Damask, gold threads, embroidery


Dushegreya with Folds
Velvet, galloon, fringe, gold embroidery

Gold embroidery on velvet, galloon

The rich costumes of 19th-century Nizhny Novgorod townswomen were usually sewn from factory-made brocade, velvet, damask or silk cloth. The gold and silver patterns woven or embroidered on their various parts make them glitter from head to foot. Favorite ornamental motifs for the gold embroidery were bunches of grapes, roses or carnations as well as bouquets wreathed in winding vines.

These enormous round-topped velvet kokoshniks adorned with galloon and gold embroidery can have a “wingspan” of up to sixty centimeters.

The dushegreya is a short item of women’s clothing reaching to the waist or mid-hip with straps that make it resemble a broad, flared sarafan. The fabric on its flared back falls in wavy folds or is gathered. Dushegreyas had hidden clasps in lieu of buttons and silk or linen linings. They were often quilted with cotton batting. Dushegreyas in Nizhny Novgorod Gubernia were made of crimson velvet or silk and embroidered all over, often so densely that the backing was obscured, a technique known as “v lom” embroidery. The backs of dushegreyas are covered with large pleats, or bors, usually seventeen in number.

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