Embroidered and woven ceremonial towels called “rushnyk” were traditionally used in many wedding rituals in Ukraine. For example, it was used during the ritual of engagement. The bride and groom stepped on such a towel in church during the wedding ceremony. A bride could use an ornate towel instead of a belt. The wedding witnesses wore ceremonial towels tied around their body. A lot of different wedding traditions are connected with a bridal towel. Here are a few samples of old Ukrainian wedding towels, hand-woven on a loom.
These authentic ceremonial towels are exhibited in a museum. They are from northern Ukraine, the late 19th – early 20th century. They were produced by hand on a traditional weaving loom.
We also added a few close-ups of weaving patterns so that you could see them in detail.
Woven ceremonial towels are rarer than embroidered ones. The more valuable they are!