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Czech republic

Czech republic

Gate its external appearance and provided it with a high aesthetic value, backed by hours and hours of patient and dexterous work by skilled women. Although there were professional embroiderers, many women used to prefer their own selfmade embroidery, with only some using patterns drawn by professional embroiderers. It was not only a matter of cost; having a self-embroidered folk costume was viewed as a matter of honour by many women. In view of all the duties which a woman in rural areas had to fulfil, it was undoubtedly quite a task to embroider clothes for herself, her children and her husband. It represented hours of interminably patient work during the long winter evenings and today we can hardly imagine how our great grandmothers managed to do it under the lighting used at that time.

In the 19th century, the golden age of embroidering, the art of embroidery in numerous Czech regions developed greatly, especially in terms of the number of compositions used, which ranged from modest simple patterns to intricately combined patterns, simple cross stitches to demanding plastic techniques, combinations ablaze with colours, cottage8uriously adorned embroidery based on the application of threads with metal glitter and - at first glance - inconspicuous, but immensely elegant embroidery made with the use of threads of the same colour as the base material. Extraordinarily beautiful and graceful was the embroidery created with the use of white thread on white base material, a type which spread in the period when fine white cotton cloth became widespread in folk clothing. This technique was based on the application of a wide range of stitches making it possible to create different shades of white.

In every Czech region which has preserved its traditions you can find skilful embroiderers who learned this demanding, complex craft from their mothers and grandmothers. They need not fear being short of work, as even today many people have a traditional costume made as a festive garment to be used on special occasions connected with the life of their communities. Even today a folk costume without embroidery is as inconceivable as in centuries past.The beauty of folk embroidery continues to enchant us through its endless patterns and ornaments, fine or temperamental harmony of colours and the imagination of master embroiderers who were able and continue to be able to express their supreme artistic skill and rare artistic feeling in their creations.

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