We were talking the other day about Black Sea influences on Mameluke embroideries and one of the main areas bordering the sea is what is known today as the Ukraine. There were many Ukranian girls in my school in the North of England and in addition to regular school of 5 days a week, they also attended Ukranian school on Saturdays where they were taught their native language, songs, and embroidery. Once a year they gave a concert of national songs and dances and I was totally captivated by the vibrant, bold colours of their dress which set alight even the coldest, foggiest, northern winter's day. This first example is of some beautiful whitework from the shoulders and upper sleeves of a woman's blouse.
And again a sleeve and shoulder inset but worked in dense polychrome silk. I know just how long it would take me to stitch one of those repeat motifs - an entire day! The Cleveland Ukranian Archive has many more lovely examples for you to admire - just click here to visit.