The history of vyshyvanka starts from the late Stone Age. Herodotus claimed that shirts of Scythians, who dwelled at those times on the territory of Ukraine, were embroidered with different ornaments. Many explorers report that in the days of old the process of stitching could be called a rite, when Ukrainian masters with bright thoughts and will did their masterpieces involving the positive energy to their work.
As a matter of fact, women did not copy someone else’s ornaments and patterns. Their works were individual. A set of colors and patterns depended upon a location, traditions, and cultural values. The art of embroidering with golden and silver threads became popular in Middle Ages. Such embroidered shirts were created for feudal nobles and were worn either by men and women so if you want to buy Ukrainian traditional apparel, you may take this fact into consideration.
In Ukraine anyone could apply to women who were masters in embroidering for the purpose of ordering this or that shirt with personal requests of certain ornaments. Masters using colors, lines and lay figures created completely unique garments for a good destiny for them and their kindred. It was considered that borrowing somebody else’s pattern for stitching meant obtaining a strange destiny.
First vyshyvankas on the territory of Slavic people carried deep religious sense and defended their owners from evil. Infants immediately after birth were gifted shirts adorned with various ornaments: it was believed that such symbols protected them from malignant demons. The first embroidery for a child who was under three years old was always created by his/her mother. There is also a legend about men’s embroidered shirts as a symbol of love. Every chumak allowed only one certain woman to wash his shirt, it was a kind of a sacred ritual and this was the means how a man confirmed his loyalty to a woman. When a strange woman washed clothing it was a confirmation of adultery. Therefore, in Ukrainian songs we may often get across such words as “unwashed shirt”.
Due to the long history of vyshyvankas, nowadays, If you buy an embroidered shirt for women in Ukraine, you will get a true and one-of-a-kind masterpiece created by high-hearted craftsmen.
Every region in Ukraine has its own peculiarities in means of performing patterns on clothing. Depending on the techniques of a needlecraft we may distinguish several types of vyshyvankas:
White threads on a white textile, which represent mental purity.
Black threads on a white fabric, that mean the improvement of one’s health.
Small tacks of red and black threads, the patterns are festooned with beads.
Deep bright and red ornament on a grey flax linen.
Big patterns of the same color are adorned with small motley details.
Burry and thick embroidery with contrast colors covering up to 60 percent of sleeves. It has a solid view.
Garments made in the western regions of Ukraine are real masterpieces. Needlework of different elements at one item — flowers, animals, and geometric ornaments.
Traditional vyshyvankas are tremendously popular. You may distinguish them by a “cross” pattern stitched with red, blue, and black drawn-work. Luxurious decorative elements reflect a deep sense. It is believed that red threads fill life with love, and an item of clothing with a blue embroidery becomes a mighty talisman for its wearer. The style of vyshyvanka has a relaxed fit, and due to this such dress looks perfect on any type of a figure. The brightness of lay figures emphasizes an allure of appearance and individuality of a taste and style.
During the years of independence of Ukraine traditional costume, that is vyshyvanka, has become more and more popular. Nowadays it is chosen for different reasons — not only festive but regular occasions as well. Mostly people are dressed in embroidery for big days (birthday, anniversary, marriage and arrangement of national holydays), but wearing it as an everyday dress is becoming more and more actual because modern designers create embroidery in formal suits, T-shirts and even coats. Purchase women’s embroidered shirts at Narodnyi Dim Ukraine, you can buy the best traditional attire here that was made by high-quality Ukrainian masters.