Ukrainian embroidery

Embroidery from the Pokuttya region, Ukraine. Embroidery from the Pokuttya region, Ukraine.

Ukrainian women have been working embroidery for centuries. The country harbours various traditions, some of them closely linked to embroideries of Russia further to the east and north; others more linked to East and Southeast European embroideries.

In the east and the centre of the country, embroidery generally has geometric and floral designs, worked in a wide variety of, often subtle colours. Prominent are the red, red-and-black, and red-and-blue colour schemes, which are however also used in the west of the country. In the Poltava area, the colour range is particularly broad, and the local women also create whitework and pulled thread work. The centre of Reshetylivka in the Poltava region is particularly famous.

In the west of the country, the embroidery is marked by geometrical motifs and strongly contrasting colours. The embroidery is often worked with the cross stitch, but also use is made of needleweaving. A particular style of embroidery, worked on the reverse of the cloth, is the Nyz' embroidery from the southwest of the country (Podillya), and the closely related Nyzynka embroidery from the Ukrainian/Romanian borders (from among the Hutsuls).  

Interesting is the smockwork (bryzhky) that was created among the Boikos ('Highlanders') in the west of the country. It was added to the collars and sleeves of men's and women's garments (or the top hems of women's aprons). 

In the Bukovyna region, along the Ukrainian/Romanian border, the embroideries are extremely colourful, and include silver and gold metallic thread and coloured glass beads.

The needlework of Pokuttya, further to the northwest, was rich and intricately executed, and also quite varied. The main colour was red, and was mostly worked in thick woollen thread. The cross stitch was being used, but traditionally the main technique was that of the “curly stitch”.

See also the Ukrainian postage stamps 1992

Source: MÜLLER, Barbara, and Julia MÜLLER (1995). Kreuzstichmuster aus dem alten Russland. Rosenheimer Verlaghaus.

Digital source (retrieved 23 October 2016).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 23 October 2016).


Last modified on Saturday, 19 June 2021 17:41