Matyó, the colorful folk art motif from Hungary has its origins in Mezőkövesd. This regional art form is protected as one of Hungary’s Intangible World Heritage elements.
Based upon the decorative painting techniques, matyó is a style of embroidery with densely packed leaves, petals, and other motifs. The most traditional motif is that of the rose. The traditional costume of the local people displays this type of embroidery richly. Today, traditional motifs can be found on tablecloths, doilies, napkins, shawls, blouses, and other garments. It is also internationally-recognized by celebrities, for instance Emma Watson turned up to the Coachella music festival in a traditional Hungarian matyó blouse (similar here).
The art of Kalocsa Embroidery was born in the second half of the 19th century. Originally the needlework was only white and the embroidery patterns were merely made up by holes.
The development of Kalocsa needlework was due to the appearance of printing at Kalocsa in 1860. The so-called “hole-embroidery” became very popular. The women at Kalocsa and in its area could get ready-made Kalocsa embroidery patterns but they liked creating their own designs as well.
Few women could draw embroidery designs but there were many who were skilled in embroidering. The compositions were very simple and clearly arranged. The motifs were borrowed from nature: clusters of grapes, lilacs, lilies of the valley, roses, forget-me-nots and violets delighted the eyes.
The art of Kalocsa embroidery became quite fashionable. At the end of the 19th century, the art of Kalocsa embroidery went through creative innovations. The holes of the pattern designs were filled but there were also many artists who liked to combine the two needlework styles.
As the artists got more and more creative, the treasury of motifs kept growing. The motifs of tulip, lily, paprika and corn in the ear appeared at that time.
The traditional white embroidery – which is so popular now – was succeeded by black, blue-black, blue-red style. Each of the color can appear individually and combined as well. At the beginning of the 20th century the colors of green, pink and yellow gained ground.
The Kalocsai embroidery is quickly becoming not only the most popular embroidery in Hungary, but also around the world. The craze began when Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, two Mercedes-Benz pilots, wore Kalocsai-patterned overalls for a few races during Formula 1 in 2011, and it hasn’t stopped since! Amongst other stars, Nicole Kidman and Kesha were wearing a colourful kalocsa dress to their flight which is a very comfortable choice for a long journey (similar here), Katie Holmes, Victoria Beckham and Beyonce dressed their daughters in kalocsai patterned clothes with the beautiful traditional Hungarian paprika motifs. (similar here)
Kalotaszeg is a Hungarian folklore region located in Transylvania and consists of 34 villages. Hungarian Kalotaszeg was annexed to Rumania in 1920 (Peace Treaty of Trianon). The folkart of this region is extraordinarily rich. Every man is a born wood-carver and carpenter. There are also many furriers and hat-makers. They have several types of folk embroideries, but especially their mighty written embroideries are well known far beyond their borders.
Kalotaszeg embroidery is the most powerful and most serious of all Hungarian peasant-embroideries. These ancient embroidery designs have something solemn about them. Their monumental design and braid-like embroidery on crepe-linen distinguishes them from others. The free flowing design is embroidered after a pattern. The pattern is first drawn onto the fabric with a goose feather dipped in water mixed with soot. This type is called “embroidery after writing” or “written embroidery” (írásos), as the design is first written on the material by a “Writing-Woman”. These writing-women draw hundreds of patterns free hand from memory for half their village.
The stitches used belong to the “Chain-Stitch” family and are called: Small or Large Square Chain Stitch, Open Chain Stitch or Braid Stitch. The embroideries are done in red, blue, black or white colored wool or heavy cotton yarn.
The patterns of these free design embroideries are very divers. Stylized floral motives dominate, but designs with names such as sun, moon and star prove that the people of Kalotaszeg still follows ancient traditions by using astronomical shapes. Among the patterns we also find the tree of life, numerous shapes of the tulip and the rose.
Embroidery is used on pillow ends, bed-covers, sheet-ends, wall-hangings, towels, engagement kerchiefs, table-cloths, but before all on folk costumes. It is a constant surprise, how skillfully the Kalotaszeg woman uses the many types of embroidery on her dress, the most elegant Hungarian folk costume.
In our webshop you can find kalotaszegi vest and skirt individually and preferably as a kalotaszegi set too. (Here)
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