element. Herewith that the arranged forms of coats have long persisted, for which it was necessary to fix up them onto the body by fasteners, the clasps have been constantly very widespread: hook and eye fasteners, fibulas, and scarf pins, pins for arrangement of head and scarves. Women have worn also their head decorated with jewels except for earrings also backecarrings were permanently in favour. Headbands with various ways depicted by end pieces became widespread for fixing the hairdos and veils. They have been worn by young damsels on the hairs but also by married women on the veils. And „parta”, a wider headband on head was a symbolic headdress which has been a sign of girl´s age.

They used to be more ostentatiously manufactured of precious metals and gemstones or of other materials but sepulchral stocks of archaeological findings are backed-up by also amber, bronze, horn, bone and glass. Some products of jewellers served also like appliqués onto the clothes; they have been decorating bronze small metal strips which were sewn-on onto the dresses or onto the belts: terminations, ironworks from belts, buckles. Rings and namely the shield- type ones with heraldic adornment or dome-like rings with an eyelet have been popular.

In the thirties of the 13th century the Hungarian king Belo the forth has received the Cumans, originally herdsman´s nomadic steppe nation of exotic appearance also of way of the getting dressed. It concerned pagans who, however, adapted themselves with support of king in the Hungarian kingdom. In the forties the Hungary was attacked by Tartars (Mongols) and they plundered this country. The popularity of Asian type of the dressing remained in existence thanks to Cumans settled-down in the Hungary also after departure of Tatars. They have worn slack trousers of today´s type ground-deep, coats with long overhanging sleeves in front being interspersed with from one side to the other one and fixed with large textile band. They were fond of caps of a conical shape with terminated tip. Their isolated appearance has been underlined not only by the exotic cast of features but also by the head arrangement: they were fond of the interwoven long plaits of hair.

Belo the forth has commenced to invite the craftsmen and miners from surrounding countries for a recovery of his country after Mongol invasions. Especially German colonists were coming who have brought with themselves not only a knowledge of new technologies of the extraction of ores but also craftsmanship abilities, new information, other way of the getting dressed. A new form of organizing the craftsmen into professional groupings – guilds was coming with the German colonists and also a new form of art: Gothic style started to spread. An important period of production of consumer goods came on. Also clothes, raw materials for their production, decorations and accessories were produced in the guilds. The topicality was guarded there; then certain fashion ability of form, quality of processing and materials. The guild products have been determined for more exacting population in towns as well for nobility.  We know written articles of guilds producing the clothes and textile until from the 15th century; they did exist already sooner. The guild production has played an important role in professionalization, diversification of producers and from this fact resulting quality and variegation of products. Also that contributed to the development of new clothing components in the 14th century.