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Bedcover, 1900, Vinksniniu village, Birzu are, ES, b. 1987(21), photo made by authorFolk art and nature motives had not been the only one source for the creating and interpreting these ornamentation. Some names of the textile patterns recorded in the 20th century revealed their similarity to the natural phenomenon, others were based on the weaving technique, purpose of fabric and the time of weaving. Besides, the quadrangle pattern names of vegepicture or animal origin, as well as those connected with working tools and religious symbols, had become established in Lithuania. Researches have confirmed and revealed that similar cudweed form ornamentation had been woven in many ways. Dim weaving technique had been applied for simple crosses. In the localities where multi-thread textile existed females made dim technique textile following the picturecloth textile and sashes’ example. It is obvious that the majority of the ornamentation motives are typical of the entire territory of Lithuania with slight differences of naming. 

A presenter from south-eastern Lithuania claimed a small cross to be the most ancient ornamentation (map). These patterns could be compared with eight-thread marguliai (motleys) woven using the picturecloth (servetine) technique at the beginning of the 20th century. In the first half of the 20th century X-shape pattern (picture 3.10:1) had been typical of Western Lithuania and kryzinis (cross-shape) pattern — of Eastern Lithuania. Prolonged and split, as if X-shape, ornamentation had been arranged both in Eastern and Western Lithuania. Harrow patterns had been typical of Eastern Lithuania. The harrow form textiles’ motives had been woven on the entire territory of Lithuania. Majority of the presenters claimed it to be a later naming of the ornamentation. Its spreading might have been influenced by various publications. In Lithuania the same patterns had been woven by Lithuanians and weavers of other nationalities.

Bedcover, eight-thread dims, cross, circle pattern, 20th century, photo made by authorThe spreading and changing of local ornamentation forms had not been even, either. In the late 19th and early 20th century  two, four and more size elements three way structured harrows, cross-shaped and the ornamentation of similar forms had dominated in various localities of Lithuania (map). The cross-shaped motives had retained their local originality: The so called cross-shaped pattern is typical of the eastern part of Lithuania, meanwhile, X-shape — of its western part (map).

Bedcover, 1980, Armeniskiai, Jurbarko area, ES, b.1889(15), photo made by authorIn the course of time interpretations of quadrangle patterns become more popular, however, new versions of the ornamentation did not shove the old ones. The textiles’ samples had greatly influenced the spreading of patterns. Special books on weaving techniques contained names of the ornamentation. Lithuanian and Swedish weavers considered similar ornamentation to be several pattern combinations, however, they called then differently. The originality of people’s imagination proves that only the forms of these patterns might have spread through publications. The naming of the ornamentation and the symbolics of clearly expressed geometric forms are closely linked with people’s world outlook.

The quadrangle pattern motives such as cross and harrow had been spreading in the ornamentation of the Baltic region, neighbouring countries and further even reaching the pre-Colombian Peru. The Lithuanian weavers had also influenced neighbouring European countries. So, in Polish literature we find the name of the textiles’ vilnietiški. It must be said that the ornamentation forms that cross the borders acquire local features and with time the authentic pattern forms become less noticeable than their peculiar characteristics.

Bedcover, the late 20th century, Piepaliu village, Kauno area, ES, b. 1889(18), photo made by author, 1996It is curious that recreated quadrangle pattern forms are very simple. The authentic motives of the ornamentation are part of ethnic identity. Lithuanians living in a foreign cultural environment make interpretations of the textile ornamentation in various works of art.


Aketinis rastas

Bekampis rastas

Dobilo lapai

Kryziokinis rastas, 19th-20th century, West Lithuania

Eight-thread dims pattern, 20th century

Eight-thread dims pattern, the second half of 20th century

30  Aštuonnyčių dimų raštas, XX a. II p.