Vyshyvanka (Embroidery) Day

19 травня 2022 року

"Take care of Ukrainian-wear Vyshyvanka"
Lina Kostenko

On May 19, 2022, the  meeting of the student group 19001b was held   , specialty 053 "Psychology". During the online meeting, a number of pressing issues were discussed: places of stay of students, preparation for the exam session, preparation for practice, etc.
Since the third Thursday of May is Vyshyvanka Day, which has been celebrated in Ukraine since 2006, the main attention during the meeting was paid to this national tradition.


Embroidery is a long-standing Ukrainian tradition. Archaeological research shows that embroidery as a separate art form in the territory of modern Ukraine has been known since the VI century. With the embroidery, according to  Herodotus, even the Scythians decorated their clothes. Silver plaques with figures of men dating back to the VI century found in Cherkasy region during the study showed an identity with the embroidery of Ukrainian folk costume of the XVIII-XIX centuries.



A hundred years ago, it took about 8 km of hand-spun thread to make a long shirt, and the whole process from growing a plant to sewing things took about a year. Vyshyvanka made of white linen was worn only on holidays. On weekdays, they wore shirts made of gray canvas. An ordinary peasant girl had 35 shirts in her chest, and a wealthy one could have had more than 60. On the reverse side of the embroidery should not have been any knots − it was believed that this could cause misfortunes in life.


Various types of ornaments were depicted on vyshyvankas. Floral ornaments were traditionally embroidered on women's clothing. The only plant ornament that could adorn a man's embroidered shirt is oak leaves – a symbol of strength and courage. Geometric ornaments were traditionally embroidered on men's clothing.
The first person to combine Ukrainian embroidery with everyday clothes was Ivan Franko. It was he who stylishly combined an embroidered shirt with a jacket. In this form, it can be seen on a 20-Hryvnia bill.



Each region of Ukraine boasts its own unique vyshyvankas. They differ in styles, color, embroidery method, ornaments and patterns. Extremely fine embroidery "white on white" was common among the European nobility and Ukrainian gentry, who wore underwear and undershirts embroidered in this way. One of the most original vyshyvankas is Borshchivska. This shirt is embroidered with black threads. There is a legend that when the Turks and Tatars destroyed almost all the men in Borshchiv, women for several generations wore just such black and white shirts as a sign of grief and sadness.
Nina Ivanivna Fedirko from Velyka Dymerka embroidered the longest towel with her own hands  -7.3 meters, and width ‒ 0.68 meters. On both sides of it there are 26 names of localities in the district with patterns inherent in each village of the district. The world's largest embroidered shirt was made in Truskavets and placed on the facade of gymnasium No. 2.

Valentyna Teslyuk
mentor of the PS-19001B group



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