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Our Slavic Fellow Citizens - 1910

Slovak Emigration
Chapter VI

Embroidery

The great beauty of these costumes is the embroidery which is indeed, with song, the chief art of the Slovak. The women do this work mainly in winter, when their fingers are sufficiently soft again after field work. They are said to often embroider their patterns without first drawing them, and they work so neatly that the under side is almost as perfect as the upper. The variety of stitches is great, and the embroidery is combined with pillow lace and drawn work. The feeling for style is admirable. The designs are conventional and the motives, generally from plant life, are roses, poppy heads, tulips, cornflowers and so forth. One animal motif, the cock, is also commonly introduced, but perhaps the commonest single figure is the heart-shape. Special units of design often have special names, like the quilting patterns of our grandmothers. Many of these seem quite fanciful -- the "lovers eye" or "little window" may have no visible resemblance to the object named.

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