The first in a series of webinars by the Silicon Web Costumers Guild (SiW) took place on Sunday, September 18, 2022. The webinar was made possible in part by a grant from the International Costumers’ Guild (ICG) Marty Gear Costuming Arts and Sciences Fund.

Ukrainian folk artist Vera Sukhorukova joined virtually from her home village outside the capital of Kyiv. Her presentation was about traditional and modern embroidered Ukrainian wedding towels (Rushnyk). These towels play important roles in a traditional Ukrainian wedding ceremony.

Vera talked about and showed examples of these elaborately embroidered towels, from ancient times and those being made now. She also showed various stitch techniques and discussed the meaning of symbols used in the embroidery patterns. Many of the stitches she showed are also useful to costumers who are looking for ways to add decorative enhancements to what they make and wear. She was assisted by her friend and volunteer translator Oleksii Kryvenko who lives in Kyiv.

The SiW board evaluated the results of a post-webinar survey of attendees and considered this first webinar to be successful. It also enabled us to establish a foundation for how to set up and run webinars. The board has decided to move forward with the series by authorizing at least three additional webinars through mid-2023. The chapter is now lining up additional speakers for future webinars on a variety of topics of interest to members and the costuming community as a whole. The next webinar, which will be announced soon, will take place in December.

SiW is grateful to the ICG Marty Gear Costuming Arts and Sciences Fund for their support of this webinar series. A full report on the webinar in partial fulfillment of the grant is available on the Fund’s “Awarded Grants” page listing for this grant.