Posted on July 26 2017
A keen eye can read the locality of embroidery easily. Ukrainian traditions are always traced in patterns and techniques yet each particular area contributes the choice of colors and features which are not repeated in any other territory.
Thus, Drohobych embroidery represents the peculiarities of Boikivschina, the region on the southern and northern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains. Nowadays, the world knows the artistry of patterns of this locality thanks to Myroslava Kot, the prominent craftswoman who introduced national dresses of Drohobych to the world in numerous exhibitions.
Colouring of the Drohobych embroidered patterns
Embroidery renders the unique code of its place. Perhaps the easiest hint to recognize the national shirts of this territory is the choice of colours – the abundance of black. It is often the only one but sometimes mingles with red.
Colours in the Ukrainian embroidery are always symbolic. Black often implies sorrow. This land witnessed much sorrow indeed. When men set off for wars or earnings their women embroidered shirts with black threads. Once they returned, red was added. If they perished, the shirts remained black or were given to other people for memory eternal of the ceased. In this they were featured with red meaning life and hope. The other sad thing about black is to symbolize hard labour on the infertile soils of the Carpathian slopes.
Peculiarities of Drohobych embroidered shirts
Each region influences not only the choice of ornaments and colour of threads but the design of a shirt itself. It can be cut in the form of a tunic without an inlet and can be with an inlet usually short and worn with a skirt. It was believed that all inlets, collars and cuffs should be embroidered to protect from evil spirits. The elements in them are often repeated. Ornaments in the front part traditionally kept mean thoughts away. Besides, embroidery itself combined several stitch techniques.
Another important detail is that the embroidery is performed on ripples (bryzhi) opposed to a flat piece of cloth. Ornaments of Drohobych authentic shirts include crosses, triangles, squares, circles, linear and broken lines, zigzags, curves. The most popular geometric figure is the rhombus and the most frequent floral element is the wild thorny rose. Quite often flowers are combined with flies and butterflies. Berry motifs are represented by cherries, raspberries etc.
It is amazing how artistically the vast imagination of craftsmen is displayed and organically merges with laconic colors and mathematically precise rapports of embroidery in this unique region, surviving through centuries. Nowadays, they are in a great demand as ever.