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The motifs on this blouse are based on home and community. With the exception of the coloured cotton floss, which was purchased to stitch the embroidery, the blouse was made locally using local materials. The flax plant, which grows all over Europe, yields linseed oil, linen and flax seeds. The creator of this blouse grew the linen, spun the threads and wove the cloth.

Where was this textile created?

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Europe: Eastern Europe, Ukraine or Carpathia
c. 1940
Woven linen, hand sewn and embroidered
100 cm x 116 cm
Gift of Olga Ciupka
T97.0053 Textile Museum of Canada

The cross-stitched flowers on this square-cut chemise, or long blouse, are concentrated at the collar and tops of the sleeves. These embroidered flowers are placed according to the traditional style of Ukrainian folk dress. The blouse is worn with a wraparound wool skirt, a sash, a decorated apron and either a vest or tunic.

The linen chemise is an ancient garment. It reminds us of the earliest shirts that were made without shaping from lengths of woven cloth. Unlike the wrapped robe, which has hardly changed over the centuries, the shirt (chemise, blouse or smock) has evolved with more and more tucking and piecing into the fitted garment worn today.

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