The sewing chart. Sewing of Opoczno, Łowicz, Sieradz. Tradition/ Continuance/ 100 years of the Lodz region.
SEWING CHART. OPOCZNO SEWING
Opoczno embroidery existed in a specific area of the Lodz region and was connected with the clothes worn there and decoration of the residential interior.
Regardless of the variety of descriptions and fashion variability, in the Opoczno region, embroidery in costumes, i.e. festive clothing, both female and male, was mainly decorated with shirts. Caps, handkerchiefs and later corsets were also embroidered in women’s outfits. One of the older elements decorated with embroidery were handkerchiefs offered by girls to bachelors. Embroidery was also an important element of the interior design of the Opoczno dwelling room. Cloths, tablecloths, wall hangings, towels were embroidered.
Shirts are decorated to this day, but embroidery fashions have been transforming. From modest decoration, embroidery became more sophisticated, its place on a shirt and the techniques used were changing. Of course, today it depends on who is embroidered for and for what purpose. The embroidery fashions mainly influenced the way of decorating the shirts that were embroidered for own use; the embroidery for sale looked different.
Contemporary creators are perfectly aware of the needs of the environment for which they create, they are aware of the value of fidelity to tradition, they accept the old design. That is why they do not introduce new elements, creating compositions based on old patterns, stitches previously collected and newly composed.
SEWING CHART. ŁOWICZ SEWING
Embroidery decorating the costumes of Łowicz is one of the most popular and best known in Poland. It is said about the land of Łowicz that it is a basin of embroidery, because embroidery is a field of artistic creativity which is represented in large numbers among middle and young generation of women.
The contemporary Łowicz outfit, of which the region is proud, is the result and testimony of many years of historical changes that have taken place in the area. The development of Łowicz clothing took place in the second half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century and was mainly connected with the enfranchisement and increase in the wealth of Księżacy.
Seen as a symbol of folklore, it belongs to the most famous and expansive costumes in Poland. Over the years, it has undergone changes and fashions, its decoration has developed, changed its function in the rural environment – from everyday, festive to representative and costume clothing, but the tradition of wearing has survived to this day and can be found onsite on the occasion of celebrations – church, family and state. Like the whole outfit, embroidery has been subject to artistic and technical evolution since the 19th century. The oldest is the so-called Polish sewing, made with backstitch and chain stitch, extremely archaic in symbolism, composition and colouring. At the end of the 19th century, the so-called Russian sewing, i.e. embroidery made with cross stitches, introducing floral motifs, became fashionable. They featured a wide range of colours, in which the motif of a rose and a paternity tree becomes characteristic.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, a flat shaded embroidery appears, and with it a naturalistic rose and other flowers complementing the trail compositions, filling the frames of shirts, cuffs or slats of heavy wool garments and aprons. In the 1920s, the same compositions began to be embroidered with beads. It was then that white Richelieu embroidery, with rich floral motifs, began to spread. Since 1935, machine-handed embroidery has been introduced, difficult to perform, but giving the possibility of making the pattern much faster. The colouring of Łowicz embroidery is very rich and varied. The embroidery feature sets of pure colours, forming a harmonious whole.
In addition to contrasts, there is also shading. Individual colours have several combinations forming transitions and rainbow systems. The colours were matched to the wool garments, which changed in colour. The oldest embroideries made using Polish sewing were white, black, red and crimson or orange. In cross-stitch embroidery, warm colours dominated the orange background. When wool clothing colours were changed to cold, flowers in blue and violet began to appear. In flat shaded embroidery, the appearance of roses depends on the concept of the embroiderer, not necessarily rendering the natural colours of nature. The colours of flat embroidery in the second half of the 20th century are varied. Currently, the favourite colour of embroiderers is red.
SEWING CHART. SIERADZ SEWING
Sieradz’s embroidery is one of the least popular and not very well known in the Lodz region. We invite you to familiarize yourself with the design in this region. The region of Sieradz, one of the most interesting ethnographic corners of Poland, with interesting characteristic handicraft and folk art, turns out to be the least known to the inhabitants of Lodz and beyond.
Sieradz embroidery is related, as in other regions of Poland, to the way of dressing and furnishing a residential interior.
The decorations in the Sieradz region were called decorations (“wystrój”); modest women who did not want to dress up talked about them as luxury (“zbytek”). The elements of clothing, on which the embroidery was placed, were: women’s and men’s shirts, aprons and headgear: scarves and caps. Frames, cuffs and orifices were embroidered on women’s shirts, while on men’s shirts – so-called fronts (“przodki”). Women’s handkerchiefs were embroidered in one of the corners, these were expanded, colourful bouquets of flowers. The kopka caps was sewn from tulle and decorated on the head and bandages, i.e. ribbons, with embroidery requiring special technique.
The embroidery was also used to decorate towels, wall hangings and cushions comprising the furnishings of the living quarters. In the middle of the twentieth century, beside floral motifs, images of birds, mostly roosters, appeared.