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Marken Klederdracht

Updated: Mar 17

by William Minnick

The village of Marken was once a fishing village and island in the Zuider Zee. In the 1930s, a dike was built to close off the Zuider Zee from the North Sea. Later, in 1950, another dike connected the island to the mainland, officially making it a peninsula.

Due to Marken's isolation, their traditional dress differs from much of the Netherlands and might be the most complicated.

For women's daily dress, the base layer consisted of a striped cotton undershirt and a dark overskirt. Only the sleeves of the undershirt showed which were traditionally constructed of more expensive fabric.

Over this shirt was a corset or bodice. This colorful piece was usually highly decorated with embroidery of flowers and lined with whalebones for sturdiness. A jacket was placed over the corset with a chintz patterned square piece of fabric, or 'bouw' pinned on top. The origin of this pinned fabric was believed to be a washable protection from spills. From the elbow to the wrist, Marken women wore oversleeves often made of purple satin.

Embroidered corset with 'rollen' attached.

Under the overskirt were 'rollen' or bags of rolled fabric to help the skirt plump out.

Over this dark skirt was placed a dark blue cotton apron with checkered cotton fabric on top. The seem connecting the two fabric pieces of the apron was adorned with needlework.

Accessories included a neckerchief ('dokie') pleated around the neck with tassels ('akertjes') made of beads or yarn dangling on the front and the back. The neckerchief was then embroidered with the wearer's initials.

'akertjes' (tassels)

The hair was cut short in the back and with bangs in the front, with curls framing the face. Women's caps differed greatly throughout the years, but today mainly consist of a patterned bonnet held in place with embroidered ribbon.


Men's dress was much less complicated, consisting of a red overall 'middel' under a stripped shirt with an embordered collar and adorned with two buttons ('keelknopen'). Men's collars also included their initials.

Their wide trousers were made of black wool. This clothing aided them in the colder months while they were out at sea fishing. During the summer, men wore white trousers made of cotton or linen.

Marken farmer in 'middel' and summer cotton pants,

Children of both genders wore clothing similar to that of the females. Boys could start wearing the traditional men's cosutme around the age of seven years old.

Klederdracht colors varied based on what time of the religious calendar it was and if wearers were in periods of mourning.


Nationaal Archief

Nederlands Openluchtmuseum

Nederlands Fotomuseum

Community Dressing: Marken by Theodorus Johannes

Marken men's summer dress
Marken bride and groom


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