Welcome to the website of Estonian national costumes!

National costumes are the clothes of our ancestors. However, these are not just body coverings, but they carry messages that tell the stories of family and parish refined over the centuries by each successive generation. The incredibly finely worked materials, wonderful colours and patterns, and skilfully sewn clothes are our treasure.

Every item of clothing has decorative and protective significance based on the wearer’s stage of life. The individual garments complement each other and thus form a complete set. As a nation, we have inherited these timeless clothes from our ancestors. As heirs, we are responsible for how we preserve our heritage and what we ourselves pass on. The image we present to the world depends on it. This is who we are. This is what makes us unique. This heritage and understanding it makes our new modern-day creations and designs distinctive.

This website is the home of Estonian national costumes. In collaboration with museums, handicraft practitioners and experts of traditional crafts, we have gathered historical information about Estonian national costumes that you find on this webpage. We have also added information about regional national costume advisory chambers that we have in Estonia. We hope that stories written by people who have a strong connection with Estonian national costumes will inspire you.

The photographs on the website create a bridge between history and the present, showing how Estonians have used this information when making national costumes today. The image on the front page is Gerly Karu wearing a national costume of 19th century Kadrina parish woman she made herself.