1940s

After the end of the Second World War the Welsh costume began to change dramatically. The skirt and apron became much shorter in line with current fashions and war-time rationing; the fabrics changed, the stripes were lost, the colours became bolder and the hat had a perfunctory cap attached to it. It is likely that this costume developed from that designed by the folk dance teams who wanted to wear a distinctive but comfortable national costume at the International Eisteddfodau at Llangollen from 1948 and some dance teams made strenuous efforts to replicate genuine costume, albeit based on late 19th century revivals rather than late 18th century evidence but often incorporating modern fabrics. (Lois Blake, ….) Similarly, female harpists often wanted to wear a traditional costume and some were specially commissioned by them.

The Welsh costume was rarely worn by anyone other than school girls and young women at special events, although, occasionally older women wore a version of the Welsh costume made up from whatever there was to hand, which might have included a century-old hat and some more recent versions of shawls and aprons. Some Women’s Institutes held annual St David’s day suppers at which many wore a version of Welsh costume and this tradition persisted until the end of the 20th century.

 

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