The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Embroidery is a true poetry of folk art, a message embroidered on white fabric. In the old days it took a long time to make embroidered items and they were highly valued. Embroidered towels played an important role in the life of a peasant family: they were made for a girl’s dowry, handed down to one’s heirs, and used to decorate the izba (a peasant house), especially its most important part – the Red Corner with icons. Even now, we preserve a beautiful ceremony of welcoming guests with bread and salt offered on an embroidered towel.

Leo Tolstoy’s wife Sophia was also fond of embroidering. In spite of the fact that she was very busy about the house, she could always find time to embroider a picture, a photo frame, or a bed cover. Her embroideries are still kept in the Tolstoy House.

Traditional cross-stitch embroidery is also developed at Yasnaya Polyana. Items done by our craftswomen reproduce patterns from old canvases kept in museum collections, and gladden the eye with their expressive ornamental symbols.
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