Ukrainian “Vyshyvanka” Atlas

Groder (CC0), Pixabay

Ukrainian infamous “vyshyvanka” – unique article of ethnic clothing, that lives through years, decades and centuries. That made it from ancient Greek historian Herodotus memoirs about embroidered clothing of Scythians who inhabited the Black Sea steppes, to Valentino, Gucci, Galliano fashion house runways

When for the whole outer word, they are just baggy sleeves, natural fabrics and embroidered flower patterns, for Ukrainians it carries a sacred meaning and each style of this unique shirt has to be worn at different occasions, seasons, age, sex and even in different regions

After analyzing the old and more modern patterns of embroidery, it is possible to make an atlas of the regions of Ukraine according to their typical patterns, ornaments and symbols, techniques and colors.

Every region of Ukraine can boast of its unique  “vyshyvanka” style, and they never loose a chance to do so. They differ in styles, color, embroidery techniques, ornament and patterns.

Dnipro regionSleeves of shirts and neckline were embroidered with colored threads and black plush. The men’s embroidered shirt was dominated by red and black colors.

Zhytomyr regionThe small cross and “znizuvannia” (special technique) are embroidered in Zhytomyr region. The red with a black or blue color completely cover the shirt sleeve. The most common motif is a socket and a rhythmic repetition of a simple pattern – broken lines, octagonal stars, diamonds and more.

Transcarpathian region

This reagion has never missed it`s opportunity to show off their uniqueness, even now, cuisine, traditions and even language differs from other parts of UkraineHere the people did not restrict themselves in the choice of colors, the shirts of this region are the most vivid and colorful. And they embroidered zigzag shapes, the so-called “doodle” that was wild for the eastern regions, where the embroidery used a clear geometry.

Ivano-Frankivsk regionEmbroidery in this region is considered the richest in decoration. The color scheme is used differently, as well as ornaments.

Volyn regionShirts have distinct, geometric patterns, and the simplicity of the performed composition adds to the embroidered elegance. On a white and gray canvas embroidered with a red thread. Vegetable motifs are preferred in the south of the region.

Kiev regionThe geometric patterns of plants in blue, white, coral-red or black colors were embroidered in the Kyiv region. Preference was given to white with intersperses of green and red. Hymns, stylized clusters of grapes, diamonds, and others were painted on the embroidered shirts. For embroidery a period was used and blue twisted cotton threads “zapoch”. But over time they were replaced by black ones, as the blue lines quickly vanished.

Kropyvnickiy region

Embroidery in this region has very realistic ornaments: if embroidered bunches of grapes, then there was even a shine of grapes and thin little baby strings that grow out of it.

Lugansk regionThe shirt, mostly of the Poltava type, was decorated on the lower edge with a wicker “net”. The peculiarity of embroidery is laid out in multi-colored ornaments, made with a small cross and half-cross, sometimes a coarse thread. Geometric and vegetative-geometric patterns dominate. It boldly combines red with  green and blue.

Mykolaiv regionShirts of different cut had a variety of necks – with a narrow or wide collars, with the end of the rack with a picked up clip, with a curved collar and others. The peculiarity of the embroidery was the quadrangular neck around the neck and sleeves, which were sewn straight with a free ending, without assemblies in the wrists. Colors – red, black and sometimes gray, gray-blue.

Poltava regionThe traditional embroidered shirt in the Poltava region was usually embroidered with white threads in the technique of wool. Very rarely embroidered with gray or red threads. Patterns are lined with black or colored stripes.

Rivne regionThe white linen pattern was also based on the linen white linen. The shirt almost did not have a variety of additions and colored decorations.

CrimeaCrimean Tatars also loved to embroider. Naturally, their embroidery differs from most typical in mainland Ukraine. Important here are the contrasts (which can be seen in the national top dressing). They often use colorful ornaments with delicate colors, correctly picking up each flower. The main signs used by the craftsmen are as follows: the female sign – the curved branch (edri gave) – means variability, dynamism, development. Man – an indigenous tree – reliability, strength and strength. Carnation is an elderly man. Tulips symbolize young boys, and roses are women. There is also the symbol “Maram”, which is often found on embroidery and ornaments, especially the main blankets and waistbands from wide woolen fabrics (uck’urakh) – this is the “tree of life”.

This list can be almost endless, cause each region, and there are 24 of them, has it`s own and sometimes a few. But the main thing is, how different a one simple thing can be if you ad a little bit of traditions, personality and soul to your work

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