Ukrainians Remember their Heritage Through Traditional Clothing

2017/05/19 - 20:55 • Culture, Ukraine

The National Museum of History of Ukraine has celebrated the day of vyshyvanka in an untraditional way. They presented ancient dresses worn by women from different regions of the country in a hall at the museum. Each item was hand-embroidered or woven on a special machine. UATV has more on the ancient traditional art…

They are dresses of different styles and colors. Our great-grandmothers wore them on weekdays and holidays. Experts say that an embroidered dress or blouse could tell a lot about its owner.

Ukrainian embroidery is not just a dress or a blouse, it’s a whole coded world. Some items are even made in the 3D format.

For example, vyshyvankas from Borshchiv district in Ternopil region are embroidered with black thread. There is a reason for that. Five centuries ago, Turkish raids caused many men to die there. After that women wore clothes to mourn their loss every holiday. These kinds of shirts were embroidered up until the 20s and 30s of the 20th century. After that women added bright colored woolen threads to the embroidery.

“This time we decided to pay close attention to the aesthetics, and symbolism of the coded information, the one that the shirt carries in its embroidery. The fact that you wouldn’t find any explanations about the embroidery is not accidental. It was done intentionally to force visitors to admire, and become interested and involved,” said Natalia Ivanchenko, Co-curator of the Exhibition.

Anna became very interested. She is an amateur in embroidery. She came to the exhibition with her family. She says she is going to learn all the peculiarities of the ancient embroidery at home. She now shares the characteristics of embroidering techniques of the different regions of ukraine.

“You can see Polissia, it is represented by red or white flowers and the embroidery has the particular stitches. If you take a look at a vyshyvanka from Poltava, there is also a certain set of stitches and colors too. the colors are calmer: white, gray, brown, blue,” said Anna Morenko, Visitor of the Exhibition.

Such a complex technique of embroidery, and especially the canvas, on which the drawings are made, is hard to find these days, says Anna. Modern shirts and dresses, in general, are embroidered in crosses. The priority is given to the colorful flowers: poppies and chamomiles. But experts believe that the real art can only be seen at exhibitions or in your grandmother’s wardrobe.

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