Slavic embroidery 1

Continuing with this year’s theme, namely embroidery, we organised yet another workshop for children and adults who would like to learn this craft. This time we looked into traditional embroidery patterns from Slavic countries such as Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.

Even though embroidery styles vary from country to country or region to region, there are a few characteristic features. Slavic embroidery is rich in floral motifs, especially flowers which grow in the wild in this part of Europe. These include poppies, tulips, forget-me-nots, clovers, lilies or sunflowers. There are also animal patterns, often birds which usually symbolise family.

In Ukraine and Russia the colour palette used for folk embroidery is limited to red and black, which only emphasises the symbolic meanings of the patterns. All over Slavic countries red is associated with fertility, youth, energy, strength and the Sun. Black refers to soil and nature, the source of food and ultimately, life.  It was believed that black absorbs the emotions and energy of the embroidery maker. Ill, sad or angry you shouldn’t be doing embroidery as these emotions would “stay in” in it and have a negative impact on the one who wears the embroidered piece.

The workshop turned out very popular and certainly won’t be the last one in this series!