A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

Our Tracht

By Hans Martini
(Based on information provided by Kaethe Marx and others.)

     The beautiful ethnic costume of our Donauschwaben/German Hungarian ancestors stands out as one of the most readily recognizable symbols of our cherished heritage. While much admired and appreciated, most of us aren’t aware of all the finer points of this unique type of fashion ware. Please read on as we navigate the complexities of our wonderful and colorful Tracht.

Ladies' Ware

BLOUSE/SHIRT (BLUSE) –The ladies’ blouse or shirt is made of white cotton and has short, fancy sleeves and a round neckline.

VEST (LEIBCHEN)–Covering the blouse is a vest made of velvet, silk or linen and decorated with delicate seams, lace or ribbons with a low, curved neckline. Buttons or hooks & eyes tie the usually black colored vest together.

SCARF (HALSTUCH) –A large and colorfully patterned scarf made of silk, silk brocade, taffeta or linen give our Tracht a dramatic flair. Scarves come with fringes or are cut into a triangle with two complementary parts.

OUTER SKIRT (OBERROCK) –The skirt consists of four or five different sections of material and is made of silk, atlas, linen, batiste, or silk brocade. They are single or multi colored with a dazzling array of finely patterned flowers, polka dots, or stripes in gathered or pleated folds.

UNDER SKIRT (UNTERROCK) To give the outer skirt a high degree of puffiness, the under skirt is heavily starched, pleated and ironed. In addition, gathered or rolled materials may also be worn underneath. Made of linen or cotton, the under skirts are usually one color with a patterned, flowered, or checkered design. They might also be hand embroidered with a lace or serrated bottom hem.

APRON (SCHÜRZE) –This is often black and made of silk, taffeta or linen with either a lace border or lace insets. A ribbon tied in the front or back holds the apron in place.

HEAD COVERING (LÄNDER) Made in a variety of colors, the head coverings were silk, linen or lace with embroidered flowers or other decorative elements.

SHOES (SCHUHWERK) –At the bottom of our list and at the bottom of every Tracht are the shoes! Usually black, they are made of leather or velvet with a low heel and a buckle.

Men's Ware

SHIRT (HEMD) – Contrasting the women’s beautifully complicated Tracht, is the far more conservative looking ethnic costume worn by our men. The shirt proves the point: straight forward in design, made of linen or cotton and appearing in any color you like as long as it is white!

VEST (LEIWL) Always black in color, the vests have a long row of decorative silver buttons.

PANTS (HOSE) –These are made of black colored linen, cotton or some other substantial material with straight and narrow pant legs.

HAT (HUT) – Sitting wide and low on the head with a fashionable dent in the middle, our men’s hats were mostly black and were worn with or without colorful trim.

SHOES (FUSSZEUG) Men wear boots or regular shoes that are (not surprisingly!) black in color.

[Published at 12 Nov 2007 by Jody McKim Pharr]
Submitted by Dennis Bauer, Courtesy of

Heritage » Collections » Martini » Traditions » Tracht