Wersja polskaEnglish version

About Kashubian embroidery

Apart from their own language, the Kashubians also boast beautiful and original folk art, including embroidery, which was begun in two nunneries - in Zukowo and Zarnowiec. Originally the embroidery was used for old folk costumes, then later it was used to decorate different forms, such as table-cloths and doilies. In the eighteenth century the embroidery was used to decorate Kashubian women's caps, the so-called 'cloth of gold', since it was embroidered with gold and silver threads. A unique collection of eighteenth-century items can be found in the Franciszek Treder Kashubian Museum in Kartuzy.

The real beauty is independent of fashion. It is the way of folk art which comes from tradition. The tradition was created by a couple of generations, from natural necessity. In many regions of Poland embroidery is the most common discipline of art. The Kashubian have their own type of it which is very individual and different from other embroideries which appear in other parts of our country. It is made by grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters and even men.


They use 7 main colours: 3 shades of blue, yellow, red, green and black. The main patterns imitate natural motives: bell-flowers, myosotes, lilies, gillyflowers, daisies, roses, cornflowers, pansies and clovers. Others like fruit of grenade, pales, tulps, leaves of acanhus which was usually transformed in leaves of oak or histle, which were used mainly by nuns, have wandered here from far countries. Beetles and bees got onto Kashubian cloths from the tradition that came from the pagan age. In many compositions the main element is 'the tree of life' whose branches mustn't cross and intertwine because the life of human ought to be simple and clear.


The oldest school of the Kashubian embroidery which started the latest: 'wdzydzka', 'pucka', 'wejherowska', also called 'Żukowska'. Despite many differences between them they are connected by the main elements - 7 colours palette and many common themes. Some of them - like tulips or lilies - are used not only in clothes decoratory, but in other branches of the Kashubian art too - in pottery and decorating furniture.

Charakteristics of the schools:

  • Embroidery called 'czepcowy'
  • 'żukowska' school
  • 'wdzydzka' school
  • 'pucka' school
  • 'wejherowska' school
  • the school of tucholskie borons
  • 'tucholska' school
  • 'borowiacka' school

Copyright © 2003 by Danny