Ukrainian national embroidery

Embroidery, like the weaving of colourful fabrics, has from ancient times been a favourite way of artistic decoration of various household goods in the Ukraine. It is the wonderful folk embroidery that particularly impresses one with the wealth of the Ukrainian national ornament, its rich colouring and great variety of composition.

Convincing proof of this is the rare collection, both as to number of items and artistic value, of Ukrainian folk embroidery in the Museum, which gives a complete idea of this original and interesting form of folk art and enables one to trace its evolution.

In the course of centuries the. vividly expressive national style of art embroidery developed its definite forms and assumed a variety of artistic features (favourite colours, technique of execution, definite ornamental elements, patterns and compositions) in different regions and districts of the Ukraine. However, with all its national peculiarities, Ukrainian national embroidery has many features in common with the embroidery of other peoples of the Soviet Union, especially with Russian and Byelorussian embroidery.

The best specimens of embroidery in the exposition of the Museum display to the visitors the wealth and exceptional diversity of folk embroidery.

Thus, in Kiev Region the prevalent ornament is a floral pattern with clusters of grapes, berries and small flowers, red and black colouring, executed by means of back-stitch, satin-stitch, cross-stitch and other techniques.

The satin-stitch, open-work false lace-work are typical of Chernigiv Region embroidery. The typical colours are white, white interspersed with little red, black or black and red. The floral ornament of the Chernigiv embroideries is frequently combined with geometrical figures, while the geometrical pattern enters into solid stripes or separate elements, frequently in the form of diamond-shaped rosettes. Open work is typical for Chernigiv embroidery.

The Poltava delicate and light-coloured or white floral-geometrized embroidery, executed by means of satin-stitch, open-work, lace-work or punch work, contrasts with the colourful Podilian raised embroidery and black-and-red back-stitch techniques.

A profound impression is produced by the bright, multicoloured and varied embroidery, mostly in geometrical patterns of the Hutsul and Transcarpathian artists.

The modern art embroidery exhibited in the Museum — children’s clothes, fancy womens’ blouses, stylish dresses, men's shirts of various, fashions, curtains, table-cloths, sets for the decoration of apartments, napkins, souvenirs, etc.— is evidence of a considerable enrichment of the assortment of folk art embroidery and of the fact that the art of embroidery finds wide application even now.

The appearance of a new form — thematic art embroidery — deserves attention. An interesting example of this is the decorative panel “Peace in the World”, which bears the state emblem of the Ukrainian S. S. R. This panel was executed by the famous masters of Ukrainian national embroidery Oleksandra Kulik and Alla Bushen. There are many other ornamental-thematic panels, towels, book covers, albums, etc., in the exposition.

The products of the artistic craft factories of the Republic are well represented in the exposition. Among them there are wonderful works of art executed by embroideresses Oleksandra Belska, Paraska Beresovska, Glvkeriya Tsybulyova. The work of embroideresses Maria Fedorchak-Tkachova, Elvina Talashchenko, Yevdokia Moskalenko and others, who create the models of artistically decorated clothes and decorative objects for the modern interior, is distinguished for its skill and creative individuality. The artistic endeavours of scores and hundreds of gifted Ukrainian embroideresses demonstrate a high level of their mastery, rich imagination and refined taste.

The art of embroidery of Soviet times shows that embroidery is becoming more laconic, retaining its beauty at the same time. In the latest work we find an extraordinary artistic lightness of patterns and exceptionally saturated colouring, which have assumed certain features of modernity but have not, at the same time, lost their national character, nor their local features.

The works on display covincingly illustrate the fact that modern art embroidery has become very popular with the people, that its rich artistic heritage furthers the development of national embroidery.


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