Ukrainian Embroidery

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Embroidery is an ancient and symbolic tradition in Ukraine. Folk embroidery was symbolic and connected with a great number of beliefs, myths, superstitions, including beliefs regarding protection and fertility.

The embroidered towel was always symbol of hospitality, bread and salt were offered to respected guests on it, also new-born babies were put on a towel and they also accompanied people on their last journey. When a new house was built they lifted the beam on towels and then gave the towels to the builder as a present. A wedding couldn't take place without towels. The towel, that bride and bridegroom stood on, was a symbol of faithfulness. They tied the bride's and bridegroom's hands with the towel and wished them a happy family life.

When each girl was preparing dowry for herself she embroidered a lot of decorative towels, blouses and shirts because bride's diligence was measured by the quantity, beauty and the complexity of the patterns of the towels.

A mothers gave a towel to her son before he set out on a long journey to ensure happiness in his new life. The towel was treasured as a memory of the native land, home and of childhood.