Crete and its costume

For this period, a Cretan costume was made inspired by the Snake Goddess figurine found in the palace in Knossos which dates from around 1600 BC. The discovery of this palace gave us a lot of information about the clothing from the second millennium of this civilisation, all of which we discovered in the seminar “The awakening of man to civilisation. Furniture, fabrics and clothing”.

In ÁBBATTE in order to illustrate the different ages discussed in the seminars, costumes on a scale of 1:2  have been made for each one. The Cretan costume displays a small jacket made of linen at ÁBBATTE and a sash dyed with turmeric. It demonstrates that the study of the elegance of the line was one of the main characteristics of Crete, along with the bareness of the bust. The embellishment of the skirt is perhaps one the most interesting elements of the costume. The skirt is made from linen and cut in pleats with embroidered geometric elements in waves and braids. Lastly, we have the “breechcloth”, a piece which is fastened at the waist and often arranged in the form of a short skirt or as an apron.

We begin with Crete as this is where the history of industry and Aegean arts began. With this costume it is very important to accentuate the slenderness of the waist which is enhanced by belts that are open at the front. Furthermore, the dyes and colourings of the time were mainly vegetable based, such as the purple extracted from shells, a large number of which could be found in Eastern Crete. This industry already had a long history from the Middle Minoan period (1800-2000BC) and enabled beautiful fabrics to be dyed with three or four different colours and with a variery of patterns, such as can be seen in the wall paintings and the brightly coloured majolica ceramics.

The making of the costumes is slow, detailed and requires an in-depth study of the age and its daily life.