Linen is ingrained into the culture of Ukraine in many ways. There are many traditions surrounding linen, and even a linen festival every year in some areas. For centuries, Ukrainian peasants have been able to complete the entire process of creating beautiful linen products; growing the flax and harvesting it, processing it to make yarn, hand weaving it into fabric, sewing a clothing or household item, and embroidery it with the designs specific to the area the people lived in. There are over a hundred types of embroidery stitches specific to Ukraine.
Towels, table runners and tablecloths have also been used as a platform to showcase culture, artistry, and traditions. When coming to live with a husband’s family, a newly-wed wife would cover the table with her handmade tablecloth. Burial rights included placing linen under the dead person’s shoulders, to shield them during the Last Judgement. If there was a drought, people wanted to prevent an epidemic, or a child had a serious illness, special towels were made in one’s days time because of the belief that this would ward off the misfortune they have experienced.
The textile is seen as a symbol of beauty for girls in Ukraine. There is an old custom of weaving the flax plant into a small braid and decorating it with ribbon. At a young woman's wedding, it would be attached onto a stick and burned to give a cleansing effect while the young couple performed a ritual wedding dance.
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