In the 19th-20th century in Ukraine, there used to be a specific wedding tradition – the couple’s family presented the most honorable guests with little embroidered kerchiefs. These kerchiefs were than kept in the most prominent place at home and collected through the years because the number of such gifts showed the status of the family in the local society and the attitude of their neighbors to them. Some of these cute embroidered kerchiefs today are kept in folk museums and private collections, like these ones.
The wedding tradition to give special embroidered kerchiefs (by the way, they are called “naframnytsia”) to the most respected and honored wedding guests existed mostly in two regions of Ukraine – Vinnytsia and Odesa.
These wedding kerchiefs were handmade by the bride before the wedding day. She either invented her own embroidery patterns or got inspiration from other pieces (made by her mother and grandmother or presented to her family by other brides through the years). In Vinnytsia region of Ukraine, these kerchiefs were extremely bright and beautiful.
The size of a naframnytsia usually was about 50 x 55 cm or 20 x 22 inches, but there were smaller and larger pieces, of course. Only the bride decided what her wedding kerchiefs will look like.
Here are several wedding kerchiefs from Vinnytsia region of Ukraine, the early 20th century. They are now kept in the Ukrainian national center of folk culture “Ivan Honchar Museum” in Kyiv. Before that, it belonged to a private collection and was donated to the museum.
These wedding kerchiefs are really colorful and pretty.