In museums, we don’t usually see textiles dating back to the Middle Ages, so it’s always great when accurate and high-quality reconstructions of medieval clothing are made and shown to the public. And these replicas of Kyivan Rus’ male and female outfits we offer you in this article are just that. They’re created by museum experts and historical reenactors and based on archaeological excavations of old burial mounds. Join us in watching lovely videos about typical early medieval men’s and women’s clothes.
The reconstructions of medieval outfits dating back to Kyivan Rus’, the late 10th – early 11th century, are exhibited in Lviv University Archaeological Museum in Ukraine.
Both sets of clothing were created by the Ukrainian historical reconstruction club Lod’ and Lviv University Archaeological Museum workers.
The costumes are based on archaeological excavations of old burial mounds in Plisnensk (western Ukraine), Shestovytsya (northern Ukraine), and Gnyozdovo (modern territory of Russia). The outfits are typical for the early medieval Kyivan Rus’ and were used by wealthy and high-status citizens.
Reconstruction of wealthy woman’s attire from Plisnensk, Kyivan Rus’, the late 10th – early 11th century
She’s wearing a long linen chemise without any decorations, woolen knit socks (created using needlebinding technique), leather shoes attached to the foot by a leather tie, a tunic-style dress made from wool and embellished with a silk ribbon, a thin woolen handwoven belt, a string of glass and stone beads with a bronze snake-shaped pendant, a knife in leather sheath attached to the belt, scissors also tied to the belt, a silver cross of Scandinavian style on a leather string, a woolen wimple, a silk ribbon with S-shaped temple rings tied around the head, a large silver ring made in traditional Kyivan Rus’ jewelry technique, woolen outerwear lined with linen and decorated with silk, and a shoulder bag made from woolen cloth and wooden laths.
This attire looks charming and the colors are so cute. Note that only natural dyes were used to achieve such colors. And the jewelry items are exquisite.
Reconstruction of high-status man’s attire from Kyivan Rus’, the late 10th – early 11th century
This is the everyday civil costume of a professional soldier who were privileged people in Kyivan Rus’.
He’s wearing a basic linen tunic-like shirt, woolen trousers tied by a woolen handwoven belt, woolen knit socks (created using needlebinding technique), woolen puttees, leather shoes tied by leather strings, a knee-length woolen tunic embellished with silk ribbon, woolen outerwear with silk decorations and a row of small bronze buttons, a thin leather belt with a small leather pouch beautifully adorned with metal plates, a knife in leather sheath attached to the belt, a whetstone also tied to the belt, a round bronze fibula (this shape is very typical for Kyivan Rus’), a silver cross of Scandinavian style on a leather string, a rectangular woolen cloak pinned with a fibula, a Carolingian sword belted with a decorative leather belt, and a woolen cap.
The outfit definitely looks like status attire, especially beautiful are the belt and pouch decorations and the outerwear decorations.