Today I will follow up my article on the morshchanka type of shirt by focusing on embroidery designs from Zastawna county, Cherniwtsi oblast, Bukovyna, Ukraine.
The motifs of many of these designs are extremely unique, one might even say bizarre.
Some of them look like they could have been the inspiration for Atari Space Invaders.
They resemble no other embroidery tradition in either Ukraine or Romania, although they do have some Balkan elements.
I have no explanation as to where they come from, except as a result of the imaginative creativity of a local community.
These designs originated on the top part or inset embroidery of women's chemises.
They include a framework of black cross stitch and outline stitch, the fields of which are filled in with colored cross stitch, flat stitch, seed beads, flat sequins or chain stitch with metallic gold and silver thread.
The seam between the inset and the sleeve is visible in this image above. The top of the sleeve has a monochrome design usually done in brick or bargello stitches laid in columns. The lower part of the sleeve has either vertical or diagonal stripes, or a large vertical 'tree' with narrow designs on the sides.