© Holzknechtnockn (photo: RudiKainPhotografie)
Holzknechtnockn is a traditional dish in the Holiday Region Dachstein Salzkammergut (photo: RudiKainPhotografie)

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The Lederhosen

The mountain farmer has them, the bank clerk has them, the three-year-old boy carries them as well as the retired high school board. The Lederhosen are comfortable and suitable for every occasion. In the Dachstein Salzkammergut the Lederhose is a fixed component in the clothing repertoire of men and sometimes also of women.

The Lederhosen and the lifestyle

What the kilt is for the Scots, the Lederhosen is for the mountain troops. What is so special about this leg dress that it eliminates age differences and unites classes? Even if not all alpine people walk around in Lederhosen, it is still considered a tribal badge, a kind of homeland certificate. The "Lederne" owes its position to a historical process that began in the late rococo period.


The history of the Lederhosen

At that time it became fashionable in courtly societies to organize farmer's weddings and shepherds' games, in which one transformed oneself into the peasantry by appropriate costuming and thereby - although still very naively - paid attention to them. In their quest for a simple life they turned their eyes to the mountains. The descriptions of traditional costumes are of particular interest. Above all, it was the Lederhosen that conveyed to the observer and the wearer a piece of mountain romanticism, the idea of originality, youthfulness and manly courage. Thus the original working clothes of the farmers and foresters became socially acceptable, which did not always meet with undivided enthusiasm among them.

But the appropriation of the people also took place on a much higher level. When Emperor Franz Josef, during his summer stay in Bad Ischl, where he appeared in the "Kurzen" (short Lederhosen) at every suitable opportunity, it was to demonstrate his closeness to the people. This was followed by Archduke Johann, who already appeared at the beginning of the 19th century in the traditional costume of the hunters and became a symbolic figure for an entire epoch.

The following photo gallery can be navigated with the arrow keys (left, right).

How ist the Lederhosen produced?

For the production of the Lederhosen primarily deer or chamois leather is used. Bock hides were also highly valued for their pleasant wear, but goat leather is very rare today. The hides are chamois tanned for processing. The "Irchen", as it is called in the Bavarian-Austrian language area, is milled and treated with oil or fish oil, which makes it soft and flexible and retains its advantages even in the rain.

The connoisseur evaluates the trousers according to the number of quilting seams that are placed next to the actual seam. He then speaks of trousers with three, five or seven seams. After the cut and the design the Lederhosen can be assigned to the different Lederhosen makers.

So if you're a big fan and don't want to be labelled as "just costumed" at all sorts of occasions, you simply have to have them ... made-to-measure, hand-stitched Lederhosen!

Selected Salzkammergut crafts enterprises present themselves in the HAND.WERK.HAUS in Bad Goisern at Lake Hallstatt, where a lovingly designed shop invites you to look, marvel and buy.