Embroidered pillow cases and other artefacts in Hungary
The home of this extremely rich form of textile decoration is the small town of Mezokövesd, situated in the North Eastern part of the country. Although the origins of the name are unclear, it is thought to be related to the great Hungarian King Matthias (Mátyás).
The earliest known pieces date back to the mid-1800s and were applied on the borders of bedsheets, on pillow cases, shirt sleeves and aprons. To the originally used red and blue threads later more and more other colors were added, resulting in an eye-pleasing teeming of vibrating colors, from bright yellow through emerald green to mauve and even the wildest violet. These lively stitches bundle together to form endless troops of flowers, buds, leaves stylized boots and birds. So densely are the motifs actually applied that the white and black background fabric hardly show between them.
Although most Matyó women learnt and practised embroidery, the entwining patters were traditionally drawn on the cloth freehand exclusively by so-called writing or drawing women; those with the most skillful hands.
A pinch of faithlessness
Although fabulous pieces (pillowcases, tablecloths, bookcovers etc) can be bought in Budapest, for the best selection and a first-hand experience of how they are born, you may consider paying a visit to Mezokövesd.
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Hungarian Embroidery - Matyó