Traditional clothing of Sveta Nedelja can be traced from the end of 19th century until today in its basic forms and functions. Sveta Nedelja is located halfway between Samobor and Zagreb and because of that it was under their great influence.

In the past, the inhabitants of these lowland villages were almost exclusively engaged in agriculture, so in addition to other crops, they grew flax and hemp. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this plant fiber became the basis of both men’s and women’s clothing. The women processed such plant fibers and wore obtained yarn to professional weavers who sewed the basic parts of the clothing from the obtained cloth. At the beginning of the 20th century, purchased cotton was increasingly introduced into weaving and because of that flax and hemp became the basis of cloth. All basic parts of men’s and women’s clothing, summer and winter, were made of such kind of cloth.


Women’s clothing, unlike the men’s, was more susceptible to change trough out history, but it was worn for a longer period of time, even until the second half of 20th century. In the late 19th century, up until the World War I, the costume was characterized by a few main parts: oplećek, rubača-celača, fertun.

Oplećek is a blouse made out of a longer front and a shorter back stan with long sleeves that are secured at the wrist by wrinkled and tightened part called ošvic, and freely released taclini. Between the stan and the sleeves are gorna and dolna latica. The neckline is tightened and pleated by an ošvic, and the entire front part, nadre, is decorated with colored tying and weaving techniques.

Rubača-celača is a skirt sewn together with modrec, a vest. It is made in two parts, the front straight and two pleated back poles. The front pola is opened at the upper part. Modrec is made in a trapezoid shape with a little triangle cut at the back and an opening at the front.

Fertun is an apron made out of two poles that were pleated and secured by an ošvic. The apron also has trakove.

All mentioned parts of the costume (nadre, modrec, the back part of the rubača and the fertun) are decorated with woven motifs (the technique is called “na daščicu”) that are made in red cotton called pisajne. Taclini and ošvice are handwoven in plosni rez and lančanac techniques. Those are the main parts that were worn until the World War I during the summer and the winter.

During the winter some additional pieces made out of leather and fur were added. One of them is haljica, a short coat that accentuated the waist and is made out of dark blue cloth. It also have black fur around the edges. In addition to haljica, Kožun was added – a vest with and accentuated waist that is longer and going over the hips. It is made out of lamb leather and have fur on the inside, while on the outside; it is decorated in a geometric ormanent (influence from the Alps) and different color leather at the edges.

For formal occasions some additional parts were added on the costume. Pas, a red and black belt, a circular laced collar around the neck, špice, and over it a kraluž – a necklace made out of several rows of red coral or glass beads, a decorative pin/needle and a brocade ribbon with plant ornaments. Shoes, grzane čizme, were tied at the heel and at the front. A financial status of the woman could sometimes be determined by the quality of additional pieces such as kraluž and the decorative needle.

During that period in history the hairstyle was strictly defined by a marriage status of the woman, her age and her role in the wedding ceremony, her activity and season of the year.
A girl parted her hair in the middle and braided it in two braids, kite, that were tied at the end with a silk ribbon, mašlin. The mašlin was in one color or in the combination of red, white and blue in everyday life, and in formal occasions it was in many colors with flower motives. A woman that never married wore this hairstyle even in older age, but with a darker colored mašlin.

A bride’s hair was braided around a triangle-shaped fajnek that was covered in red fabric and used for shaping the hairstyle. In addition to the costume, the bride also wore a kapenek, a cloak decorated with many colorful motifs. On her hair she also wore naoplet, a bridal headpiece consisting of kapica and venec. It was decorated with flowers in many colors (red was most common), decorative ribbon, little mirrors, metal spirals etc., and all of those decorations had a purpose – they served as protection from evil forces (apotropaic meaning) which couldn’t hurt her on the day of the wedding, but also as fertility helpers (red color). The kapica was colorful with two sewn decorations (kokoti) at the forehead. Over the kapica, a rubac was placed. It was a silk headscarf that she wore at the wedding and at the first holy mass after the wedding. During the wedding ceremony, the bride took of her naoplet and over the fanjek a kapica was placed. After the wedding, fajnek and kapica were worn every day and during every occasion. White silk headscarf is then replaced by an ingliški rubac – a red headscarf with printed ornaments. Rubac could be tied under the chin (during winter and while going to church) or at the back of the head (during the summer).

Until the World War I, the everyday, working variant of clothing consisted of the same main parts, but with less decorated weaving and embroidery.

Between the two world wars the biggest change in the costume occurred. The length of the rubača gradually became shorter. More cotton was used and at that time it was a sign of a higher material status. Ornamental motifs that were previously red became darker red and eventually black. Around 1930. less decorative motifs started being used on rubača and fertun, from previous 25-30cm to only about 5 cm. Also, more decorative motifs were being used on the modrec and oplećek in plant ornaments and it became more colorful and bigger. Just before the World War II this type of decorating completely replaced previous woven decoration on the rubača and fertun. Winter parts of the clothing (haljica and kožun) were eventually replaced with a large woolen rubac with fringe. Underneath the rubac a vest with buttons was worn. At that time oplećak was replaced with a blouse and because of the vest that was becoming worn over it more often, the back side of the modrec was less decorated. After the World War II women started wearing bras so the structure of the modrec and rubača was lovered on the waist since it had no longer the function of supporting breasts..

In the wedding ceremony, only the richer women could buy a new style of the wedding dress. New parts of the clothing still had the same shape but the people didn’t call it a narodna nošnja anymore – it was called a rubača, since it was the only previous part kept for the new wedding dresses.


At the transition from the 19th to the 20th century male parts of the costume were gaće and rubača. Gaće are pants and their length is to the ankle. The pant legs are made from two pieces (two pole) and in between is a square part called turo. Upper part is hemmed and gaćanak passes through it. Rubača is a shirt worn over the gaće. It has a prvi and a zadnji tal (pole) and long sleeves snitched at the wrist with ošvic. Between the stan and the sleeves, gornja and donja latica are placed. In the middle is a neck opening that has a collar (kraglin) and between the kraglin and latica a triangular kozica is placed. Gaće and rubača are decorated with woven white cotton in geometric ornament and sewn in plosni vez and lančanica tecniques. Gaće are decorated above the pant leg hem and rubača on the lower part around the chest opening, also at the kraglin, shoulder and ošvica of the sleeve.

In the winter a kožun was worn. It was long coat inlayed with fur and it also had fur around the hems.

In formal occasions, a man wore gaće with fringe (štranceli) at the bottom. Around the rubača, a leather belt was worn which is decorated with different types of colors of leather. A vest (lajbek) was worn over the rubača and it is decorated dark blue with sewn gajtani. Men also wore boots (čizme) on the feet and a hat (škrlak) on the head.

In the period between the two wars some changes happened to the male costume. Rubača was often made out of cotton, and the decoration of prsača was made out of colorful cotton and plant ornamentation. Kožun was slowly replaced with a short coat. Pants were massively worn and rubača was tucked into them. Gaće were worn only in the winter, under the pants with a belt that wasn’t decorated. In the 1930s rubača was slowly abandoned – more in formal occasions than in everyday, work variant. The complete abandonment of the costume (nošnja) was faster amongst men who worked outside of the countryside.