A podruchnik (Подручник) is a small rug or flat cushion of about 40 x 40 cm. It is used by Russian Orthodox Christians and especially Old Believer families to keep the hands and head clean while prostrating during the various prayer rituals.

Older examples of podruchnik usually take the form of piled rugs. But in the twentieth century and the spread of Old Believer faith outside of Russia (especially in the USA), it has become common to have podruchnik made out of patchwork using simple, geometric designs, often with bold colour combinations. These are often made by girls (rather than married women) for both individuals and local churches.

Digital sources

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 21 April 2017).


Last modified on Friday, 21 April 2017 12:32