Female festival kerchief embroidered with a golden thread. Russians. Nizhniy Novgorod Province. early 19th cen.

Female festival kerchief embroidered with a golden thread. Russians. Nizhniy Novgorod Province. early 19th cen.

Embroidery had a specific place in Russian peasant art. It has a centuries tradition, which got its origin from Byzantium and Western Europe pieces.  


The art of Russian mistresses of needlework was most pronounced at golden embroidery and embroidery with pearl. The golden needlework was widespread on the territory of Russia. Before late 18th century the golden and silver embroidery was produced in convents. The cloistral mistresses of needlework were very famous by richly decorated kerchiefs that they made. From the 19th century peasant women started to embroid clothes and headgears with silver and golden threads by themselves. Threads - cannetille for such a work were usually made of precious and non-ferrous metals. To create protuberant pattern, pieces of bast or cardboard were put under the threads, for to make extra play of light and shade. 

Ornate kerchiefs of the kind shown in the illustration, made of expensive fabrics, were worn over the shoulders of over the headgear, clasped under the chin. The centers of the Russian golden embroidery were considered 3 towns: Torzhok, Kargopol and Solvichegorsk.