Borshchivska blouse


The Borshchivsky District (Ternopilska Oblast) is famous for its black embroidered shirts with unique ornaments and embroidery technique.

Here is one of the most popular explanations for this. In the 13th century, western Ukraine was regularly attacked by the Turkish and Tatar armies. They ruthlessly devastated and looted villages, captured local peasants and sold them into slavery. There is an ancient legend that tells of a Tatar invasion that left death and devastation in many villages along the Dnister River. All the men were killed…

As a sign of mourning and deep loss, the village women and girls in the Borshchivsky District vowed to remember and mourn their men for seven generations. They began embroidering their shirts with black thread… People born in the early twentieth century were the last generation to whom this oath applies… but the tradition continues. 

The Borshchivska shirt was made from whitened hemp fabric. The black threads, in the embroidery, were spun from the wool of black sheep. Across Ukraine, around 100 stitches were used in embroidery with around a quarter of them in the Borshchiv area. Researchers found some traces of Trypillian culture in the embroidery patterns.


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