Friday, November 9, 2018

"Ukrainian" blouses of the Polish Podhale Gorals

Hello all,
Today I will talk about blouses like this, which I have seen on occasion, and have been unable to figure out where they come from. I believe that I remember being asked if they were not Ukrainian. They certainly do not look like it, and I was confused.
Recently I have learned their history.

They are in fact, not Ukrainian, but Polish, specifically from the Podhale Goral area. Normally if you see embroidery on their blouses, it is white English cutwork.
In the 1920's there started a fashion of using colored embroidery. These blouses were called 'Ukrainian', not because they copied Ukrainian embroidery, but simply because everyone knows that Ukrainians had colored embroidery on their shirts.

These blouses were characterized by satin stitch floral embroidery, usually roses or poppies, with a band of needleweaving hemstitching in several colors in the middle of the composition.

The blouses were finished off with blanket stitch edging, as well as smocking on the shoulders and cuffs.

In most of Podhale this fashion has run its course.
But in the village of KoĊ›cielisko the fashion has remained and become a tradition.
They still make, wear and sell these blouses here.
Here are some photos from this village.
And if you visit, you can get one of these blouses.

Thank you for reading, I hope that you have found this to be interesting and informative.

Roman K


Source Material:
Stanislawa Trebunia-Staszel et al., 'Stroj Podhalanski", Wroclaw, 2015


  1. Hand embroidery is really difficult and time consuming, but beside this, it looks beautiful. Such embroidery is incomparable with a machine embroidery. There are very few words to describe the original work done by hand.

  2. Yes, we agree about that hand embroidery is really difficult and time consuming, but its very beautiful.You can get this customized also according to your need.