The Department for the Preservation, Reconstruction and Lending of Traditional Costumes is a cultural institution whose work is to collect, lend, reconstruct, renew and preserve traditional costumes, folk costumes and traditional textile items. The institution encourages different uses of traditional and folk costumes in contemporary life and explores various ways of using them for folk dances and on stage. The Department was established in 1948 following the initiative of Marijana Gušić, PhD, the Director of Ethnographic Museum, Zvonimir Ljevaković, prof., the founder and Artistic Director of "Lado" Ensemble, and Vlado Škreblin, PhD, the Artistic Director of "Ivan Goran Kovačić" Folklore Group. Gušić, Ljevaković and Škreblin raised awareness about the value of traditional cultural heritage and the need for its preservation. The formal founder of the Department is the City of Zagreb, and it is financed by Ministry of Culture and Media and the City of Zagreb.
Established primarily for gathering and lending of traditional costumes to amateur folklore groups in the period of active development of folklore activity, the Department has collected over 32.000 various textile items, parts of traditional and folk costumes, and folk props for the stage through more than seventy years of its existence. Most of the collected items are original pieces whose beauty and value match those in museum collections. Replicas of traditional costumes are reconstructed according to original items. The collection contains costumes from different regions of Croatia, costumes of Croats living abroad, costumes of national minorities living in Croatia, and costumes of other nations. Unlike museums, which collect such costumes to add to their collections, or scientific institutions which studies them, this institution works to find a practical use for them. In the Department for the Preservation, Reconstruction and Lending of Traditional Costumes, experience from ethnology and folkloristics is applied in practise in many ways. All of the above makes this institution unique in Croatia.
The Department for the Preservation, Reconstruction and Lending of Traditional Costumes is financed by Ministry of Culture and Media and the City of Zagreb. Since 1995 the Department is a branch office of Cultural Centre Travno (formerly known as International Culture Services Center). With the preservation of traditional textile richness, the Department raises awareness of the aesthethic value of traditional costumes and their importance in the history and culture of Croatian people. In over 70 year we managed to organize multiple projects, workshops and seminars whit the purpose of educating about and popularization of traditional costumes. Our collection has travelled the globe spreading the beauty and diversity of Croatian culture.