When we heard of the idea of donating an object that represented our location to celebrate MANN+HUMMEL’s 75th anniversary, we had to give it some thought. At our brainstorming meeting we asked ourselves, “What is typical of Marklkofen?”. It quickly became clear to us: Marklkofen is located in the middle of Bavaria and what is more striking for this region than Bavarian traditional dress? Without hesitation we decided to dress two porcelain dolls in regional outfits for the time capsule at the exhibition in the new MANN+HUMMEL technology centre. An “either…or” was out of the question for us. Lederhosen and dirndl simply belong together.

Do you know how the custom of traditional dress actually came about? The history of lederhosen and dirndl dresses goes back a long way – much further than 1962 when our subsidiary opened in Marklkofen. The exact origins of lederhosen and dirndls cannot be precisely identified any more, but the fact is that everyone recognises them and links them to Bavaria. And not only that: both lederhosen and dirndl dresses, which are now available in numerous colours and styles, have triggered veritable storms of enthusiasm – and not only with fellow countrymen.

The Church was against lederhosen

One thing is certain: lederhosen have been around since at least the middle of the 19th century. However, the church was anything but taken with this item of clothing – on the contrary! It categorically objected them. The reasoning was that lederhosen expose too much leg for church attendance. It was King Maximilian II who made lederhosen socially acceptable in Bavaria, as he liked to wear them while hunting. Lederhosen are now available in various lengths with very different accessories such as traditional brogues, special socks, a traditional shirt, a hat decorated with a tuft of chamois fur and braces.

Marklkofen

A dirndl can reveal the marital status of a woman

The history of the dirndl is slightly different. It is derived from the word “Dirn”, a common 19th century term for “maid” who wore a simple dress with an apron for her daily work. The apron could be changed whilst conveniently not having to change the complete dress. Later it became fashionable for the upper classes to wear so-called dirndl dresses in the summer.

Only since the beginning of the 20th century have the middle and lower classes enjoyed wearing the dirndl. To this day it generally consists of a white blouse, usually with a square cut-out, a very slim fitting bodice and a skirt with an apron worn over it. It is often worn with matching footwear and an elaborately braided hairstyle with flowers or a special hat. The apron is a special feature. The long apron strings are usually tied at the front. If the bow is tied to the left front, it means the wearer is still single. However, a bow tied to the right indicates that she is already a married woman.

Tradition is a must in Bavaria

Just like lederhosen, the dirndl dress is currently as popular as ever. However, the division between real, long-established tradition and the all too common “kitsch” is unfortunately becoming less and less distinct. The many societies for traditional dress in Bavaria as well as those in the alpine foothills are trying to counter this trend with original, traditional garments. Of course, lederhosen and dirndl are by no means a uniform at our location in Marklkofen.

That being said, anyone who pays a visit to the plant at an open day, a family day or any other celebration can then admire one or the other of us in traditional dress. A little bit of tradition is a must. We are therefore delighted all the more to be able to donate a girl doll in a dirndl and a boy doll in lederhosen to MANN+HUMMEL’s technology centre in Ludwigsburg. Most visitors – whether from South America or China – will immediately know from which region the smart couple could have originated. Want to bet?