Bregenzerwald Folk Costumes

Bregenzerwald folk costumes

The Juppe - the Renaissance of a tradition

It is simple, it is elegant, and it is one of Europe's oldest and most valuable folk costumes: the Bregenzerwald women's dress. Almost 50 years ago, they were hardly seen anywhere. The strict regulations at the time for women wearing the Juppe left no room for individuality. For example, short-haired women were not allowed to wear the Juppe, especially considering that the appropriate hairstyles, namely the traditional Bregenzerwald braid, required long hair.

In fact, the Juppe was in danger of extinction. It was not until the rules were relaxed that it could experience a true renaissance. More and more young women began to wear the Juppe. Today, it is a festival dress worn mostly for special occasions such as weddings, baptisms, first communions, Corpus Christi, funerals, as well as secular festivals. As a traditional piece of clothing, the Juppe is passed down from one generation to the next.

The Juppe is made from the finest raw linen, which has gone through an elaborate refining process. The entire roll of fabric is dyed. Then, the fabric is glazed, stiffened, and polished. In 1640, the first dye factory was built in Schwarzenberg. As a cooperative of the "Wälder Republik", it produced black linen.

Once the fabric for the Juppe is finished, it needs to be pleated. The pleating machine used for this is a special model that was custom-built according to plans by Johann Fischer from Egg at the turn of the century. However, Josef Anton Kohler from Schwarzenberg was the first to succeed in putting it into operation.

© Monika Oberhauser
© Monika Oberhauser
© Monika Oberhauser
© Monika Oberhauser | Schmuck © Christina Eberle

In everyday life, the men's folk costume has died out. The men often worked in other regions and probably did not want to stand out. Back home, they didn't revert to the "old fashion". Today, you will still see men's folkwear worn in musical or folk costume societies. 

You can find more information about the Juppe and how it is made at the "Juppenwerkstatt".

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SCHWARZENBERG tourist office
Vorarlberg, Austria
Tel.:  +43 5512 3570

Opening times
Mo, Tue, Thu: 8:00 to 12:00 & 14:00 to 16:00
Fr: 8:00 to 12:00
Wednesday: closed

Extended opening times during the Schubertiade

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