Traditional patterns

Traditional patterns

Estonian traditional costumes

Estonian traditional costumes are a very important part of our folklore and culture. Each region has its own traditional garments with different techniques and patterns.

Embroidered and knitted patterns have been mostly geometrical or floral. The Mulgi region is famous for its archaic patterns – medieval patterns embroidered in irregular order. These embroidered patterns are found mostly on aprons and shawls:


Seventh-grade students in Tamsalu Gymnasium  learnt about Estonian traditional culture.


First of all, they studied a wide range of different patterns including archaic, floral and geometrical ones in Estonian traditional folklore and regional garments.

Secondly, they were introduced to the meanings of the symbols used in the traditional archaic patterns.

For example, the circle (sõõr) symbolises the universe, eternity, harmony and the sun: 

The cross is the symbol of life and light:

The rose motif is known from medieval times and symbolizes God and perfectionism:

There are also lots of irregular patterns inspired from nature and flora:

They also learnt about the colours used in these embroidered garments (blue, red, yellow and green).

Finally, students had to design a rug using traditional irregular archaic patterns with colours common in these traditional embroidered garments from the Mulgi region.

Examples of the work completed by the students are included below:



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