Typical Canarian costume, tradition and culture

The typical Canarian costume is a set of traditional dress patterns that have been preserved as the most representative of the Archipelago. They faithfully express the cultural identity of the Islands.

Not all traditional Canarian costumes are the same, as each island has its own and there are important differences both in their chronology and origin. Thus, some of these costumes are the result of the evolution of ancient forms of dress, and others are transformations of ancient costumes, adding or eliminating certain garments. There are other cases in which these costumes are the product of a more recent creation whose forms are very different from those used in the past.

Typical Canarian costumes

The typical Canarian costume is still used in festivals and popular celebrations, as in the famous Canarian pilgrimages, as well as in the costumes of both Canarian folklore and different cultural groups.

Characteristics of the typical Canarian costume

The typical Canarian clothing is very similar to the typical costumes of the Portuguese islands of Madeira and Azores.

Raw materials used

Throughout history, three locally produced fabrics have been used to make Canarian costumes : linen, wool and silk.

Typical Canarian costumes

Linen. This material was used to weave enormous linen cloths, highly valued for their durability, which were used to make personal linen (plain and generally bleached), as well as household linen. For more special clothes, finer linen or cotton fabrics, brought from abroad, were used.

Wool. It is a slightly rough material, but quite resistant. It was used to weave taffetas and twills that were sometimes combined with linen or cotton. The predominant colors were natural, although it could also be dyed with earth products.

Silk. With this material plain, striped or checkered taffetas were woven. These were used to make dress shirts, doublets or party and gala dresses, as well as accessories such as stockings, handkerchiefs, tablecloths, among others.

Typical costumes of the Canary Islands by island

It is necessary to emphasize that each one of these costumes has small peculiarities which allow to distinguish the inhabitants according to the island, even, according to different regions or localities within each one.

These differentiating features are especially reflected in the outerwear and headdresses.

El Hierro

The traditional Herreño female costume consists of a large oval hat with a wide brim and a black headband with a bow on one side. Under this is placed a colored handkerchief. The shirt has short sleeves, with fine pleats and its sleeves are made of wool and adorned with ribbons and simple embroidery.

Typical Canarian costumes

As for the male clothing, it is composed of a conical montera. His breeches are short, wide and with tassels at the mouths of the legs. In addition, he has buttoned gaiters made of leather or wool knitted in ecru, brown or black.

La Gomera

The typical Canarian costume for women of La Gomera is composed of a white petticoat with red ribbon stitching on the hem, red skirt and blue wool skirt. In the upper part, white blouse, black bodice and complementary garments like the yellow handkerchief and the penca hat with blue stitching.

Typical Canarian costumes

The men's costume is composed of black pants above the ankle, white blouse, black vest and red sash.

La Palma

The typical female palmero costume is composed of an embroidered shirt. These embroideries are similar to those seen on the bottom of the wool petticoat. A scarf is used.

Typical Canarian costumes

Regarding the men, the typical clothing is a montera, shirt and underpants with embroidery, a long vest with bright reds, leggings with large reliefs and a red sash.


The traditional Tenerife women's costume consists of a wool skirt made on a loom, with a red or black base, depending on the area, with longitudinal colored strips. Under the cotton or linen skirt, an embroidered and taped petticoat is worn and on top of it a taped and embroidered apron. The shirt is of the same material and over it is worn an embroidered bodice, black or red. A hat with a handkerchief is worn on the head.

Typical Canarian costume

The traditional male clothing of Tenerife is composed of embroidered linen leggings, black wool pants, red sash and embroidered cotton or white linen shirt. The vest is also made of wool. Sometimes it is accompanied by the typical "manta esperancera".

Gran Canaria

The typical costumes of Gran Canaria, in their female version, are famous for their colorful, predominantly white and red. The skirt is striped, accompanied by an embroidered apron. In addition, she wears a piece similar to the corsets of other times. On the head, a long scarf that reaches the waist accompanied by the typical female puppy.

Typical Canarian costumes

As for the male version, the predominant colors are white, black and gray. His shirt is white or beige plain or with gray stripes, black vest and sometimes gray and his breeches are black, gray or beige with fine lines. A striped or red sash is placed at the waist. It is usual that it is accompanied by a conical helmet adorned with erect tassels or with the cone fallen.


Fuerteventura is one of the most visual typical costumes. The women's costume is composed of a typical wide-brimmed hat made of Canary palm leaves and openwork skirts, in the form of mantle and saya.

Typical Canarian costumes

Regarding the typical male clothing, it is composed of a conical hat, montera, linen shirt, striped sash, linen breeches, vest, leggings and majos.


Lanzarote's Canarian women's clothing is characterized by the use of the semicircular headdress. On top of it is placed an oval hat with flat, regular-sized flounces. It is complemented with a small skirt and a striped skirt.

Typical Canarian costumes

The men's clothing consists of a short, tight-fitting black silk vest with wooden buttons. The breeches are made of white cotton with hemstitching. It is fastened with a wool girdle. The whole is completed with a montera. The shirt is made of cotton and linen, with a delicate floral embroidery.

If you want to know more about the traditions of the Canary Islands, here is the link to the section of Marca Canaria about traditions and culture.

Paula Vera

Photos: Repsol Guide, Government of the Canary Islands, en.wikipedia.org


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