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Ukrainian embroidery

Vyshyvanka is embroidered cloth and it is a typical part of Ukrainian national dress. You can see it in old paintings and photographs. People say that it is over 2000 years old. However? it is not old-fashionable again.

Experts in embroidery say that traditionally the patterns and colours used in vyshyvanka are different from region to region, and village to village. Red and black patterns are embroidered on cloth found around the Kyiv area, while green and orange patterns are from Prykarpattia and Bucovyna in western Ukraine. Legend tells us that the embroidery protects people from dangerous spirits.

Clothes such as shirts or dresses protect people and embroidered towels and household linens can protect houses or homes. Some say that the designs are so beautiful that it is difficult to think of hurting other people when you see them.

Today people don't believe these legends and can't understand the patterns. so they don't know which village or town it comes from. People wear it because it is beautiful and comfortable. They also wear it because they like to feel Ukrainian and they see some well-known personalities. like Ruslana, the Kapranov brothers and Oleh Skrypka, wearing it when they apper on TV. Madonna also got vyshyvanka as a present designed especially for her.

Vyshyvanka s takes long time to make. A skilled worker can take a month to embroidered a shirt by hand, and this makes embroidered closhes expensive. Some vyshyvankas are made with machines , when a group of people like a choir or theatre artists need them. But these are not clothes that you buy and wear for a year or two. These are clothes with history, meaning and feelings.

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