The Moselblümchen folk costume - origin and tradition

“Moselblümchen” (Mosel Flower) – a lovely name for the traditional dress of the Mosel. Although, consisting of a skirt, bodice, apron and shawl similar to the Bavarian dirndl dress, it doesn’t resemble a flower at all. You can see it everywhere at the region’s wine festivals. The Moselblümchen usually has the colours green, white, black and red, all of which have a special meaning.

Green symbolises Riesling wine and is found on the skirt. The blouse and apron are white, which represents the purity of Mosel wine. The black of the bodice symbolises the characteristic Mosel slate, on which most of the vines along the Mosel grow. Women wear a red shawl to finish off the costume.

This brings us to the story behind the traditional dress. The likely first appearance of the “Moselblümchen” was in 1886, in a painting by Josef Lieck (*1849, +1914), a Prussian painter of winsome motifs. Art or kitsch – it's debatable. In any case, the image has become iconic and even features as part of an exclusive, modern Moselblümchen design by Dorothe Follmann.

A modern Moselblümchen

designed by Dorothe Follmann

A modern Moselblümchen

designed by Dorothe Follmann

Vintner parade

Weinfest der Mittelmosel, Bernkastel-Kues

Lieck’s young woman, wearing a black bodice, white blouse and red shawl is not intended to portray a pretty maid in regional costume, but to personify the sweet Mosel wine so popular at that time. She wears a wreath of colourful vine leaves on her head and raises a glass to her viewers. “Moselblümchen” is also an old brand of wine. Sweet and, as a table wine, of a lesser quality, it embodies all that no longer corresponds with the excellent reputation the Mosel region enjoys among wine connoisseurs worldwide. But regardless of whether the young and self-assured Mosel winemakers serve Moselblümchen wine or not, traditional costume is an accepted part of the wine and tourism region and embodies local identity, tradition and confidence.

Darstellung „Preussen an der Mosel“ – Moseltrachten, eine Original-Chrom-Farblithografie von Albert Kretschmer, um 1870.

The Moselblümchen can’t really be seen as traditional Mosel dress in the sense of rural folk clothing going back to the old feudal system of times pre Napoleon Bonaparte, i.e. as prescribed clothing for the feudal status of winemaker. The people of Mosel were extremely glad to be rid of their compulsory dress code, however distinctive it was, along with the old feudal system. Modern clothing in the latest fashion was seen as urban; it symbolised status and was therefore most appealing to the rural population! Modern fabrics and fashionable designs with elements of traditional costume were combined with confidence. You can see this quite well in an old colour lithograph by Albert Kretschmer (see picture).


At the end of the 19th century, the trend emerged of exchanging the established style of clothing for lighter, simpler garments. At the same time, an old longing was given fresh impetus: the desire for a type of native costume typical of the region. The Moselblümchen captured the spirit of the times and quickly established itself as an iconic dirndl-style dress for women and girls from the Mosel. Some 140 years later and the costume is still popular, perhaps more so than ever before, as people seem to long for regional identity in these times of globalisation.


In contrast to the Moselblümchen, the blue winegrowers’ smock worn by men and boys really is a garment of age-old winegrowing tradition – a kind of work coat that was worn over everyday clothes for protection.


As in other parts of Germany, there were educated Mosel residents at the beginning of the 19th century who collected examples of garments and accessories typical of feudal rule. Take a look at these clothing artefacts in a museum!

Take a look at these examples of garments and accessories typical of feudal rule in the museum!

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