Czech Republic: Plzen woman

Front view

General description: This doll is in traditional dress (kroje) from the Plzen area, but it is not a very accurate representative (see below).

Dimensions 15.5 x 8 x 6 cm

Date when acquired 2016

Original Date Possibly 1970s (as shown on the Tres Bohemes site for a Lidová Tvorba doll)

Source Göttingen flea market

The label has the words “PLZEN 15 cm — Lux, Krojovaná lourka z PVC, LIDOVÁ TVORBA — UHERSKY BROD, CIK 747 291 624 218 CSVD Praha, 4/6/76/5013, KPN 20-4-83, MPC Kcs, Made in Czechoslovakia.


Back view


Plastic with movable arms and legs. Her features are painted on. Her hair is moulded into the plastic and is painted dark brown.


Side view


She is wearing a plain red knee-length linen skirt, pleated at the back and open like a kilt in the front. Under her skirt is a single white starched mesh petticoat (unlike the many petticoats usually worn by these women). It is also pleated at the back and open like a kilt at the front. It also has white lace trim around the hem. Over her skirt is a white lace apron.

On top, she is wearing a white linen blouse with puffed sleeves to just below the elbows. The cuffs are trimmed with white lace and the sleeves are tied at the elbow with red zig-zag braid. Around her neck is a white lace ruff.

Around her waist is a belt made of red braid embroidered with a pink and purple flower design with green leaves. The braid is knotted at the front and its long ends stick out to the sides. Over her shoulders and forming a V back and front are two red ribbons which are also held by the braid belt.

On her head is a white scarf drawn back to form a square shape. It has white lace trimming the front around the face and a large white lace bow sewn to the back.

She is not wearing any stockings but has black half boots painted on her feet.





1) Plzen woman from behind showing the bow at the back of the scarf and the embroidered shawl over her shoulders

Background information

The area for the Plzeňsko folk costume spanned around 30 villages (Ledce and Záluží in the north, Dějšina and the rather far-flung Ejpovice in the east, Plzenec and Outušice to the south, and Vejprnice and Křimice in the west). The influence of the folk costume also asserted itself strongly in Plzeň itself. Since its own area was not too extensive, the costume did not show any substantial deviations between the villages.

The distinctiveness of the Plzeňsko female folk costume primarily consists of its unusual width, which Plzeňsko women achieved with a number of underskirts that was uncommon anywhere else. If five or six underskirts were the maximum for another costume, this was only the beginning for the Plzeňsko costume, because a fashionable girl wanted 12 to 15 for her wedding or sometimes even as many as 24. Therefore it was no wonder when the woman lifted them up slightly in church to make them “lighter,” because carrying their weight demanded quite a lot of effort, even from a sturdy countrywoman. There was little embroidery on the Plzeňsko woman’s costume – just a little bonnet with “wings,” adapted from ribbons known as “kalunky,” and then thin kalunky for aprons (fertoch). For especially festive occasions, women also wore pleny, or cloths, and white embroidered fertoch aprons only occurred rather infrequently.

There was not much embroidery, but because of its beauty it can be counted among the most beautiful examples of folk needlework ever. The embellishments, which adorned the bodices and white woollen jackets, are relatively simple and less striking so they lag far behind the magnificent white embroideries. The chemise had white medium-size bulbous sleeves. These were sewn into a woven band at the elbow, which also bordered the neckline at the throat. A small silk scarf was placed across the breast. The endings of this scarf were tucked behind the bodice. Red stockings were worn on the legs along with carved shoes on thick high heels, which were tied  by a green ribbon. These were later replaced by tightened velvet boots (bůtky) with a glossy indented edge.

2) Plzen man and woman

The male Plzeňsko costume is also restrained. The upper parts were tailored from good blue cloth, braided in red at the edges. All the parts had fastenings of shiny golden brass buttons. The light deerskin trousers were often adorned with stitched decorations. The boots were hard and high up to the knee or else soft turndown boots were worn.

For single and married men, an otter cap was the headgear for less festive occasions. The crown was usually red velvet and a golden string was sewn into a star six times across it, and fastened in the middle by a golden tassel. For a festive costume, men wore black stovepipe hats with a low,  somewhat indented crown, which had a black ribbon wrapped around it. The border was wider and also straight. Black silk ribbons were sewn along the sides from below and these were used for tying the hat under the chin.


Source(s) of information



1) Plzen woman from behind showing the bow at the back of the scarf and the embroidered shawl over her shoulders -

2) Plzen man and woman –



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