Sewing

The art of dress is not only an integral part of the arts but is also directly related to the traditions and customs of Ukraine, and is a product of the artistic imagination which strives to coordinate utility with beauty. A great deal of inventiveness and creative imagination have been utilized in the creation of Ukrainian costumes, especially in their skilful blend of colours and wealth of ornamentation. Though basically original in its design, Ukrainian national dress evolved under various outside influences, such as the apparel of neighbouring countries and that worn by peoples with whom Ukraine was at war or with whom there were commercial ties. In this manner, Indian silks, Persian and Italian brocades, French velvets, Greek designs and ornaments, Turkish armaments and decorations found their way into Ukraine. In the southern regions of Ukraine, the steppes influenced men's garb. For example, the long old Slavonic shirt evolved into an upper garment tied at the waist with a wide woolen or silken sash, and the wide pantaloons (sharovary) of the Kozak cut. Women's attire was subject to fewer outside influences and until the middle of the nineteenth century retained its ancient traditions in cut, ornamentation and fabrics. The intricate details of costume, footwear, and decorations took centuries to evolve into what we term Ukrainian national costumes today. (Excerpt from Ukrainian Canadiana, published by the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada, Edmonton Alberta, 1976)