An embroidered shirt was the basic garment, both male and female, on the territory of modern Ukraine since Kyivan Rus’ or even earlier. It was an underwear item, on top of which people put trousers, skirts, outer garments, etc. Only some parts of these shirts were usually visible – sleeves, cuffs, neckline, sometimes the front, and the hem in women’s shirts. That’s why only these sections were adorned with embroidery. In this material, we’ve gathered for you cute female shirts embroidered with predominantly red threads, predominantly white threads, or predominantly black treads. They have a stylish and sophisticated look.
The embroidered shirts are exhibited in the Ukrainian national center of folk culture “Ivan Honchar Museum” in Kyiv. Before becoming a part of the museum collection, they belonged to a private collection.
These female shirts are from Vinnytsia region (Central Ukraine), the late 19th – early 20th century. They belonged to ordinary village women and were a part of usual festive attire.
These are women’s shirts embellished with predominantly red embroidery (different shades of red). There are also black, yellow, blue, and green threads used in a small amount. The last shirt looks like it is adorned with red&gray embroidery, but it was most probably red&black – the threads have just faded with time because this shirt is from the late 19th century.
These embroidered shirts are adorned with whitework and some other embroidery techniques. They look very regal and sophisticated with their white embroidery designs. Especially the ornate cuffs and lace hems. But, still, they really were worn by ordinary countrywomen.
These female shirts are decorated with black embroidery, but they are not at all mourning garments. It’s just, in some regions of Ukraine, black embroidery patterns were traditional – they symbolized earth, fertile soil. Such shirts were festive and used on special occasions (Sunday church visits, local celebrations, weddings, large local fairs, etc.). By the way, this black embroidery adds a noble vibe to the outfit.